Last night my clock read 5:06 when I pulled in to my garage. That's a trip home in around 46 minutes. That's the equivalent of hitting every light on green, the stop-and-go traffic being mostly go, and finding no one in front of you in the Arby's drive-thru. It's nearly a miracle. That's what I'm saying.
So I felt pretty good when I came in last night. There are 3 priorities that must be taken care of before I can do anything else: 1. Grab Milkbones for Darcy. 2. Go to the restroom (46 minutes, people) 3. Change into stretchy pants.
The first was done, but Darcy wasn't in her normal spot in the living room or stretched out on the bed. I was caught between going to look for and taking care of the next urgent priority when I heard the dog door. She went into the kitchen so I called her and she meandered toward me. When she looked up at me, I nearly fell over. You know how a dog looks when you give it a biscuit or something that's wider than its mouth? That's what she looked like, with no biscuit. Her nose and her lips were so swollen that they stuck out from her face and she had a very strange grin.
I'd had a similar experience when she was very, very young. I woke up one morning and turned around to find her sitting on the bed, happy as can be, with her eyes nearly swollen shut. A panicky call to the emergency vet had me giving her 2 Benadryl and rushing her to my normal vet when they opened.
Apparently, noses are the most common area on dogs for stings and bites and the threat is having the throat swell shut. I knew that and remembered it very, very well. (These pictures were later that night after I took care of all 3 priorities, ate my cold Arby's, and chilled the heck out. Sorry for the iPhone. I had to follow her around for a while to get them.)
I think I literally tossed the Milkbones up in the air and ran for the phone. I don't understand programming phones with speed dial but I do now, at this moment, have my vet's number memorized. They close at 5, but I decided to give it a try. Getting her to the emergency vet in Maumelle at rush hour would have been a terrible ordeal. And I mean that.
But my miracle was holding: someone answered. I said something like....pant, pant, pant, "I know you're closed..." pant, pant, pant, "...but I just got home and my dog's face is all swollen." They took my name and then said, "Can you be here in 5 or 10 minutes?"
Thinking to myself that it normally takes about 20 minutest to get there, I smoothly said, "Yep, I can be there in 10." I had every intention of making it. I can move very quickly when I am motivated. I hustled my confused dog, who was still trying to track down her treats, into the car and burned rubber. Or I would have if I knew how to do that. The world should have had a warning about how serious I was about making that trip in 10 minutes.
I would have made it under the mark except for the traffic, road construction, and a two lane road with no turn signal. After I waited through two entire light changes on this road, I was...motivated. I took the next roundabout, a road behind the big shopping center to cut through the apartment complex to make it to the access road. Then I thought I was home free, just a skip up to the exit and two right turns and I was there.
And then the traffic that is Reynolds Road in Bryant stalled me. I inched along and finally made it to the Zaxby's driveway where I cut through to the Dollar General parking lot and took a left turn to be caught within feet of the driveway to the office. So I drove on the wrong side of the road those feet and screeched to a halt: 12 minutes total.
I woke up my dog who has become rather blase about riding in the car recently. We've figured out pretty well how to get her in gracefully but we've yet to stick the dismount. I'm pretty sure I was still apologizing to her when I walked into the dark office to find the vet and two technicians waiting for me.
The vet said, "Hm, I don't believe I've ever seen that." After a very quick exam of her face, the vet determined Darcy needed an IV of Dex (it has a much longer name but it didn't matter to her and I probably can't spell it).
I played 20 Questions with her (my normal vet was not there, but I'm giving the new lady vet 2 thumbs up), mostly consisting of "Are you sure it's just a sting? It couldn't be this..." and thought about stretching out on the linoleum to cool my fevered brow while I waited.
They brought her back to me, saying very soothing things that indicate that I am becoming a regular around the office, with the orders to give her 2 Benadryl and watch for respiratory distress. I think if that dog had even breathed funny once, I might have shattered into tiny pieces. But she didn't. And she ate everything I put in front of her. And she slept peacefully all night long. And today her face is nearly normal.
If you were between me and the vet last night, I sincerely apologize, but I have become very clear in my plan for what to do to improve the world when I hit the lottery. I'm going to open a free driving school where I live. There are many needy people in the world.