About a month ago I received an email. Yep, my posts are both timely and fascinating, eh? It was a request from a friend with a sick puppy. And since I’m all about compassion and puppies and rainbows and the smell of fresh baked cookies in a warm kitchen on a cold winter day, I had to respond.
I’ve never had a dog. They’re pretty cool animals in general, but I’ve usually found them either too loud, too moist, or too hairy to share my space with. Ditto for kids. But it seems that the puppy has not been doing too well and requires daily IV fluids. This same time last year, I also required daily IV fluids so she hit soft spot. Whereas I had opposing thumbs and could do my own, the puppy does not have the same and usually fumbles with the IV tubing until somebody steps in to help. Apparently this is a two-person process since the puppy doesn’t seem to mind the fluid part, but like most humans she tends to flinch when needles are inserted under her skin.
Now go back and substitute “pit bull” for “puppy” in the previous sentences. That’s right… I was being asked to hold down a pit bull while someone else stuck an IV needle under her skin. It’s not as bad as it sounds since the dog has always been as laid back as any dog I’ve known. And in her advanced age, even the squirrels in the backyard are resting a little easier. But I still found it amusing that I was volunteering for the job.
I signed up for two days during the 2-1/2 weeks her husband would be out of town on business and unable to help. The first day I went over, it was clear that the dog was sick but still enjoying the company of her loyal owners and her visitors. Once the IV was set up we walked the dog back to the treatment room, which was also used for human laundry. I found a small throw rug, with small pillows on each end. The dog stood on the rug and I was to take position on the pillow near her head and hold her in position by her collar. Just in case. I kneeled down and took her collar. And quickly realized my naughty bits were positioned about three inches from the face of a pit bull about to be stuck with a needle. Again, the dog had exhibited nothing but the sweetest demeanor, but the fleeting visual of her jaw clamped onto my privates was enough for me to adjust my position. I didn’t want to be nominated for a Darwin award or be the local man in the news who required 450 stitches to reattach his scrotum.
Now comfortably seated on the floor, where the lower jaw could not as easily slip around my jewels, the process began. As promised, she barely flinched when the needle was placed and she remained remarkably patient for the ten or so minutes while the fluid flowed. Before I knew it, we were all done and I was rewarded with a treat and a non-alcoholic beer. Thankfully, she let me know the treat was for the dog before I wolfed it down myself. I settled into the couch and sipped my beer with pride, knowing that I could add pit bull wrangler to my resume.