Truman’s Traumatic Tuesday

by swellsbennett

There have been many times in my life that I have wondered why God didn’t see fit to give me children.

And then there are weeks like this one, when I have to give the Guy in the sky a big thumbs up on that decision.

Truman, our eight-month-old puppy, was neutered on Tuesday. When I picked him up Tuesday afternoon, they told me that he shouldn’t need any additional pain medication and he should be back to “almost normal” in a day or two.

At two in the morning on Wednesday, Truman woke up shaking and jumping as if something was biting him every few seconds. After a long night, I went straight to the vet’s office at seven in the morning, where I was initially told that they wouldn’t give me any painkillers for my dog because I didn’t bring him with me. I personally didn’t think my little boy’s heart could take another trip to the vet’s, since he had been shaking and jumping for hours at that point. He wouldn’t eat at all, and, because of the Elizabethan collar he has to wear so that he doesn’t chew out his stitches, he pretty much just stands or lays down wherever we put him. I left him standing in the middle of the living room to go to the vets; when I came home, he was still standing in the same spot. My expression must have told the receptionist that she had better find a better answer, because a few minutes later, a vet tech who had assisted in Truman’s surgery appeared. After a brief discussion, she decided to send me home with some “doggie morphine” and an appointment to bring Truman in a few hours later. With twenty minutes of giving Truman the pill, he lay down and fell asleep.

When I took him into the vet’s office a few hours later, Truman shook as if he were on his way to the death chamber.  To make matters worse, it took them nearly an hour to get to him. Once the vet did see me, he gave me some of the details of Truman’s ordeal. Unfortunately, one of his testicles had failed to drop, which meant that the vet had to make two incisions and dig around in the little guy’s fat and muscle to extract it. Because Truman is a mere eight-and-a-half pounds, the vet opted to use gas instead of intravenous anesthesia. As an unexpected result, his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. Now I understood Truman’s lack of enthusiasm for the vet. He didn’t relax until I carried him out of the exam room.

When we finally arrived back home, I was able to get him to eat, but only by hand-feeding him a piece at a time. He drank some water, and lay down again to sleep some more.

Thursday went pretty much the same as Wednesday, at least until bedtime. Last night, for whatever reason, Truman was more restless. I think the stitches must be ridiculously itchy at this point, because he is spending more and more time trying to outwit the stupid cone-shaped collar. He woke Dan up twice within the space of an hour. Finally, frustration set in. I grabbed Truman up – he had been sleeping on our bed due to his surgery and cone collar – and put him in his cage. Yes, I know – I’m the world’s worst pet mother. In any case, his restlessness caused the cone to hit the sides of his kennel about every minute or so. The noise and the guilt I felt conspired to keep me from sleeping.

Less than half an hour later, I pulled him out of his cage and left the bedroom. As soon as I set him on his furry pillow in the living room, he seemed to calm down. He was asleep within a few minutes. It took me another hour of watching bad television to finally doze off on the couch.

On the plus side, Dan got a good night’s sleep for the first time since Tuesday. He thanked me for that when he got up this morning. He says he missed me, but I know the truth: he was far too deeply asleep to even notice I was gone.

As I dragged myself into the bedroom at six o’clock this morning, I realized: this must be sort of like having a baby. Truman is currently more helpless than when we first brought him home. I have been hand-feeding him, one piece of food at a time, because otherwise he won’t eat. If Dan or I leave his sight, he immediately begins to cry. And I, who have never changed a diaper, have now been peed upon (eww!). Yes, this must be a bit like being a parent.

God definitely knew what he was doing.

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