Tuesday, October 05, 2010

When You're Busy Making Other Plans

I settled on the sofa with the phone. OK, it may have been expensive, but I would call for a pizza, heck I would call for two, take advantage of the double deal. Then if Julie and Ivan came back there would be enough to go around, and besides, I was ravenous, having the done the four rounds at Kiara, and I needed to get started on work.

Anna had given me a huge task and almost no time to do it. I would have to turn down all other work for the next two weeks. As much as I can juggle, some things are beyond me.

So during the walk I mapped out who I would call, as soon as I got home, who I would send emails to, what other questions I could send to Anna...oh, it was glorious, glorious. I was all raring to go!

And then I saw the little fellow slumped in front of a driveway at the house next to the house opposite. He was black and for a minute I thought he was the little dog I had befriended not too long ago who hadn't put in an appearance for a long time.

This little fellow just lay there. I went up to pat him and that's when I noticed it. Instead of a right ear, he had a wound...that seemed to go all the way to his brain. Maggots were busy chomping away. The smell itself was enough to make you faint.

Horror-struck I stared at the gaping abyss to make sure. Then the pizza delivery guy appeared and I fumbled for my wallet to pay him, feeling wave after wave of sickness sweep through me. Oh my God! The dog was in such agony. It looked like he was too far gone.

Julie came home and I asked her to come across the street to look. Then I said, do we know any vets? We didn't of course, but that didn't stop us. She immediately went to the internet and started to investigate. I called my friends and they gave me what help they could.

No one was picking up.

And then I thought about the pet rescue farm I had written about a few weeks ago. Hands shaking, I called one of the volunteers and almost in tears, I told him what happened. He was really helpful. First he texted a number of a vet that made housecalls. Then he asked for my address and called around to see if they could get any vet to come to the house to pick up the dog.

I would pay. No problem about that.

But finding a vet after 8 is like trying to find a (I couldn't think of the appropriate metaphor and I'm too tired to be creative). In the meantime I had rushed to get some dog biscuits and put it and some water into my red bowl for strays (the cat that I also sometimes fed, was indignant and started circling said dog and expressing displeasure in a variety of ways).

Julie brought a blanket and somehow we managed to load the little black thing onto it and carry him over to our compound which is presently strewn with sand, stones, cement (you name it) because of renovations.

I fed him some more dog biscuits and weak as he was, he stood up to eat it. I wondered how long he had gone without food and how long this damn wound had been festering in his head.

Salehin called. He said there was one 24-hour clinic in Jalan Gasing that I could go to for emergencies. And he texted the number. Julie said she had already called it but they guy there said, no we're closed. I called and insisted. He said, well, but it'll be expensive. You'll have to pay.

I said, I don't care. I'll pay.

He said, OK. And gave me directions.

Julie had already made plans. She was going out for a movie. Her friend was coming to get her. I said, I can't do this without you.

She cancelled her plans, but her friend insisted on coming anyway to help us. This is despite his quesy stomach. The dog's ear stank to high heavens. I was thinking...you poor little baby...what did you ever do to deserve such suffering. If nothing could be done, we would put him to sleep. But I was determined he was not going to spend another night in this agony.

The vet who was irritated at being kept waiting asked me to brief her. When she saw this was a stray, she examined the wound and then insisted on giving me the "facts". She listed out the various costs (what with the operation and treatment and boarding it would come up to well over RM1,000). Too much for a stray, you say? Especially when you don't have a steady job?

I ask you, what would you have done?

Put it to sleep because it would have cost less?

Perhaps that would have been the sensible thing to do.

Instead, I asked her, do you accept cards?

She nodded curtly. And then proceeded to go start on the operation. The millions of maggots that had been chewing their way through his little head - she squirted in the medicine, injected him with a sedative/painkiller and set to work. Even then, she barely managed to pull out half before she had to stop. The dog was coming around and he was in pain. She then prepared a cage and carried him upstairs.

Julie gave me her look (the one that clearly says, I think you're making a mistake). She said, even if he gets better, how do we keep him?

When Salehin called, I asked him if it would be possible for him to help me find a home for the doggie. He said, no problem. Take a picture of the dog having the operation. Write a story. And we will circulate it.

Julie took the picture with her handphone. I will write the story.

And now I have to get back to the work I was originally supposed to do.

So tired.

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