Thursday, October 11, 2007

Oh, goodness . . .

She’s done it again.

My darling little Belle, our 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, has done it again—ingested a “foreign object.” She had to spend the night at the vet and wasn’t discharged until late this afternoon. Good news—she’s on the mend, bad news, it wasn’t cheap. The cost was nearly $600. Let me put that in perspective, that’s about ½ week’s worth accommodations at a luxury resort on the Yucatan Peninsula or airfare and the fee for a writer’s conference.

The veterinary technician piled up the supplies, medication, and special dog food on the check-out counter and asked if I wanted her to explain what needs to be done. “After all,” she said, “You should know the drill by now.” Then she laughed. Yeah, it’s an absolute riot to have a dog with an appetite for foreign objects, pound bags of foil-wrapped candy, ¾ pound of (EXPENSIVE) Brie cheese, toothpaste, bars of soap, and prescription medication intended for humans.

Belle’s forearm was shaved to accommodate her meds and IV treatment. To top it off, she was so excited when she got home that she sprinted around the house like an idiot. Not a great thing for a canine senior citizen to do. She must have slid on the tile floor because for the past three hours she’s been walking on three legs. When my husband came home from work I asked him if we should bring her to the vet tomorrow. He just gave me the look.

One interesting thing resulted from this fiasco. I mentioned to the receptionist that Belle and her inappropriate-ingestion problems have been immortalized in my upcoming book. (Yes, marketing is almost always on my mind). Now Belle’s a celebrity at our veterinary clinic, and by association, so am I. I passed out a half a dozen bookmarks and promised to do a book signing the next time Belle was in for treatment after she guzzles down the next foreign object.

**Friday, October 10th, Belle Update:
The poor thing is still gimpy, so back to the vet we go. Sigh

11:00 a.m.: I've returned from the vet, alone. Belle stayed for X-rays. It looks like she might have torn her ACL. Oh, dear. This may be the end for our little canine family member. The vet will call later today.

1:45 Belle update: I just got a call back from the vet. Yes, she’s torn her ACL, which is unusual for her breed. Just a fluke, I guess. I’ll bring her home later this afternoon. We’ve got to restrict her activities for a few months. I can’t tell you what a challenge that will be. She’s a busy little thing. She’ll have to be crated or sitting with someone to keep her still. No jumping, playing, stairs, etc. We have to put throw rugs on the tile which is ½ of our first floor so she can walk without slipping. We even have to put her on a leash to go outside to do her biz because she might want to take off after a bunny or a bird. We have to baby her like this because if she injures her good leg then she’ll be a dog who can’t walk, and that would be disastrous. The doctor wants to see her in a week. If she’s still as lame as she is now, then that will be bad too.


Jan Parrish said...

Yikes. I might rethink my idea about getting a dog. Not sure my budget allows for that type of vet bill. :) I'm glad she's better and home in her safe blankie - but will she bite of a corner and eat that too?

Marion Kelley Bullock said...

Oh, Megan,

I'm so sorry about all your problems with Belle. I hope she's going to be all right.
I'd say she has Pica, a condition that causes people (dogs?) to ingest all sorts of inedible things. But hey, I'm not a doctor.


Anonymous said...

Oh Megan

How difficult. Trying to keep a Jack Russell quiet is ...well the mind boggles.

Kay said...

I hope your doggie gets better quickly!
What vet clinic do you go to?

tonya said...

Oh, I am so sorry Megan! It was so hard for our family this year to put our dog down. They wanted four grand for all the surgeries and such. We couldn't afford it, that broke Chuck's heart. The kids cried and cried. It was horrible. So we will pray for you all!

Paula said...

Hoping your little sweetheart bounces back quickly!