Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When Duty Calls

This past weekend found me in an emergency animal clinic with Charlie, my granddog. Charlie's mother was out of town on a business trip and Charlie's constant biting of her left leg had turned into a bloody mess.

Dealing with a 78-pound dog, who doesn't understand the word "heel," and doesn't love her neighbor as herself is tough for anyone, but certainly for a woman of small stature like me.

However, it had to be done, and there we were, in the vet's office at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night.

After a consulation, the doctor took Charlie back while I waited in the lobby, drinking coffee and scanning through magazines. A lady about my age walked in with a gray cat in a blue crate. Once seated, the lady took the cat out and began carressing her and talking softly.

The cat was making strange sounds and had a distorted appearance. Her mouth was open and her paws seemed drawn. With a teary face, the lady looked at me and said, "I think she's dying." After expressing how sorry I was, a tear slid down my face. The cat's name was Chloe, and she was 14 years old.

In a few minutes, the technician came and took Chloe back. Oxygen was given, but in the end, Chloe didn't make it. It was a sad time for all. The lady thanked me for "helping" her in her time of need, and my heart hurt as she took her empty crate and walked out alone.

Before I could get too emotional, however, Charlie was back, loopy from a pain injection with a "lampshade" on her head. I had no idea how I'd get her in the car and back home again, but when duty calls, we do what we have to do.

With a prayer for the lady who lost her cat, I hung on to the leash and embarked on the challenge at hand.


  1. Oh, those are sad times when one loses a beloved pet! I have been to the vets when someone left with an empty carrier or leash and knew by the sad expression what had happened. Heartbreaking.

    My parents once doggy-sat for us and they had to take our dog to the vet for what was later diagnosed as Lyme's. Even though my mom isn't a pet lover, she felt compassion as they left him there. Our guy recovered. Most of us have a soft spot in our hearts for these fur balls.

    Charlie does look uncomfortable in his lamp shade and hopefully he will be running about freely and all better!

  2. I get so emotional when these times arise. My heart goes out to her. I'd have shed a tear also.

    Hope Charlie gets better quickly. Beautiful dog.
    Have a great holiday weekend ~
    TTFN ~

  3. Is Charlie doing better now?
    Weqring a cone around my neck would make me crazy - don't know
    how dogs do it...And the poor lady with the cat. Perhaps you were
    meant to be there for her. Awwwwwww.

  4. Bawling with tears that won't stop!
    You were an "angel" for that woman.
    Thanks for helping her. It could of been anyone of us in that clinic, waiting with you.

  5. Our pets are more than our friends; they are part of the family. We fall in love with them so quickly and deeply and at times wonder why we allowed ourselves to do so, but we did and do. It's especially tough when they have a crisis. I well remember when Princess was hit by a little yellow mustang. Even though she survived, I thought I would never stop mourning for her pain and suffering. You were Charlie girl's angel this weekend. Glad you both survived. So sorry about Chloe. Makes me remember sweet Tabitha and how lost Stan looked the day he came home with her little body in a shoebox. I cry even now, just remembering.

  6. I can't even imagine losing my "baby" .... and was struck that (for whatever circumstance) "Chloe's momma" was there by herself. Thank God you were present, Dayle, to provide some measure of comfort!

  7. Whooooops ... I meant "Gayle"!

  8. That's sad about the cat, and I'm glad that the woman found in you a stranger who treated her like a friend.

    Poor Charlie... It always makes me feel so sorry for them when they have to wear the lampshade. Don't they always carry an "I'm so ashamed" look about them when they do?

  9. It is never easy losing a pet. So glad you were there to encourage that woman.
    I well remember staying up all night walking an 1100 lb. horse with pneumonia. Once they go down they rarely get up ... try coaxing an animal that big he doesn't want to. He made it, thank the Lord.
    Tell Charlie to behave himself!