Friday, February 11, 2011

River - Hugs! Chemo Treatment 2

Day 37 of 365
For Newbies: Here's how the story begins:

Remember the goal: Finding a producer or celeb or anyone who will help make Piper's Someday (the book River stars in) into a movie...

River's words of wisdom for today: "Hug your owners with a nudge of the head against their skin."

Dogs hug. River hugs.

When I'm standing and she comes over to me, sometimes she will push her head against my thigh. I'm sure she's sniffing crumbs, too. But dogs hug with a head nudge. You have to be open to noticing it...but they do it more often than you think.

So, today's blog is about hugs. I had a migraine yesterday and then ended up at the minute clinic with a urinary tract infection earlier. We gals know about that...except me. It was my first one ever. I was peeved...bothered...angry. A migraine yesterday, now this. Ouch. I'm peeing orange because of the nifty medication they give you. I know, TMI!

I packed up my po-po after the doctor and the pharmacy and came home to take River to chemo. Her appointments take place at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital here in Richmond on Cary Street. The staff is very cool, very busy, and very helpful. They are all getting to know River. The surgical center where she got her leg amputated is on the second floor. So, River got to visit her tech buddies up there, too.

Today, when we walked into the back of the building, I was CRANKY. I was immersed in all of the crap that was bugging me. I was thinking of becoming AGNOSTIC because, well, you know...sometimes we just think that.

Two men. Probably mid-forties wearing scruffed up dark jeans and leather jackets were out back smoking as River and I approached. Cancer sticks. Ah! As we got closer, one was sitting on the ground and he asked if they (he and his friend) needed to move so River could hop a long into the center. I said,"no...she's good." River stopped and sniffed the guy on the ground and we went about our business. Knowing her, I'm sure she would have liked to hang out with them instead.

It takes about an hour for her chemo treatment. So, instead of sticking around, I went to the market and got some cranberry juice. About fifteen minutes later, I was back.

This time, things were different.

A lady from inside came out and got the two scruffy men and told them they were ready in room two. Immediately, I knew now what was happening. They were putting this guy's male dog down.

I went into the corner pretending to look at leaflets as I watched the two men go into the room. There was a couple sitting on the chairs with their chihuahua and they gave each other and me the "eye." Everyone knew what was happening.

At some point during those moments while those two men were in the room with their dog, I started to cry and couldn't stop. I kept staring at the leaflets and crying, staring at the leaflets and crying.

A few moments later, the first one came out (not the owner)...I was guessing a close friend or perhaps the brother. He started to walk out toward me and his eyes were swollen and red and he was trying to contain himself. I reached out and told him, "I'm sorry." And, then I surprised myself...I reached for him and gave him a quick embrace. He thanked me.

God. Then the owner came out and had to go up and pay the bill. Ugh. He was shaky and looking off here and there and everywhere. He was in the kind of pain we've all been through when we've lost an animal.

He came toward my way when he was done. A big guy...roughneck. A ruddy face from beer drinking, perhaps.

This time, I didn't hold back. I went straight to him. I said, "I'm so sorry." He said, "he was my good, good man." He embraced me - I embraced him. We held. When he released me after a moment he said,

"God bless you."

My ride home with River was a bit somber. I told her in the truck that one of her friends flew away while she was there.

But, I didn't need to tell her. She already knew.

Love to you all, (especially the two men at the emergency vet today)

Ruth and River

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