November 14, 2007

The Bad Day, Revisited

This is something I wrote a year or so ago and had posted on my original blogging site. That site is having huge issues and I may lose whatever I don't save. I thought I would share it with all of you, because it's not everyday you can laugh at a story about a dog dying! Hercules was a great dog....a great BIG dog, to tell you the truth! I think about him more and more as Hogan's health slowly deteriorates.

So far...this has NOT been a good month!

Okay! Let me start by saying that we made an appointment to have Hercules put to sleep for this Saturday. In the last week or two, he has lost a lot of weight and wasn't moving around as much. We had started giving him his pain medication to keep him comfortable. We didn't want him to get any worse...but he still had that darn *sparkle* in his eyes!

I guess I should also explain my husband and his love of cable TV. When he built the steel building on the back of our property, he ran cable back there. He wants to be able to watch television when he's working on something in his shop. Whatever! So, when he built that patio cover for the spa, you may remember that he ran cable out there as well! So...we have cable TV in everybedroom, one out to the shop, and one out to the spa. Can anyone else say "OVERKILL???" internet had been acting up (also cable) and I had called Comcast to get someone out here to look at it. They were to be here yesterday between 8 and 12. Not a BAD timeslot, I guess! I KNEW I would be home yesterday to wait for the cable guy. David went out to give Hercules his pain medication and came back in really upset. "Hercules HAS to be put down today," is what he said. He told me that he wouldn't even eat the TRI-TIP he had the medicine in. This dog has NEVER turned down food! (Which explains how he got to weigh 140 lbs in the first place!) In fact, he wouldn't get up and flies were landing on his leg and biting at his wound. It was just bad. He had progressively been getting worse, but the day before we would have sworn that he wouldn't have gotten that bad before Saturday. David even tries to call in sick to work...but they tell him, "Too bad." So, he goes off to work and I start making phone calls. Even if I could get the 120+lbs dog into the back of the truck by myself, I could not fit all of my girls in that truck to take them into town. Besides, (don't laugh, but....) I don't know how to drive a stick shift. STOP LAUGHING! IT'S NOT THAT FUNNY!!! If I cannot find a vet to come out to the house to put him down, I need to find one open late enough so that David can come and get him and take him there AFTER he gets off work.

So, I'm calling around. I guess I should also mention that we were out of milk. It happens, right? There are all SORTS of things the children can eat for breakfast that does not include milk. Unfortunately, my three-year-old begged to differ! She acted as if the world were coming to an end and her heart would just up and STOP if she didn't have milk to pour into her Frosted Flakes! She has her first meltdown before the cable guy even gets here. I put her into "time out" and explain that we will buy milk LATER and there are all sorts of other things she can eat anyhow. Meanwhile, the baby was in the Johnny Jumper in the kitchen and was JUST ABOUT at her limit for that thing! I'm making phone calls as quickly as I can and the cable guy arrives. He starts looking around (after he realizes the signal IS low for my internet) and sees all the different connections we have going on around here. It's not ILLEGAL or anything (we pay a HEFTY cable bill every month...if ANYONE'S stealing, it's THEM!) they would just prefer that THEY install the lines. He's making little comments and asking questions about what my husband was doing with all these lines and pointing out what was causing us to lose our signal. He was actually really nice about it.

When he was on the side of the house where the cable comes in, our boxer "Hogan" was just going nuts! I explained to the guy that he was just a little "on edge" because I think he knew his friend "Hercules" was close to the end. Hercules was still in the middle of the yard in full sun. It was just about 9 am and not really hot YET, so I wasn't worried yet about the heat. Hercules looked around but never got up. Hogan wouldn't go near him and only came out of his dog house when the cable guy got there. I told him I was trying to find someone to put him down that day because he was so bad. Hercules is just laying there, looking around and panting. I turn around to look at what the cable guy was doing, then back around to look at the dogs. I notice Hercules lay his head down on the ground and mention to the cable guy that I wouldn't be surprised if the dog just died right there. Cable guy looks and says, "Ma'am...I don't think that dog is breathing anymore." I go into the pen and...yeah...he had died right then and there. Great. Now, my problem was still finding someone to pick this dog up.

Meanwhile, 3YO was on her THIRD time out (drama queen, for sure!) and the cable guy had driven his van out to the power pole to see what kind of signal we were getting to begin with. He encountered a hornet's nest while on the pole and got a flat tire on his way back into my driveway. (I did later apologize to him for him having to drive under my "black cloud" and share in my bad day!) He then had to call and arrange for someone to come and fix his tire. He continued to work on our reception problem. He kept commenting that he needed to upgrade some of the connections in order to fix it. Great. I call my husband to let him know the dog had died and that the cable repair may cost us because Comcast did not install the lines that were causing the problems. By that point 10YO and 3YO were entertaining 5MO and they were ALL cranky! I find a leash and get the boxer out of the pen with his dead friend. I have 10YO walk him around the yard and little. Then, 3YO has her UMPTEENTH meltdown because I won't let her hold Hogan's leash. He's a good dog, but I didn't want him getting away from her while the cable guy was still there! Baby is crying in the house while I put 3YO in ANOTHER time out for not listening. It was then that 10YO realizes that Hercules is gone and she starts to get emotional. I can't blame her, yet there's too much going on for me to cry with her at that moment. Besides, part of me was really relieved that he wasn't suffering anymore. This was the first day he seemed miserable and I couldn't stand the thought of it!

I start trying to call the animal shelter. For twenty bucks, they will come and pick him up. Line busy. Perfect. I keep trying to redial when my father-in-law calls in on the other line. He starts trying to tell me something. I tell him I can't really talk but will call him back as soon as I can. I get back on the phone and get through to the shelter. They will come and get him. I explain that he is in full sun, by this point, and hope that it makes them hurry. 10YO ties Hogan off in the yard, under a tree. He had a big bowl of water and a great shade tree. I also forgot to mention that his GUMS started bleeding as I got him out of his pen. He has this weird gum tissue overgrowth thing...doesn't hurt him, vet has checked it out, not much we can do. It looks awful, however and his gums are really swollen! And now they're bleeding. GREAT!

Within the hour, I had two Comcast vans AND a tow truck in front of my house, a dead dog lying in the yard, and three crying children in the house. Then, my husband calls (bless his heart) to tell me that Big Dog has a sale on towels. Should he get some, if so how many, and how should he pay for them? I want to hit something.

I'm on the phone with a friend (the one who gave me the number for the shelter) when he called through to ask about the towels. I give him a little update on what's going on and 10YO starts bouncing around saying she wants cable in HER room. She HAS cable in her room. She then says she wants "Comcast" in her room. What the h*ll did she think cable IS???? I tell her that Comcast IS cable and she already has it. She starts to say something else. I scream, "STOP TALKING!!!" and I looked for something throw at her! If my friend hadn't been holding on the house phone while I was on cell phone, I would have thrown it at her! She sees the rage in my eyes and returns to pouting about the dog. I do NOT usually have a bad temper. In fact, I pride myself on how well I suppress my anger most days. This day was a definite exception! If there HAD been alchohol in the house, I would probably have been DRUNK by 11 am!!!

The Comcast caravan leaves (but not before the guy tells me that my husband should stick to "package delivery" and leave the cable connections to him-the one thing I could laugh at on this horrible day!) and so does the tow truck. About an hour later, the animal shelter comes to pick up the dog. I sat for a few minutes, just enjoying the fact that the hard parts were pretty much over. Soon after that, we left the house. I didn't want to be there anymore!

I'm sorry this was so long. I guess it kind of had to be in order for you guys to get a full understanding of my day.

Hercules, we will miss you dearly. You were a great dog and a good friend.


BikerMama said...

All right. My heart broke when I saw the picture. Our rottie Sam looked just like that and she went through a very painful death. She had lymph node cancer and nobody caught it until it was too late. But I had to laugh my arse off at the day you had. I can almost feel the frustration.

brie said...

Oh Leann ~ I have tears in my eyes and I just can't seem to concentrate right now...what a day you went through! Hugs...