The Deadly Garden
August 13, 2009
Ah, the eternal blogging conundrum: tell the story NOW, or tell it WELL. You cannot do both, what with the lack of sleep and excess of brain matter slowly leaking out of your adrenaline-sapped skull, and death is not an option, though continuing to send out short hysterical ampersand-filled updates on Twitter is.
(Wait, let me first tell you how much it bothers me when I have to sacrifice proper AP Style to make something fit on Twitter. SO MUCH, is how much it bothers me.)
What the hell, let's try "NOW." Sloppy storytelling, ahoy!
So while none of this will be any great revelation to anyone who reads me on Twitter...
(Wait, is that right? Do you "read" Twitter? I should say "follows me on Twitter," right? That just sounds kind of creepy and invasive and OMG LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU! IT'S...THE INTERNET! AAAAEEEEIII!)
Sorry. Right. Anyway. My dog kind of almost died this week. Of liver failure! Do you know what the primary symptom of possible liver failure in dogs is? Vomiting! You know, because they never just vomit all the time for any other reason, like maybe they ate too many paper towels. Oh, heavens no.
I think I mentioned back...uh, awhile ago (gestures lazily at the archives) that Ceiba had a Day o' Mystery Puking. Just one day. Puking. Everywhere. Everything. And then right around the time when I started to think that MAYBE I should start thinking about finding my shoes and her leash and ehhhhhh driving to the emergency vet (because it was on a Sunday. it is ALWAYS on a Sunday. my pets need some schooling about honoring Our Lord's Day.), she stopped puking. And started eating and drinking water and running around and generally being a spastic pain in the ass. And thus, I declared her HEALED! and I'm pretty sure my brown shoes are still under the couch somewhere.
But this week it became increasingly clear that she was not healed, but was perhaps getting sicker. I pulled her food and the cat's food (AKA the food Ceiba actually eats) and offered her some matzo (don't laugh, matzo will fix your shit up right in no time, Bubbe-style) and made a vet appointment and then proceeded to spend the entire evening diagnosing her with stomach cancer, emailing Samantha frighteningly detailed descriptions of dog poop, and once again pondering the location of my shoes. I mean, I left the house that day, right? I was wearing shoes? God, I hope I was wearing shoes.
I decided against the emergency vet, as I knew they'd examine her, admit her, promise to keep her comfortable and fluid-packed, and give her an x-ray...the next morning. And that x-ray would cost three times as much as the x-ray we'd get at the regular vet...the next morning. And we know this first-hand, from previous middle-of-the-night leg-breaking experience. (2005. October-ish. You...look for it. I'm tired.) Plus...it was SO TOTALLY STOMACH CANCER. What is the poooooint, she's already done for, woe, WOE!
ANYWAY, OH MY GOD, GET TO THE POINT, STOP NARRATING MINUTIAE THAT NOBODY CARES ABOUT. I took her (and one precious little turd in a Ziploc baggie) to the vet and blah blah x-ray and bloodwork and holy fucking elevated liver enzymes.
("Did she look yellow?" you are probably asking. "No," I say. "She looked...reddish. Kinda furry. Also, I didn't really check.")
So Jason and I both turned to Dr. Google and started our House M.D. spin-off as we each tried to find out what it all meant and I basically kept looking up "liver cancer" while Jason looked up slightly more USEFUL things, like toxins that could damage a dog's liver and suddenly he was all, "EUREKA! Go check the ingredients on the bags of fertilizer downstairs!" And I was all, "I am downstairs. I don't see any bags of fertilizer." And he was all, "I meant the basement." And I was all, "Then you should have SAID the basement, God."
A couple weeks ago Jason started fertilizing all the tomato plants in our container garden on the back deck. We have both shooed Ceiba away from the plants multiple times since then, generally assuming she was hanging around them for nefarious Digging Purposes. Turns out she was eating the goddamn fancy specialized fertilizer, which in addition to SUPER TASTY THINGS like chicken feces and ground-up bones, also contained cocoa meal and copper. Both of which are ridiculously toxic to dogs. But hey! Our tomatoes are to DIE FOR.
I called the vet in a panic to let him know about our breakthrough -- assuming, of course, that they were probably mere seconds away from initiating the exact wrong treatment for the toxicity that would have disastrous effects, or at least cost us ANOTHER $800 -- but when the receptionist answered and did that thing where they said something like, "Hello, Animal Hospital, is this an emergency?" I went on auto-pilot and said, "No."
And then I said, "Wait. Shit. Yes! It IS! It IS an emergency! I HAVE ANSWERS! LISTEN TO MEEEE."
And then a whole lot of boring stuff happened and the next thing I knew I was typing this exact sentence here.
Ceiba is still at the hospital, getting her system flushed. Also hoping to squeeze in a pedicure and maybe some eyebrow waxing. Today's bloodwork showed that her liver levels are continuing to climb, but she SEEMS better. Bright-eyed, wiggly-stump-tailed, and she managed to eat some kibble and keep it down. So the vet is hopeful that the bloodwork is a lagging indicator and that her liver IS repairing itself and not failing. If her levels start going back down, we can bring her home. If they keep going up, I. Well. I will HURT THINGS. TOMATO PLANT THINGS.
Not a day goes by when I don't get thoroughly annoyed by that dog and/or threaten to skin her into a mitten. The mail slides through the slot and she loses her goddamn mind and barks and wakes up the baby and yap yap yap and SERIOUSLY. A MITTEN. OR HALF OF AN EARMUFF.
But now the mail comes and I brace myself for the racket and it doesn't come and it's not as peaceful as I thought. It's sad. I keep staring underneath Ezra's highchair after meals in complete and utter bafflement, because what the FUCK is up with that mess? What's with all this food? Who's going to clean that up? That's disgusting.
I miss the little batty-eared jackass. I hope she comes home soon and well.