This morning, I awoke out of sorts. For whatever reason, I couldn’t seem to wake up. As a person who experiences profound depression at times, this is truly not a good way to start a day, because it’s like being enveloped in a dense fog through which the world seems like something I’ll never see again. Once upon a time, these episodes would scare the crap out of me, because lurking in that fog are thoughts of suicide and other ways to finally end the pain.
As I surfed the internet, disinterested in doing anything productive…or anything at all, I was jolted by my eldest dog, Ozzie, racing into the room, panicked. In my own haze, I didn’t at first recognize what was the matter. Just couldn’t figure it out. In nearly 11 years, he has never exhibited such a sudden onset of panic before. So I was worried, because if he was in medical jeopardy, I couldn’t take him in to the vet due to the fact that I’ve been unemployed since June. So money is an issue.
I took him outside to see if his stomach was upset, though he didn’t seem to need to go. So we went back inside. Still, he was panting heavilly and visibly upset. His whine, though, wasn’t of the sort he emits when he’s in pain. Even so, I gave him a Benadryl to help calm him, and managed to get him to lie down, and I lay with him, gently examining his body for any tender spots that might indicate internal issues. But he seemed to calm further under my petting and softly spoken words of love and encouragement. Still, though, he was whining that whine. So after 30 minutes, I gave him another Benadryl (which I am aware of the correct dosages for a 110 pound dog), and continued to monitor him. After about 15 more minutes, he fell asleep. I was temporarily relieved, but still confused as to the cause of his panic attack. So I called my vet and asked if they’d ever heard of such a thing before. I was up front with them about not having the money to bring him in, and was put on hold while the receptionist consulted with our vet. Unfortunately, I was told that they couldn’t give medical advice without seeing the dog. Rather than argue with them about the fact that I wasn’t seeking advice, simply asking a question, I hung up.
Exhausted, I lay down and closed my eyes to rest a bit. Two hours later, I awoke refreshed, the feeling of being fogged in seeming to have dissipated.
Checking on Ozzie, I found him relaxed and the kind and gentle soul he usually is. Another relief.
About an hour later, I took all four pups out into the yard so they could do their business.
There is an urban greenhouse three doors down from my residence, and they’ve spent the past 24 months renovating and upgrading the facility. During this time, they’ve had one of those enormous steel storage containers sitting in the empty lot between my house and their business. Unknown to me, they were in the process of moving materials out of the steel container and into the greenhouse. Every once in awhile, one of their volunteers would drop something heavy inside the container, and it sounded like a cannon going off. I immediately knew what had sent Ozzie into a panic, for the sound was very similar to the explosions fireworks make when they’re fired off nearby. Ozzie has begun exhibiting signs of panic every Indedendence Day, for which I now prepare and sedate him for the 12 hours of that holiday and make other necessary preparations, like closing all the windows to lessen the sound.
So, having figured out what set him off, I grew a bit angry with the vet for choosing to blow my question off in the spirit of putting more money in their pockets.
I respect and appreciate what vets do for our animals, but in times of need, it’s not always possible to bring an animal in for examination. I really like this vet, but now feel differently about it. I’m hoping that my feelings of being pushed aside by them will go away by tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’m so happy that Ozzie isn’t ill. He’s one of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met and I love him so much.
All’s well that ends well!