Thursday, January 01, 2009


New Year's Heave

My little puppy Stella has come of age. She's six months old and was in need of being spayed. Since I've got the luxury of being off for about two weeks over the holidays, I figured it would be best to have it done during that time so she could recover at home and not at work with me where people inevitably get the urge to pick her up. After a bit of research and advice from clients and friends, I decided to go with a vet about 30 minutes from home rather than our usual vet two blocks away. It's a cleanliness issue really. Our usual vet is fine for check-ups and shots, but I don't get that clinically sterile feeling from them. Could be the dirty, urine-stained peel & stick tiles on the floor and the stench of urine in the place. Not only does the new vet have a very clean-looking place, their prices are considerably lower than any in our immediate area. The other added bonus is that they are open 24/7 and do surgical procedures day or night.

I booked my appointment for the evening of January 30. I dropped her off mid-afternoon and the spaying was to take place between midnight and 3:00 am. Stella was a bit freaked out as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. She began whimpering before I parked the car. How do they know? She was checked out by one of their vets, paperwork was filled out, and she was led away. Of course I was concerned with her being away from The Squeeze and I, but I tried to put that out of my mind.

I received a call the next morning stating that she was ready to go home at any time. The surgery went well and she was recovering. I drove in to pick her up and made it back home before noon where I waited for Weezie to drop off the girls for us to have overnight so she could ring in the new year with some friends.

Perhaps the timing wasn't great because trying to keep a nearly four year old and a two and a half year old away from a post-surgery puppy is about as easy as herding cats. Stella was pretty groggy and was not herself. She had no interest in eating, and didn't even want to drink her water. Shortly after Weezie and the girls arrived, Stella vomited a couple of nice puddles of yellowish-orange bile onto the rug. I ran off to get the can of carpet cleaner from under the sink, and I heard Weezie yelling at Brynn. "No! Don't touch that! NO!!! Don't put that in your mouth!!! GROSS!!!" What is it with kids? They won't eat their dinner but they'll put dog barf in their mouths.

Later that afternoon when The Squeeze came home, we had dinner with the girls, and Stella was wandering around under the table doing her usual "I hope one of these monkeys drops something" thing. I figured she might just want to eat something, so I thought I'd put a few tiny pieces of ham in her food dish among her kibble. She inhaled the ham, so I thought things were looking up. No sooner did I turn toward the sink and turn back, and there was another pile of bile (Now With Chunks 'O Ham!) on the kitchen floor. I guess it was wishful thinking that she was ready to keep anything down.

As the evening wore on, I put Brynn and Zoe to bed, and it wasn't that long afterward that The Squeeze and I followed. I was unsure whether we should allow Stella in our bed as she has been for the past couple of weeks or to put her in her crate, but The Squeeze figured that she was done throwing up, so I agreed.

Stella parked herself on my half of the middle of the bed, leaving me with around a third of the bed. Tossing and turning were out of the question for me. I stayed awake for quite some time, worried about hurting Stella's incision and listening for one or both of the girls to start crying. Right at midnight I heard some muffled screaming. I sat up, figuring it was Zoe, because it didn't sound like crying, but more like shouting. At that same exact time, Stella saw fit to vomit on the fitted sheet right where I had been lying. "Happy Freakin' New Year", I thought to myself.

I went down the hall to Zoe's room, and she was fast asleep. I walked back into the bedroom and heard the screaming again. Turns out it was a couple of kids whooping it up outside their house across from us. I grabbed a wet cloth and scrubbed at the vomit on the bed. What the hell do I do now? The Squeeze is snoozing on his half of the bed, the spare sheets are in the bedroom where Brynn was sleeping - and I dare not walk in and wake her up! I couldn't go sleep in the basement like I had to do the previous night (due to disturbing noises coming from The Squeeze's CPAP machine) because I wouldn't hear the girls if they woke up in the night. I did the only thing I could do. I put a T-shirt over the wet spot, put Stella in her crate, and crawled back into bed.

Here's hoping that this ordeal is a farewell to 2008 and not an omen of what 2009 has in store.

Nice! Everyone loves a good dog vomit story.
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