Friday, February 18, 2011

I hold your heart; I hold it in my heart...

Last night he was in pain. When I tried to clean the affected area, he whimpered every time I touched it. And today, he refused his food. All food. Even his favourite food, bought at great expense. And the side of his face had swollen to monstrous proportions. He looked mournfully at me, through one half closed eye (whenever he's in pain, he can't seem to open that eye properly) and there was nothing for it. I would have to take him to the vet.

Taking Arnold to the vet by myself is a little challenging. He's generally a good doggie in that he doesn't try to get in front anymore. Instead he moves from window to window, trying desperately to figure out where we're going. Not that he should bother. When I make him get into the car, there's only one place we would be going. And that's to the vet.

Arnold resists coming in, I try to drag him and then scoop him up and carry him. Even after having rejected his food for a bit, he's still a solid little dog.

And here's the payoff for his little Valentine's Day present to his vets. They are all tickled pink and the ones who see me come to thank me one by one, and Arnold is seen to as soon as Dr Chin, who happens to be passing, sees him.

There's a lady with a rabbit who's been waiting longer, but Dr Chin is Arnold's doctor and she takes a personal interest in him. After thanking me for the cake, she examines the little fellow and decides that he needs to be admitted again. She tries to out a cotton bud through the hole in his head to see if she can flush it again but one side has closed up. Arnold screams in pain, but does not even attempt to bite. That's why the vets like him. He's a very sweet dog.

Then she says she will have to sedate him to examine the area. Thing about Arnold is, he spent some time as a stray and who knows what he picked up then. But he's had surgery before, the surgery that closed up right ear. Obviously he was owned by someone before. When I found him lying on the side of the road, expiring from a maggot wound, it is obvious that whoever it was no longer wanted to pay his vet bills and abandoned him to leave him to his own devices.

So, reluctantly, I leave him there. I follow Dr Chin upstairs and together, we manage to push him into a cage. He doesn't want to go, he resists and keeps jumping out. Then he howls and tells me, please don't go. I look at him sadly. I don't want to but I have to. By taking him out early I am probably personally responsible for this.

I feel sad all the way home. My poor little doggie has suffered so much. He's been in pain for I don't know how long. I wish I had painkillers on hand to give him. Instead, I force antibiotics down his throat. (He refuses to take them otherwise and that may be what has led to this present juncture)

About a half hour later Dr Chin calls. The vets have discussed it among themselves and they want to do exploratory surgery on the affected area. It's not enough to drain it. They need to see what's there. That counts as major surgery. Which means Dr Prem, as the senior vet, will have to be present. (Thank God I met him and presented him with cake...just saying...) She tells me I can come get the little fellow and bring him back tomorrow.

We go upstairs and discover that Arnold has chewed through the bit of string used to secure his cage. These pieces of string are only used for the naughty dogs who chew on their cage doors or push it with their feet. The piece of string is lying on the ground and Arnold is beside himself with joy to see me. He wasn't expecting me so soon. Dr Chin has injected him with a painkiller which means he's a lot happier and more alert than when I brought him in, barely an hour ago.

So I bundle him into the car and take off for home. Gazing out the window, he ascertains our general direction and is satisfied. He sits right in the middle of the backseat, tongue hanging out (his happy face) and when I brake suddenly he falls forward on the floor. Not that he minds. As we're going home, he doesn't mind anything. So he simply picks himself up and resumes the position.

The moment we get home he heads for his bowl and polishes off the pork tail pieces I made for him earlier. Drinks his water. And comes to settle down on the floor of my room. Every once in a while he gets up and comes to me for some love. Patting his head and stroking his ear qualifies as love.

Then he wanders off.

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