Here she is, the sweetest. Look at that million dollar smile! (Well, it was only $460 for today’s vet visit.)
We have been exploring the gulches that meander off of Cache La Poudre canyon, out of range of cell service, for five days.
Atina learned to play frisbee, and now she’s a frisbee maniac. She’s one of those incredibly athletic dogs who will launch themselves into the air and snatch the flying disc out of it.
She tires quickly, though, and I have to balance letting her have a good doggie time with watching for signs she’s tiring. I don’t want her to get injured. She’s already got enough on her plate.
If you’ve read my previous Atina post, you’ll already know that she’s an 18 month old Belgian Malinois with kidney disease.
She is so, so precious. Even after a full day of tests at Colorado State University, after it was all over, and the senior vet student was sitting beside me explaining the results so far–Atina, who had been lounging in my lap while we waited for results–clambered into his lap and purred, as she grabbed at his hands with the amazing prehensile Malinois paws, insisting that he pet and snuggle her.
Yes, I said “purred.”
When she is trying to charm someone, she grins and makes this deep rumble down in her chest. It could be mistaken for a growl, but it’s a purr. Really.
So today they drew so much blood she needed a transfusion (in this case I am joking, but when I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, that really happened all the time). She had an ultrasound and a chest X-Ray. We got to meet a student, a resident, and a professor.
Oh, and they stuck a needle into her belly to collect a urine sample. Don’t worry, I used to do that on little babies all the time. Didn’t hurt me a bit. Actually it did. Atina didn’t seem to notice it much. She’s one tough cookie.
In fact, we just got out of jail.
Quarantine, actually, but same thing. At least they let you do home confinement here, rather than sticking your dog in the pound for ten days. In our case it was camper confinement, which was claustrophobic, to say the least.
Oh right, I haven’t told you how we drew the “go directly to jail” card.
She bit somebody. In the face. Badly.
He deserved it.
Nine o’clock in the morning, this dude at a campground is already fucked up (Colorado), sees my dog, who is tied up to the door handle of my van, goes up to her, gets down on one knee next to her, his arm around her chest, his face next to hers, and says:
I saw you yesterday, she had a Service Dog vest on. What kind of Service Dog is she?
Normally at this point I tell people very politely to fuck off, but for some reason I said, She’s a PTSD Service Dog.
So this idiot starts yelling at me,
PTSD! PTSD! That’s the most over-diagnosed–
Atina had started growling–not purring–as soon as she felt the vibe, and as I started to dissociate it got louder and I said to the jerk,
Stand up and back away
(Through my growing haze.)
But he only shouted,
What’s she growling for?
Aaaagh! She bit me!
He is on his knees, pouring facial blood.
I went to see. He wouldn’t let me look at him, staggered off.
I knew what was going to happen when he got to the ER. You know, police, dog bite report, dog officer shows up and takes your dog.
I went into my van with Atina, locked the doors, and slammed into a full blast anxiety attack. I was so far gone, I couldn’t even remember about the whole bottle of Ativan sitting in the cupboard for just such occasions.
The dog officer showed up. I left Atina in the van and slunk out. I knew what had to be done.
Fortunately, the dog officer was a sweet guy with a terrible stammer, which endeared him to me. He explained the local custom of home confinement–out only for bodily functions–so I signed the paper and he went away.
The creep who got us into that mess returned after the dog officer drove away, and proudly showed off his amateur suturing job.
Yep, that’s right, he sewed himself up. All cattywampus and crooked, too.
This time it was me screaming:
You didn’t go to the hospital! You need to go to the hospital! You’ll get an infection, etc, etc.
Well, he didn’t, and it ain’t none of mine. His face is going to be a whole lot uglier than it was before.
We got out of jail on Tuesday, and celebrated by playing frisbee some more, and dabbling our toes in a glacial creek. Atina did. I kept my boots on. It’s been in the 30’s Fahrenheit) at night at 8,000 feet, so I conserve my toe heat.
Now it’s a waiting game with the vets. Results from the specialty labs will come trickling in next week, and if we don’t get our answer there, then it’ll be biopsy time. Fun. But we will do what needs to be done, for this wiggly snuggly angel (just don’t fuck with her, or me) who has landed in my lap with all four paws on my bladder, of course….