Just got back from the vet's, where I had to leave little Cabo behind to get stitches. Not a blog for the easily grossed out.
First of all, she is apparently fine. Basically I cut through a chunk of her ear with some scissors while trying to cut off a knot of fur.
We went for a hike today in the canyon, during which Cabo came upon a big muddy puddle on the trail, left over from the rains last week. Before I could figure out the inevitable, she dove into the puddle and started rolling around like a pig, wriggling on her back and snorting in pure porcine pleasure. I could only laugh.
My friend Jean had come down from Los Angeles with her dog Hoover, and with Cabo and Lola, we were just starting out on the hike. Cabo knew that she had crossed some sort of line, but happiness comes from acceptance, and I knew that there was no use getting upset or even turning around. When you own a dog, that's part of the deal, and truth be told, it was really funny.
When we got to the turnaround, Lola let me know that she was completely gassed. So I carried her back for most of the return trek. Which was also, sort of funny, although it was a hot day and carrying a furry little 30 pound weight up and down a canyon is every bit the workout one might think.
We all got back to my house and I hosed Cabo down, quickly realizing that it would be much easier to just take her to the dog wash. Ironically, I have an appointment for her to be groomed on Monday. But so deep and caked was the mud in her fur, that I realized I needed to take her to the dog wash today, otherwise she'd be tracking mud all over the house, and I've got guests coming in a few days.
First though, we all went to lunch where Jean and I got some tasty vegetarian grub and I ordered a huge side order of bacon for the dogs. Then it was off to the dog wash.
I got Cabo in her tub and started hosing her down. She was a rock star- just standing there and letting me shower her with warm water pumped through the high pressure hose. Then I noticed the fur matted beneath her ears. I got some scissors from the grooming table, which scissors were pretty dull and wimpy. I came back and went to work on the side closest to me, cutting out a little lump of puppy dreadlocks about the size of a penny.
I found one on the other side, and started cutting away, and it was only when she flinched that I realized I had cut through much more than just fur. I had cut a deep gash through her skin. She hadn't made a peep. Only a slight shudder let me know something was amiss.
There was no blood, but I almost puked when I saw how deep it was. Again, no whimpering from Cabo- she gamely sat there wagging her tail and staring at all the other dogs being groomed. I got her out of the tub, showed what had happened to Jean, who was scrubbing down Hoover in another tub. I knew that I had to get to the vet. Even if Cabo was fine, the cut clearly needed attention.
I dropped off Jean and Hoover on the way to the vet, said a quick goodbye, and floored it to the vet, where they were waiting for me (I called on the way).
The vet tech saw that I was completely freaked out, and told me not to worry- that she had been a dog groomer and this stuff happened all the time. Then she looked at the cut and the reassuring smile disappeared a bit and she said, "Oh. You got her good. OK, we'll be right back."
As hard as it had been to keep it together, that little incident sent me over the emotional edge. Cabo snuggled up to me as I sat on the bench in the empty little examination room, and still wet from her shower, we just held on to each other until the vet came into the room, after what felt like two years, but what was really about 2 minutes.
The vet looked at Cabo and then said that
>>Vet just called as I was typing- Cabo's OK!!<<
OK, so the vet began reassuring me almost immediately, which brought forth all the guilt, fear, and helplessness that had filled my stomach, chest, and throat for the past 20 minutes. She said that everything was going to be fine, that they could fix her up no problem, and that there would be no permanent damage at all.
Then she looked at Cabo, who was still wagging her tail, and said, "Your dad's really stressed out. He needs to just relax because you'll be fine. He should go have a beer."
Which I thought was really funny for a number of reasons.
Anyhoo, they gave me a big fat invoice and told me to come back in ninety minutes to pick her up. They were really, really nice, as they always are at this place. I took her leash and stepped out into the golden hot California sun, wiped my eyes, and donned my sunglasses.
I was filled with gratitude that I can actually afford to deal with this sort of thing financially, but more grateful that I'm at a place in my life where I can remain calm under pressure and live in the solution. The whole time the shit was going down, I kept thinking to myself, "You know the solution to this problem and you're in it- it will all be fine." Still consumed with guilt, I could still find the silver lining- that there will be plenty of time to look back when the storm has passed. And in the storm, having faith that the right thing would see us through gave me the strength and peace of mind to get through it.
As you read above, they just called and said that Cabo is fine, everything went great, and I can pick her up in 20 minutes. I'm so freaking excited. Intellectually I know what I did was simply an accident. Nonetheless, I know I'll be beating myself up for quite a bit. But seeing Cabo's resilience and her sunny, loving spirit will be just what the doctor ordered.
I'll take snuggles from Cabo over a beer any fucking day of the week.
And I'm really glad I bought her a plate of bacon for lunch.
Apologies for typos, shitty grammar, and any repetitive/nonsensical writing. No time to proofread- I'm going to bring Cabo home now.