(WARNING: Ridiculously long note after an incredibly insane and stressful day. And, only one of us ended up getting good drugs, it wasn’t me.)
Shaggy was sick yesterday. He started throwing up about four hours after Tony left town, of course. He didn’t seem to feel bad. He was still running and playing and bugging me so I figured he just ate something that didn’t agree with him. I was keeping an eye on him for signs of dehydration or getting worse. I figured if he wasn’t able to eat today I would take him to the vet tomorrow or if he would get worse I would take him to the vet ASAP.
Shaggy was still doing okay today. He did get sick this morning but by the afternoon he had been able to eat a little and keep it down. I though the was on the mend. I was wrong.
This evening about 6:30 Shaggy came running to me panting and shaking. I felt his nose and it was hot. I was very worried so I tried calling the vet to see if they were still open. I have never had any luck trying to call anyone from our landline. I don’t know if I’m dialing too many numbers or if I’m not dialing enough but I usually end up either hearing odd tones or recorded messages in German I do not understand.
I couldn’t call from my cell because Tony has it set up on a plan through these guys at the train station and we normally just stop in there and buy the phone minutes when we are on the way somewhere, I was out of minutes. I could, however, use the wifi and text Tony in Whatsapp and tell him to call me, which is what I did. I gave Tony the number to the vet and asked him to call them and make sure they were still open and could see Shaggy. Turns out, this vet is open 24 hours a day, hallelujah!
Now, we have been to this vet a few times and I’ve even gone there with Shaggy by myself but these previous visits were all just to get him set up with a local vet, get puppy shots, and have him checked for allergies because he was scratching a lot. It was nothing like this where I’m practically frantic.
Shaggy is shaking so hard I don’t think he can walk to the vet. He’s not good on a leash as it is but with the way he’s feeling I’m thinking this is not going to be good. We do have a soft-side dog carrier you can hang over your shoulder like a duffle bag. I opted to carry my dog, knowing full well I will be paying for this tomorrow.
Shaggy isn’t fond of the bag and starts fighting me, to make a long story short, by the time he’s in the bag, I’m crying, Shaggy’s panting harder and all sweaty and I’m contemplating just calling a cab, but then with my phone situation, how?
I get to the train stop in my neighborhood and I’m sitting waiting for my train talking to Shaggy trying to keep him calm because he really doesn’t like being out where there is traffic. As I’m talking to Shaggy I start smelling burning paper. I look up to see the trashcan by the train stop is on fire. Sure, okay. Nothing is phasing me at this point.
We get on the train and get to the main station. Here, I have to switch trains to get to the vet. I can’t remember the name of the street the station is on where I need to get off to get to the vet but I know I take the train toward the airport and get off at the first stop.
I check the departures board and it says there is a train leaving for the airport on platform 17. Shaggy and I get there and catch the train. As the train keeps picking up speed, I realize it’s not making stops. I got on the express train to the airport.
Once there I check the boards to get back to the main station. From what I read it says platform 6 but I’m so frazzled I do not trust myself and I go find someone wearing a Bahn (train) vest and ask them just to make sure. He tells me the next train to the Dusseldorf main station is leaving in two minutes on platform 4. I think, thank God I asked! I do not want to delay Shaggy getting medical help any longer that I have. I get to platform 4 and the train is just pulling in. I look up at the board that tells you where it’s going and it’s not the main station, at least, not in Dusseldorf. It was going to a different town. I look over at platform 6 and I see the Dusseldorf train pulling out. I want to cry.
I go over to the correct platform, number SIX, and sit on a bench and wait for the next train. For several minutes I go back and forth thinking I should just go to the airport and take a cab but I don’t have the address and since my phone is out of data and phone minutes, I can’t call anyone or even look anything up. I can’t even use my translator to ask anyone for help if they don’t speak any English because my German is only about a kindergarten level. If being able to say in German I am a vegetarian, the color blue is pretty, or I am 48 years old could help I would have been golden but it didn’t and I wasn’t.
Finally, a train for the Dusseldorf main station comes and it’s another express. I get to the train station and just head straight to the phone guys to buy some minutes so I can call Tony. I tell the guy behind the counter I need buy more time and he begins to name off all the packages they have. I have never wanted to yank anyone across a counter by their throat so much in my life. I’m sure he could tell I was trying very hard to control my anger because after he looked up he quickly got me set to make calls. I can only imagine the look I had on my face.
I tried to politely thank the man for his help but I’m not so sure I was convincing. I go outside and call Tony. It took three calls and a text to get a hold of him. It was very hard for me to not use the F-word about every other word when talking with him. I know this is not his fault but he’s not here so … it’s his fault for not being here. Yes, I know that is not fair, or true, but I’m freaking out about my dog and I was not thinking straight and I knew it. As I talk to him, I notice I am saying “sweetie” in such a way that it sounds, at least to me, like I’m saying asshole.
So, I ask Tony to please text me the phone number to the vet. I was planning on taking a cab to their office at this point and I needed to get their address. Tony begins to tell me he will have to go back to his hotel and get their number where he wrote it down. I told him no he didn’t, since he called from his cell phone the number will still be in his phone and would he please, sweetie, just text it to me. He says he will and hangs up.
I go lean up against a wall and try to take some of the pressure off of my back where it’s being pulled very out of whack with a nine pound (yes, he’s still underweight), shaking, sweating, drooling, panting dog hanging, basically, from around my neck. He had sweat and drooled so much the canvas carrier bag was soaked through in places, and so was I for that matter. Part of all of the moisture was from Shaggy and I’m sure some of it was my own sweat from running all around Dusseldorf carrying him.
After several minutes passed, I tried calling Tony again, I got voice mail. Eventually, he called back and started to tell me the number. I had to tell him I didn’t have anything to write it down and he would have to text me the number, sweetie. In the next minute or so, Tony got me the number and I called the vet. I got one of the women who speaks English very well and told her my husband had just called a little while ago about me bringing our dog, Shaggy, in but I was lost and wanted to just take a cab and would she mind telling the cab driver where to take me. She said, yes, not to worry.
So, we get a cab, the lady tells him where to take us and we finally make it to the vet. On the way, the driver rolled down my window for me and I’m not sure if it was to give my panting dog air or if we both smelled like wet dog mixed with a little dog vomit and he’s just airing out the cab, either way, it was a good thing. I would get away from our smell too if I could have.
At the vet’s, I let shaggy out of the carrier and see if he wants some water, he didn’t. He never likes to drink or eat when we are out in public, too nervous. We get in to see a doctor in less than twenty minutes. She speaks English very well and starts to examine Shaggy. She squeezes his tummy and he basically projectile vomits toward me but misses me, thank you, God.
After the exam, she says he has gastroenteritis. Basically, he has the flu. She gave him three shots in his hips and he was not happy about it. Poor baby had such a rough day and now we still had to get home. I go to check out and Shaggy also got pills I have to give him the next three days. If he gets worse or keeps throwing up I have to go back. I’m taking a cab from home if I have to go back. I’m not going through all of this again with a sick dog.
Luckily, the pain meds seem to be kicking in and Shaggy is fairly calm for the trip home. I keep thinking, I’m so glad I have some Valium at home and I just want to get him to bed and take one. But it was not to be.
So, we finally get home and I realize I went off and left laundry in the machines. I need to go get Shaggy situated and then go to the basement to finish my laundry because we are not the only people who use the dryer. I get in and let Shaggy out of the carrier. He shakes then runs straight to the extra bedroom, where I had forgotten to close the door, and promptly crawls under the bed to hide, which is why we keep that door closed.
It takes quite a while but I finally get him out from under the bed and out of the room. I feel like I’m covered in dog spit, dog sweat, possibly a little dog vomit, and maybe even a little dog pee. Shaggy pees when scared. So, after I get him bedded down, I go straight to the shower and dress in my PJs. Then, I remember I still need to go get the laundry. Now, normally I do not go walking around the apartment building in my PJs but at this point, I think (and pardon my language here but,) fuck it.
I go down and take the sheets out of the dryer I need to make the bed up so I can go to bed later and (OMG! A large spider just ran across my lap while I’m typing this. Thank God, there a loveseat next to me because my laptop went flying onto it as the throw on my lap got flung to the floor. Thank God the spider was on the throw and not me or I probably really would have been startled. Shaggy came to see what was going on and sat on the throw. Now, I can’t find the spider. I think I will be finishing this in the bedroom. WTH is going on with today?!)
Okay, so, I go to the basement to switch my laundry at about 10:30 PM. I am tempted to just take the laundry out of both machines and bring the wet stuff up to put on the drying rack but I decide to go ahead and stay up and dry the last load. This is quite a commitment as the machines here take two hours per cycle. Yes, you read that right, it takes four hours to complete one load of laundry. Laundry day is pretty much JUST laundry day. Doing three loads, which is normal, takes eight hours to complete.
I go to put the laundry in the dryer and catch my arm on the latch on the dryer door and rip my skin and start bleeding, Luckily, I just happened to be doing a load of reds and didn’t worry too much about staining anything.
Now, I go back to my apartment and I hear Shaggy hack but he doesn’t throw up; a good sign. He signs he wants food (yes, I taught my dog some sign language), another good sign, so I give him a little boiled chicken and rice I had fixed him earlier. He ate some and, so far, has kept it down. I had not yet picked up his water and he started drinking like a madman but I got it away from him before he overdid it. I replaced the water with ice chips. All things the vet suggested.
I called my mom to vent a little because I was just too wound up after all of this. My alarm has gone off letting me know the last bit of laundry should be done so I can go get it and eventually go to bed. I still have to make the bed though just laying on the sheet pile on the bed sounds good at this point. Getting any sleep after all of this is another thing entirely!
So, how was your day? Better than mine, I hope!