Saturday, June 21, 2008

Big Change of Plans

It's funny how plans that have been made months ahead of time can change in one afternoon. One of my girlfriends made arrangements to have her birthday in Atlantic City. We would get decked out in dresses and heels and a bunch of us would ride in style taking a limo for the hour and a half drive. I was really looking forward to it. When I say really, let's just say I told everyone, went shopping, pictured the fun we'd have and even imagined hitting it big in the casino! This was all supposed to be happening right now. Yesterday was the culprit.

Going along with my get into nature and slow down, life must not have been ready for those changes just yet. I happily confirmed with my godsister that I would style her hair for a sweet sixteen she was to attend. When I arrived at her house, which I haven't been to in ages practically, I was greeted by a new member of their very large family.. Bella their new chihuahua puppy! Adorable I must say. I took over holding the puppy and smelling its fresh puppy scent for most of the time I was there. I even took a video and conspired to sneak Bella home, hopefully without anyone noticing. I must admit that their was some guilt involved on the home front. You see I have my very own first dog, a six year old anatolian shepherd that goes by the name of Henry. Or Lil Enris. Or Baby, Bebe, and a slew of other pet names that I am surprised he even responds to. Well, Mr. Henderson, as I sometimes call him, had been taken out to "go do business" and was locked away in his expansive all metal cage, with the fan left to blow on his napping peacefully ears.

I figured all was well and he'd be fine, so after the hair job I took a drive with my mom down to the pier by our house. We took our time walking along the reflective water, watching the rays of the sun bounce along the waves. As a little boy and his mother walked ahead I took some adorable photos of them and then took even more photos elsewhere. Like I said, I was enjoying life, nature, and the freedom of a day to do just what I wanted. I thought that it would be the perfect evening for a movie date night, and the beau even agreed to see what I wanted. Life was good.

When we got home from the excursion, I moved slowly, letting mom be the first one in, and I sat in the car for an extra moment or two. Finally, I walked down the brick pathway to our front steps, and mom came out with a look of horror on her face. "You will never believe what Henry did."

Now let's just stop for a second here and be rational. Big dog locked in an all metal crate with laundry on top of it, what could be so bad? He took a big dog crap in the cage? I mean come on! Oh no!

As I turned the corner to see what the fuss was about, I could not believe my eyes. This huge crate was up against the wall, with it's backside about 3 feet off of the ground. All of the laundry was thrown about the floor in a dirty mess, and the opening above the door was bent to the size of maybe being able to pass a loaf of bread through. Locks were still intact, dog was not. I could not believe it. How did my enormous dog manage to get out of his crate?

I found him laying as usual by the bathroom floor, but something was up. He had dry brush strokes of blood on his coat here and there and he wasn't moving around as usual. A little more thorough examining of the condemned area, and I saw that this was a big problem. Lots of blood, like soaked into all of the clothes. I went over to Henry and fussily checked his paws and eyes for any evidence of cuts or wounds. Nothing. I checked his rearend for anything and just saw a big piece of dog poop stuck to him. What happened to this poor guy? As I tore through the rubbish something caught my eye. A piece of the laundry basket was covered in blood and chewed down to an almost unrecognizable nub.

I raced back to him and opened his mouth to find the cause. A mouth full of blood and a tooth barely hanging on were all I needed to start crying and trying to comfort him. My poor baby had chewed his way out of a metal cage. The same cage we put him in for the last 5 years. This was unreal. I immediately called the animal hospital and made an appointment to have him seen. My parents and I drove him over and on the car ride there he just rested his head in my lap. The last time he'd ever done this was the first day we met.

My parents drove me all the way to Newark airport to pick him up from his flight in. He came all the way from a farm in Washington state. I was 15 at the time and spent so much time researching his breed and finally grasping the concept that I would actually have MY VERY FIRST DOG!!!!!!!!! I had waited my whole life for this moment and everytime I asked, I was told no, but this time was different. He was going to be my special friend, and I was so happy. His crate came in and I said,"Henry!!!" like he was my old friend for years. It was a match made in heaven. On the ride home he lay stretched out across the entire backseat, because he was that big at 4 months, resting his little puppy head on my lap. I was in heaven, and now I was in hell.

We checked in and had him examined. They didn't sugar coat a thing or down play any of it. It actually felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach when I heard that his tongue was lacerated and many of his teeth were broken and bleeding. Waiting to find out when the actual dentist would be able to come in off-duty to check him out, my boyfriend brought him a bowl of water. He lapped the first bowl and the second. I was an emotional wreck. I could not stand to see my baby like this. It broke my heart. I was afraid that maybe their could have been internal damage and just wanted him to get the help he needed so desperately. And then he did it. He urinated blood on the floor of the exam room. Like a bat out of hell I raced to the front desk and told them we needed someone now. The tech came back and took a sample of his urine to be tested. I couldn't believe that this was for real.

After many tears and guilty thoughts, they took Henry in the back to be sedated. The dentist would make a special trip in to see my dog. It was so bad that he ended up performing emergency dental surgery on my poor pup that night.

I cried my way home thinking of how screwed up it was that while he was locked up, I was playing with someone else's dumb dog. On top of that, while he was scraping his whole body through a tiny hole of metal, I was taking it slow without a care in the world. When I saw his real condition there was no question, my plans had changed. It didn't matter how much ahead of time or any prep work or excitement anticipated. My bebe was in bad shape, and in an instant I would do whatever it took to get him better.

Currently, I am here at home watching over him as he lay doped up on meds. His surgery went fine, and he will need check ups on his teeth for the rest of his life. I ripped his cage apart, never to have him recognize it again. He will never go through that again. My dad just brought home a pill gun so I can maybe get him to take some of his medicine. I just spoke with my friends on their way to Atlantic City.

Right now I know more certain than ever what my job is and where I belong, and it's right here with my Henry and no one else. I love you bebe. You're such a good boy.