When the vet came into the exam room, he asked what was wrong.
I pointed to the normally vivacious dog stretched out on the floor not moving and said, “My dog is dying.”
He dropped to the floor beside him, took his temperature, and said, “Do you think he may have eaten a foreign substance?”
I replied, “Yes, I do. I found a four inch square of torn pantyhose in the bathroom, and could not find the full pair of pantyhose that I threw away two days ago.”
“Let’s get the X-rays immediately.”
As I waited for the doctor, I called my parents and my friends and asked them to pray for me, the doctor, and even Dusty, if that did not offend them. When the doctor called me back to look at the X-rays, you could see a twisted intestine, bloating from the trapped gas, and something that looked like a miniature accordion.
“Will he pass the pantyhose on his own?”
“No, his intestines will burst and he will die, soon.”
So Dusty dollars took precedence once again and there goes the tax return…. “Will you operate tomorrow?” I asked.
“No, we will operate within the hour. He’ll be dead in the morning. He should recover fully as his heart and lungs are fine,” Dr. C replied.
I said goodbye to my furry child, knowing he might not survive the surgery at his age. I went to the car, started bawling, called my parents and friends, and left for the Alzheimer’s Association open house. I needed to keep busy, get some free good food, and hopefully a glass of wine. People were concerned when they saw me with swollen eyes and a tear stained face and asked, “How are you? What’s wrong?”
“My dog is having emergency surgery right now” was my reply.
They asked what happened, and I had to say, “My dog ate my pantyhose.”
The expressions on their faces showed that they were desperately trying not to laugh at our predicament. They would look away, or cover their mouths, or take a drink of champagne, and then try not to even smile. If it was not so serious, it truly was hysterical.
Dusty survived his surgery. I got to see and smell the pantyhose evidence that was removed from his gut and his stomach. He had to stay in the hospital two nights, and returned home with a shaved abdomen, 28 stitches and a lot of pain medicine. He was pretty worn out from no food and little sleep for three days. I know this dog loves me, but I never thought he would literally try to “get into my skin.”
There are a few lessons I have learned about our unconditional love for each other from my dogs. God knows me as well as I do my beloved Dusty. God recognizes when I am sick and need extra loving care. He cares for me, sends people to help me, and allows me to heal. Dusty loves me like God does, unconditionally, without thought of consequences, and with the desire to be as close to me as ‘my skin’.
My final lesson was to never ever leave anything that smells of momma in the wastebasket.