I had one major goal for today. I only wanted to make it out of work before the sun set. I have been on a work spree from the heavens and I was desperate to feel the sun on my face. It all panned out that Aly and I were off about the same time and we mapped out a plan for our afternoon: coffee, shopping mall, dinner. She was in desperate need of new jeans and Victoria’s Secret had informed me that they were having a sale on unmentionables (damn you, VS Marketing Team! You know my weakness!). Before we knew it we were on our way!
There was some debacle as to which Starbucks we were going to as we had JUST cooled off in the air conditioning (when you live in the desert this is how you make life decisions) and fully intended on driving around until we found a drive-thru to service all of our iced coffee needs. After missing our exit on the freeway and driving around San Bernardino somewhat aimlessly we decided to just wait until we got to the mall. No iced coffee was worth getting out of the car and getting hot, it just wasn’t going to happen.
As we neared the exit for the mall, Aly chatted away on her phone and I was fiddling with something in my purse when I happened to look up and see a little mop dog on the side of the freeway. I swear that thing looked directly into my soul with those deep, sad eyes. Now, a rational person would calmly inform the driver of the situation at hand and a rescue plan could be mapped out. I have never been accused of being a rational person. My first instinct was to scream at Aly to pull over. She was frightened by my outburst and continued down the excessively long off ramp. I continued screaming and wildly gesturing about a mop dog until she haphazardly slowed to the side of the road. I am sure the car hadn’t come to a complete stop when I dove out (again, not rational) and started sprinting down the freeway. After about a quarter-mile run in the gross heat I found what I was looking for.
Curled in a ball was a dingy, hurt pup. I reached out for her and she screamed before my hand even got near her. It broke my heart. Now, I am not a mother, the closest I have ever come to having children would probably be my herd of little sisters, but I now have a full understanding of maternal instincts. I took off my drapey sweater thing that I had successfully stolen from my mom’s closet and wrapped my hand in it just in case this little monster tried to attack. The pup sniffed the sweater slowly and let me wrap her up in it. After a slow but successful pick up maneuver, I carried her back to the car.
For a dog in obvious pain she sat patiently in my lap, stiffening her body only when turns or brakes made her uncomfortable. We called my mom who, after all these years, is not surprised when I call her with stray animal “situations”. My mom suggested we take her to the county animal control office. We didn’t do that. I ignored my mom and took her to a local vet who told us her bill could be anywhere between $100.00 and $5,000.00. We gaffed and played a little hardball. I can negotiate like a Mexican grandma at the swap meet when it really comes down to it. We agreed to pay for her x-rays and the laceration repair on her hind leg but nothing more. The vet was understanding when we explained that we had set out that day to spend $26.00 plus tax on underwear, not a few hundred dollars on a stray dog. The sweet baby rested her head on my arm as we talked to the doctor, waiting to hear her fate.
We made phone calls as she was x-rayed by the tech, calling in the troops to pay for this poor dog’s medical expenses. It was a two-woman telethon! My grandma and Aly’s mom agreed to lend us the money to see her fixed up. We could breathe a sigh of relief, at least we could pay for a reasonable amount of treatment. We were thankful for the vet’s honesty as he explained that if her hip needed surgery it wouldn’t be in our best interest to save her. We crossed our fingers that the crunching in her hind quarters was something minimal, we paced like caged animals when they took her back, we cried when we heard her cry for the first time, we waited and waited for her to be brought back in.
Aly and I were so very happy when we learned that in addition to the staples she would require on the cut on her leg she only had a fractured hip and that it should heal on it’s own! They told us our total for her treatment would only be a bit over $200! She lives, she lives! While we celebrated, they dressed the staples in her leg and told us about her medication. I honestly don’t think I listened to a word the vet tech was saying. Even with being prodded and moved from one place to another, she calmly rested her head against me, seemingly over the whole situation.
We got her home and made her comfortable, we sprayed her down with stuff to kill her fleas and tried to brush through her terrible, dingy fur. Right now it is the middle of the night and she just ate her very first food after taking her meds. She had been trembling when we first brought her home but that has subsided. Like a proud mama, I am just watching her sleep and worrying like crazy. I suppose this is what parents of humans feel like when their little humans are hurt, I just want her to be okay.
Years ago I had a bet with a boyfriend that if the Cubs won the World Series, he would get me a white Maltipoo and her name would be Sugar. I didn’t fully understand at the time that if you REALLY want something you NEVER let it hinge on the Cubs winning ANYTHING. Well, here I am six years later, the Cubs still haven’t won the World Series but I have the sweetest white Maltese. She is just a sweet little baby and her name is Sugar. Keep Sugar Baby in your prayers as she heals!