23 August 2013

indelible memories

On August 23, 2011 at 7 PM CT, my life changed forever. I can still tell you what I was wearing, what I did in the moments leading up to the accident.

I had worked a bit late, but was running low on dog food so decided to stop at Tomlinson's to get Lulu more chow. From there I ran into to the fancy HEB to grab a few containers of sushi for dinner. I was in my strapless hot pink Lily Pulitzer dress and strappy nude heels.

I got home and let Lulu out of her crate. As usual, I was greeted with her high energy hello, whip tail wagging a million miles an hour, eyes overflowing with happiness and love. As I approached the french doors in the kitchen to let Lulu out for a potty break, I remember looking at the stove's clock. It read 7:00.

Like usual, I opened the door and Lulu took off like lightening. She was a greyhound after all, so sprinting off the concrete patio onto the lawn at warp speed was her signature. As I was heading toward to the counter to put my HEB finds in the frig, I heard Lulu cry. It was a piercing cry. A noise that let me know immediately and without a doubt that something was wrong with my girl.

I raced out the french door and flew off patio much like Lulu. I found her in the middle of the yard, sitting, her big eyes even larger than normal oozing with fear. The moment I saw her, I knew instinctively that Lu had broken her back leg. Somehow I immediately and gently scooped with my 55 pound darling and took her back to the side of the house, making the very tall step up onto the patio in strappy heels. Sitting her down in the great room, I tried calling Lu's vet but the office was closed for the evening. I called my dog sitting friend for support but she was too far away. I called the emergency vet so they would be ready for us.

I don't know how I got her into the car. I do remember that I immediately began praying because it was just me and her and I needed all the help I could get at that moment. Lulu was in pain but she laid in the back seat and didn't move. I continued talking to her as I drove on eggshells to the emergency vet.

Upon arriving at the vet, I had this big dog in my arms and no way to open the door. I kicked the glass door with my foot. The people at the desk shot me very dirty looks, which I always thought odd as they could see my precious cargo in my arms.

They took her back and I had paperwork to fill out. Unbeknownst to me at that time, this would be just the beginning of filling out medical forms for Lulu. Time drug on, the sun set and came over us. No word on her. It would be close to 10 PM before I finally found out what was wrong.

In the meantime, I watched all sorts of people and animals walk into the emergency room. My favorite was a concerned hippie chick who brought in green storage tub containing a squirrel that she claimed looked and acted confused and disoriented. Animal control brought in a little beige puppy who had a broken paw.

I was finally called in just after 10 PM. The news was the worst. Lulu's leg was broken in three places. Seeing the x-rays glowing on the wall, my heart sank. But I quickly reminded myself this was my amazing wonder Lulu who has always defied the odds when it came to all things medical. After all, she wasn't supposed to walk normally after the sliced tendon, but she not only walked beautifully, she ran faster than ever. Only my Lulu could survive a venomous snake bite. She beat Giradria and canine botulism. Knowing all that my dear girl faced and beaten, I reassured myself that together we'd whip this broken leg too. 

The hospital gave me the choice of taking her home and then to our vet in the morning or leaving her overnight. I decided to take Lulu home. Lulu had always suffered from separation anxiety, so I knew I only had one decision - take her home with me. A night alone in a cold metal hospital crate would be detrimental when the single thing she needed most was to be able to see me and be with me.

Somehow, I got Lulu back into my car shortly before midnight. Carefully we got home to Stepford and unloaded her with the flimsy splint holding her leg together. She was in pain and I was hoping she'd be more drugged up. Poor thing didn't understand what happening and I kept trying to convey the concern and love I had for her through the tone of my voice. For her sake, I kept the crying to a minimum because I didn't want her trying to protect me.

I blocked off an area in the great room around her day bed so she could rest and I tried to sleep on the concrete floor near her. I spent the night counting down the hours until the vet's office would open at 7 AM so I could get Lulu in.