Okay, so maybe I’m not really a dog person.
Or maybe… I’m not really a VET person. That’s probably closer to the truth!
A year and a half ago, being the lone crusader against canine invasion in our home, I was overcome with a
case of guilt-induced psychosis and crashed.
Let’s face it, I caved, I conceded, I sold my spineless soul to the dog-eat-dog devil. I agreed to get a
dog. And not just any dog… a Bordie-Collie-Cross with attachment/dependency-disorder.
Now originally, my crusade began on the platform that getting a dog would mean having to spend half the day
picking up dog logs. According to my husband, this is, indeed, true. But for the record, what I’d really like
to do is go back to my list of arguments and refer to objection #3, #142 and #267. Ridiculous vet bills.
I’m not saying this because I need to be objectionable. I’m saying this because I need to be right. If
you’ve got a dog you’ll know what I mean.
Case in point? Yesterday. Now normally, having a Bordie-Collie-Cross with attachment/dependency-disorder
means never having to say “Come here.” Radar is at your heel 24/7.
No moment is exempt. No moment is sacred. So yesterday, when I’m sitting in the bathroom alone for the first
time in a year and a half, I know something’s seriously wrong. A search of the house finds him curled up on the
floor in the bedroom, eyes glassy, drooling like a St. Bernard (he never drools) and when the doorbell rings he
barely lifts his head. I panic.
“Radar, buddy, hang in there. Help is on the way.” (I know… I’m not a dog person, but to be honest, I’m a
dead-dog person even less.) I call the vet.
“Sorry ma’am, we close in five minutes. You’re going to have to take him to the emergency hospital.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. If you want someone to look at your dog, you’re going to have to call the hotline.”
I throw Radar in the car and call the emergency shelter en route. It’s like a scene from that old TV show
Dispatcher: Squad 51, informant reports toxic canine en-route, use caution.
Dr. Victor Veterinarian: Squad 51, this is Rampart. Can you send us some EKG?
Paramedic de Bruin: Ten-four, I’m transmitting EKG. I’m sending you a strip. Vitals to follow. Pulse is 160.
The victim is covered in dog gob, Rampart. V-fib! V-fib!
Dispatcher: Squad 51, continue to monitor patient and have one-hundred and thirty-five dollar emergency
examination fee ready.
Paramedic de Bruin: WTF? One-hundred and thirty-five dollars?! Are you kidding me? V-fib! V-fib! Rampart,
have defibrillator ready for attending paramedic!
When we arrive, the thief… er, I mean, the vet… ushers us into an examination room and gives Radar a
thorough exam. The damn dog doesn’t even try to bite him.
“Gums look good. Throat feels fine. I felt his abdomen and don’t feel any obstructions. Other than a bit of
dehydration, I think he’s okay. My best bet is he’s got a case of indigestion.”
“Indigestion?!” The only thing not being digested right now is the assault to my bank account.
“Ya, an upset tummy. I can give you some canine antacid for twenty dollars and some easy-to-digest dog food
and I think he’ll be fine. If you like, I can take his temperature just to be certain but most dogs don’t like
I steel my eyes at Radar. “You cost me a hundred and fifty bucks on account of a case of heartburn?!” He
wags his tail and licks my hand. “No doctor, I think we better investigate all avenues. Bring on the
Cost of emergency visit… $167.00
Cost of therapy for post-traumatic vet-bill disorder… $75.00
Look on Radar’s face when introduced to a thermometer… Absolutely