Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 5, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 5, 2004 – I thought Augie had rounded the corner and headed for home. He seemed so much better. His eyes were brighter and he had a bit more zip in his step when we went out for bathroom parade. When we came back inside, he pounded on his food bowl with his paw, so I gave him a few of his bickies to munch on. He’d kept rice down all day and some soggy bits of cracker, but I knew he must be hungry.
He had a bit more water from the turkey baster and then settled down for the night. I went to bed fairly, certain that by morning he’d be ready for a stroll around the block. I didn’t hear him during the night, but I was exhausted from an extremely busy week and I needed a good night’s sleep. My day on Saturday was a solid ten o’clock to six with no break between clients.
I woke up at eight o’clock and the house was quiet. I was convinced that I’d go downstairs and find Augie still asleep. He was in his bed, but wide awake. I could tell he was agitated and I knew why. The kitchen floor was covered with expulsions from both ends – Augie was a very sick boy again.
I bundled him up in my car and took him to see the vet. We had to wait for Puss-Puss and Barley, both cats, to have stitches out and yearly shots and then it was Augie’s turn. He hates going into the examination room and dislikes the high steel table even more. After being poked and prodded, we decided that he should stay for the week-end. He needs an intravenous drip to hydrate his body and to introduce some antibiotics into his system.
He also needs x-rays and blood work to try and determine why he is suddenly so ill. If a nasty gastritis is ruled out, pancreatitis and liver disease are possible causes of his sickness. The vet sedated Augie so he could take a blood sample from the vein in his neck and take his temperature. He was then put in one of the cages to rest while they waited for his test results.
There was nothing more for me to do, so I left to go and meet my morning clients. I disliked leaving Augie behind. I worried that he felt as frightened as he must have, when his former owner abandoned him at The Humane Society. When I got home tonight, the first thing I noticed was the empty feeling in the house. My carefree little dog was missing. Ziggy has been wandering around all evening meowing and looking for his big brother.
Intellectually, I knew that Augie was safe and warm, in a good place with caring people, but he’s not in his home. I imagined him asleep but I’m still concerned that he’s lonely and afraid. Augie is ten years old now and I have a nagging feeling that this may be something serious.
I won’t know anything more until Monday morning, so I need to hope for the best, and say a little prayer to the great dog god in the sky. The greatest gift we can give our beloved pets is to cherish them when they’re with us, but to know when to let them go if they’re too ill to live with dignity.
Augie is a little prince of a dog. He’s sweet, gentle, curious, loving and funny. It isn’t in his nature to be mean or aggressive. He has a big, goofy smile on his face all the time and a marvellous sense of fun follows him everywhere he goes. I’m counting on his strong little heart to make him better, because I’m not ready to let this happy little soul depart from my life.