…Conveniently enough for me, Cares offered to stow the dog there, until his eye appointment later that evening, so I could go back to work. And I went back to work. I swear!
The dog’s later appointment was at 7. I got there promptly, just hoping this whole catastrophe wasn’t going to cost me three mortgage payments. Apparently the night of the dog’s appointment was blind dog night at Cares, cause the place was lousy with semi/blind dogs. Which immediately made me feel better about myself. Cause I shoulder this guilt about the dog being blind in one eye. Yes. I do have some feelings in me, besides anger and hostility. It was nice to see I’m not the only negligent owner in the tri state area.
I checked in at the front desk, and as fate would have it, parked ass at the end opposite from the examination rooms. Talk about a weird feeling, sitting at an animal hospital without an animal. I bet the other owners around me thought I checked myself into the wrong hospital. I could just imagine the conversations between themselves.
“Look at that jackass, Owner #2. I bet that guy over there went to the wrong hospital.” Owner #1 whispered to Owner #2
“Maybe we should tell him that this is the animal hospital. Maybe we should tell him the people hospital is down the street.” Owner #2 expressed her concern.
“Nuts to that.” Owner #1 said, shooting Owner #2 the stink eye. “That guy is probably nuts. Look at him. Look at his hair. He’s clearly stuck in the 80’s. I bet he was even listening to “Cherry pie” on the way over here.”
While I minded my own business, looking everywhere but at all the other sneering, self righteous owners, a nurse called out from the other end of the building. “Snowflake?”
I sat there for a moment, smirking. Aside from what Owner #1 just said, I like to think of myself as a hip kinda fella. Still sorta “cool” even though I’m 40. Maybe not gangster or anything, but still. So…here I am, a grown man, with some self esteem issues, about to acknowledge he’s the owner of an animal named “Snowflake”.
You could just tell the crowd in the lobby was waiting. Waiting to see who was going to respond to “Snowflake.” I sorta played it up like I was on that old game show To Tell the Truth. I waited a second to let the crowd try and figure out who the idiot was. Nope! It wasn’t the old lady a few seats down from me. That’s the obvious choice. Never go with the obvious choice.
I sighed and got up. As I walked the Green Mile to the exam rooms I said aloud. “What can I say?” Insert dramatic pause. “The kids named him.” I got a chuckle from all them. But, I bet they all thought it was me who named him, anyway. Still, I guess it’s better than being thought of as the guy who went to the wrong hospital.
Fortunately for me, the exam of the eye was quick, very much unlike this story. But, I’m putting it into high gear. I swear! The doctor confirmed he had a detached retina in his cataract/glaucoma/fucking mess eye. She prescribed obnoxiously expensive eye drops, took all the money from my bank account, patted me on the head and we were promptly shown the door.
It turns out the shot they gave him earlier did end up knocking him out. When I got him home he stayed in his cage and that was that. He performed his best Howard Hughes (the routine he usually saves for after he gets groomed. he gets so worked up from the grooming he just stays in his cage for days) and laid up the rest of the night.
The kids did their best to get him out of the cage, though. At one point, Sarah did managed to coax him out of the cage. The dog pathetically moped his way about a foot out of the cage, stopped and sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. I swear, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that dog was stoned. And believe you me, I don’t know any better. Cause I don’t know what it’s like to be stoned. I’m just saying. He looked it. Hey, I know what it looks like if someone’s stoned. I saw Scarface.
Sarah petted him for a few minutes. “What’s wrong with him, Fadder? Why’s he being like this?”
“They gave him a shot for pain.” I said.
“Why?” Jethro chimed in. “What’s wrong?”
I ran down the whole story. Again. The entire time the dog just sat there. Adrift. As I finished, Natalia walked in the house. She looked at all of us, sitting on the floor around the dog, as she passed us on her way to the kitchen. “Look at that dog.” she said grabbing a soda out of the fridge, laughing. “He’s all sad and shit.” With that, she threw herself on the couch and flipped on the TV.
“That’s nice, Natalia.” Sarah remarked, sarcastically. “Real nice.”
“What?” Natalia replied, innocently enough. She nodded at the dog. “Well? Look at him. He does…”