A Philly Adventure in Chicago
Part II of II of the story about my "grass" eating pup.
Read part one here to catch up on this puppy story!
A few moments later a technician came out to run a quick test. His heartbeat was slow for a pup his weight (23 lbs). She did a little “hand flash” test around his face. Sort of like little burst with her fingers to catch his eye.
Philly drowsily stared nowhere in particular. (We were now wiping up little drips from his lower region due to his bowels being so relaxed he couldn’t hold his wee.)
“Yes. It’s likely he picked up something. We see this daily now that Marijuana is legal in Chicago.”
“So people just smoke pot on the sidewalk and leave it?”
“Be glad he didn’t eat a barbiturate.”
I barely know what that is.
They took us back to a room where another technician, who I have to say had about the same look on his face as Philly, told me he’d now be taking my puppy “in the back” to see the doctor and then bring him back out.
I held Philly a little tighter. “I’m sorry, what?”
“I’m going to take your dog…”
It just rolled out off my tongue: “Why.”
“Because …” (I don’t think he was used to the question) “We… are… going to do that.”
If you’ve been following some of my past stories, you’ll know that I’m not a mother. Not of humans anyway. I am and have been much of my adult life a teacher, though, and mentor, so I do have those motherly instincts. But this moment to date was the closest I had ever come to that instinct that nears a white-hot raging fire when someone says they’re going to “take” your child “in the back”… and not with you.
That’s. Not. Happening.
What’s interesting is that my response was so mysteriously… simple. No raging fire.
“I’m not comfortable with that,” my lack of facial expression displaying no room for negotiation.
There was little pause as the young man, too tired (or stoned?) to care, said, “Ok, I’ll bring the doctor to you,” to which my inner monologue replied then why did we just play this merry-go-round nonsense if it was that easy, you dopey Oompa Loompa?
He sauntered away and a moment later the NICEST doctor (newly arrived from Utah to his new job in Chicago) made everything immediately better. After spending ten minutes with Philly and me, I did allow him to take Philly “in the back” for some fluids and an anti-vomiting shot.
When Philly came back, I was told by yet a new technician that Philly “just wanted his Mommy” accompanied by a general acknowledgement that he was, indeed, stoned.
A moment later a final vet tech came in with paperwork, took one sad smile glance at Philly and remarked compassionately if not poetically, “Yeah, he high,” smiled again and led us to check out.
By this time my husband had Ubered his way to rehearsal knowing I’d be taking Philly home for the night.
Four hundred twenty eight dollars later we were on our way home. Philly slept for five hours before he stirred. (I was supposed to nudge him every two just to make sure he could be roused.) I picked him up and carried him out to the cleanest patch of unpolluted lawn I could see, with new hyper awareness of the weed infested grass (pun thoroughly intended) and carried him back inside. Twenty-four hours later he was at 95%. I could swear he was still a little off balance.
Within thirty-six hours he was sniffing out that chewing gum again.
I cannot even begin to imagine the terror parents face with their toddlers. I am virtually prostrated before you.
So… what have I learned from this little furry adventure? God cares for and sees even the most innocent pup, and that for every thoughtless individual there are multiple charitable individuals to come to one’s aid; that nature can cause life and death; that I have the ability to remain calm in emergency situations even when I’m not home or when I’m not in familiar surroundings.
That there are more things in heaven and earth (and on the ground) than have ever been dreamt of in my little philosophy.
That all life is sacred and deserving of health; that people can, and do, unite for common good.
That God is always near and ready to give miracles. Hope works and love cures all ills.
As I finish this story, we are two days away from heading back to Yardley. Only two more days of jerking Philly’s head away from every piece of foreign object on the Chicago ground. Not that there aren’t foreign objects on the ground in Yardley. Tulips are toxic for pups and the first thing we’ll fight over is the Canadian Goose poop.
But if while I’m prying his jaw open to do the daily dump o’ doo I can view the cardinals swooping overhead and the bunnies doing their hop along the way… a prying, happily, we will go.