My dog is in the hospital. She might die. I don’t look at the word die. I don’t look at the picture of her in my head. I don’t say her name. I don’t listen for her. I don’t turn towards her ghost. I don’t move.
I drink wine alone. I’ve never done that.
The littlest dog is home again, leaving her friend hooked to IV fluids. She lies on the couch with accusatory dark eyes, desperate to know when She will be home. She has always loved She, the alpha dog, the Jack Russell who cannot be named. To name her is to admit that she might in the end be no more than a name, a memory. It won’t happen. I write and I can’t believe I’m writing this. I’ve been walking around the house in shock, cleaning up, cleaning up brown dog vomit on furniture and carpet and beds and sofa and laminate wood floor.
I’m writing about this because I drank wine alone and I want to walk into an ocean of darkness and sink down through the layers to the place where eyeless fish swim.
I bought a big bottle of Rimadyl home on Friday, for the big Rotweiler/shepherd who was my ex-husband’s dog till he abandoned her. He was going to take her to the pound because his new wife didn’t want her. I found a home for her, with a big yard and loving people, my Portuguese friends. She’s 12 and has osteoarthritis, so I buy her big pills for the pain every month. 75 mg of Rimadyl twice a day. Sixty of them. Sixty of them on the counter in a prescription bottle that was sealed tight shut. Sixty of them tasting like beef, palatable, yummy. Doggy chocolate.
My daughter was a damas at her friend’s quinceanera. We’ve had rehearsals since we got back from our trip, every day, miles away, an exhausting schedule for her, for me. Saturday was the big night. My father came. All day I drove kids around and drove to and from the store to pick up extra forgotten things for the event. At 3:20, all dressed up, Dad and I left to go to the party. Zeke was already there, in her fancy satin dress, with her tuxedoed chambelane, their dances practiced to perfection.
It was great, a lovely night. We got home to vomit all over the floor, an empty pill bottle, two distraught dogs.
Emergency run to the vet. Both dogs hooked to IV fluids. Brijdi’s bloodwork was OK. Today, the vets decided she didn’t eat any of the pills. She’s the underdog, submissive to the powerful Sadie.
The powerful Sadie ate 60 Rimadyl tablets for a 75-pound dog. She weighs 11 pounds.
I don’t think about it. I write about it without thinking about it, only because I drank wine to forget and now there’s a fog where my mind should be. I like the fog. I like the fog on this night when Zeke is with her dad for dinner and I’m alone with little Bridji. I tell myself that Bridjie is OK. Doesn’t that mean something?
Sadie. My Sadie. My sweet Sadie, with her energy, her love, her eyes-only-for-me. I call the vet every few hours. Today I held her for five minutes. She perked up when she saw me, wagged her tail three times, wiggled her ears.
“We need to take her back now,” the doctor said. “The calmer she stays, the better for her.”
Little milestones. She hasn’t thrown up much since they induced vomiting last night. The danger is a ruptured gut. If her gut’s OK, she’ll be OK. The vet thinks we caught it early. “There is some hope she’ll pull through.”
I want to be happy, hearing that. I remember her little tail, the way it wagged when she saw me. I conjure her in my mind. I tell her I love. Can she hear me?
Four years ago today, my mother died.