I hand fed him food and pain pills.
He shook violently, even under heavy covers.
I flattened him against my body and my heat filled him up and my heartbeat ticked along with his.
Tia, the cat, flattened right in there too, purring.
Heartbeat syncing up, 3:1.
Her fuzzy fur coated one side of the doxie. I was the other half. After about an hour, my soft-oozy-white-middle-of-the-Oreo-cookie baby dog finally fell asleep.
We curled up and stayed in bed and watched bad TV - murder mysteries on desert islands, secret life of pets, sappy romances.
And we spooned up together like it was good TV and all that bad stuff in the real world couldn’t get in. Like bed was our safe place. Home.
It was nothing but that torrential Oregon rain and grey of January and that bad stuff was laughable on TV -- far, far away; outside the warm and fogged-up windows. Spooned up with this tiny dog of mine and an obese cat and this big ‘ol Cone that we all tried to ignore, like the elephant in the room.
And the laptop that lived in bed with us and our other bff was there, spooning with us too - Netflix.
Old Blue, our creaky historic farmhouse, sheltered us from the storm.
We could hear our quail friends, calling outside. Just like normal.
Vet lady’s post-op instructions said food and water in small amounts after anesthesia and fasting. Soft food only, every few hours. Feed, wait 30 minutes or more, then feed just a little more. Do not give a full meal.
We started with a handful. He wasn’t fooled. He knew I was short changing him. For once, I didn’t cave, because I am his mom and I need to care for him when he can’t care for himself.
So we snuggled up and waited an hour. Then he got just a little more baby food, and he gulped down the antibiotic in a smoky pill pocket. And we rolled back to bed and he was out for good.
I drank a lot of wine for medicinal purposes and was so glad he finally checked out and slept the night away. All three of us did.
The vet had a hard time getting Doodle under. I know that feeling, it’s his special gift. Sparkle of joy. Life force energy. Way outweighs the dinky doxie.
When he first started traveling with me, carryon bag style on airplanes, I tried every pill they had to chill him out – anti anxiety medicines, mellow yellow homeopathic drops, doggie downers - nothing worked. I didn’t want him out; just slower.
Finally, I tried a quarter of Elvis’s old Tramadol pain pill – and, bingo! In small amounts, so he didn’t become a stoner - a statistic in the US opioid epidemic.