Thursday, March 03, 2005

"I bet you've never been so happy to clean up poop..."

On Tuesday, my mom called me as I was leaving for work. She has impeccable timing. If she has bad news to tell me, it always comes as I'm trying to go meet someone or start a shift at work. For example, when she and my dad decided to tell me about their divorce, they let me know as I was putting on my coat getting ready to go open the pool hall. I had two minutes to talk that time. When my grandpa died, she actually waited until I was done with work to call me and I was on my way to meet someone who I couldn't contact for dinner.

This time was no different in the timing, yet it was a little better situation. It was better for the outcome, not the emotional rollercoaster.

She told me on the phone that Taco, our dog of almost 18 years now (his birthday is next month), had not had a bowel movement in 5 days. Mom was completely freaked out by this (Taco really is the most important aspect of her life, and I don't have a problem with this at all). She had called the vet and she was planning on taking Taco in to see if anything could be done. The enema she gave him didn't work and he was getting all "puffy". Her fear was that they would want to cut him open or put him to sleep.

Then she told me, "Check your messages on your lunch break. I'll let you know what happened."

Great, now I had to work through 4 hours before she'd bother to tell me what happened. I'm sorry, but the results of what happened seemed a little more important to me than a customer yelling about being overdrawn.

I don't know how I handled the waiting. I know that I did take comfort in the distractions of work, but my mind was somewhere else entirely. I found myself crying as I was driving to work, scared about Taco.

At lunch, I called her because she had not yet left a message on my phone. The vet had given Taco some laxatives, hoping that would solve the problem. They had done X-rays and saw that he had a blockage. That was all the news she had. She was still crying when I spoke with her.

After work, I went to IHOP with a co-worker. At about 2 a.m., my phone rang. It was my mom. My heart skipped a couple of beats, worried about why Mom would call me so late at night. This is not typical for her.

As it turns out, the laxatives worked. Taco ended up cleaning out his system (five days worth) all over the floor of my mom's room. (She had been smart enough to put towels and sheets down on the floor, hoping that he would go on those and save a run of the carpet steamer.)

Mom was ecstatic. And the news was wonderful to hear. My co-worker did not know what was going on (I don't share things this close with many people) and really looked confused when my end of the conversation was, "I bet you've never been so happy to clean up poop." My mom's response was, "I did a total happy dance about it!"

Mom was very worried that when she went to the vet that she wouldn't be coming home with Taco. I was scared about this outcome.

It's getting closer and closer. We don't know when it will happen, but one of these days, we're not going to have Taco anymore. I don't like to think about that. It hurts to think about that. And it hurts worse to think about how Chip will act when it happens.

I love my dogs. They are a reason for me to smile and my reason for joy. When the day does come, I'm not going to be ready for it and I'm not going to be able to just roll with it. In my recent review at work, I was called adaptable. I don't think I can adapt to this.

But he pooped! (DM and Matt, imagine clapping hands and a loud voice for this one.)