I guess I didn’t mention it, but Katie got bit by another dog last week. First she gets hit by a car! And then some dog uses its teeth to put a puncture wound in Katie’s lip and another one under her tongue. I know dogs’ mouths are supposed to be cleaner than ours, but still, my first thought was, Dog Bites = Rabies! So I was briefly concerned that with this latest injury I’d be riding around with a rabid dog in my car. A rabid, brain-damaged dog* in the back seat of my car. Next to my child. The only thing that would make that picture even better is if the dog had three legs. Oh, wait! And was pregnant, and lactating. And my child had an eye patch and lice.
*She is not brain damaged. I thought she might be, since a CAR HIT HER IN THE HEAD LAST WEEK, but after a couple of days spent sleeping and drooling all over herself, she snapped out of it.
Yeah, so anyway, right before I knew this had happened I was getting ready to leave work and go pick her up — actually, I need to explain where she was when this happened. She was at doggy day care. Yes. That’s not actually what they call it. Guess what they call it? Oh, fine, I can tell you’re not guessing, so I’ll tell you: they call it Day Camp. For dogs! Whose owners don’t want to leave them alone in apartments or backyards while they’re at work, or going to Pilates, or whatever. For these tender-hearted people there is doggy day care, and yes, I do live in Southern California, and no I haven’t taken Katie to a pet psychic* though I hear there’s a really good one in town.
Apparently Katie was in a play group with a bunch of other dogs — they put her in with the great danes and the labs and other giant mutts because when they put her with the small dogs she turns into this bowling ball of love and excitement, she just knocks down all the little dogs and the camp counselors have to give her a time out.
SO! I take her to doggie day care once or twice a month, when I know she’s sick of sitting in the office watching me type up change orders for asphalt subcontractors and needs to spend a little time with her own kind. There are people who leave their dogs there every day, but for Katie it’s more of a treat.
A treat that went bad!
So I was packing up my stuff when I got a call from the owner of the doggy day care telling me that there had been a bit of an incident, and that Katie didn’t look that bad but he wasn’t a vet and maybe I’d like to take her to get checked out. And I was calm. Really. I could tell he was bracing himself for a freak out on my end, but I just calmly said that Katie had a fancy bulldog vet in L.A. (that we’ve never actually been to, she just comes highly recommended) and that there was no way I could get her down to L.A. before they closed. And besides that, I wanted to know if somewhere in the liability thing that I signed when I dropped her off, if somewhere in there it said that the owner of the other dog would have to pay for this unexpected vet bill? Of which we’d recently had a giant example and wished to see no more? And also, was the other dog okay? Had Katie done something aggressive to provoke him or her? But I was really nice about it, so, so nice, just asking, not demanding, not threatening to sue, and finally the owner guy said he’d pay for the vet AND he’d take her to the nearest clinic, which I’d heard was actually quite good.
And it was, and you know what? I ended up being kind of glad she got bit and had to go to the vet because they found this weird thing where she has no tear production in her right eye. The eye on the side of her face THAT GOT HIT BY A CAR. So they gave us antibiotics for the bite wounds and three kinds of eye drops for the problem I didn’t even know she had. It’s like that story about the guy who broke his leg and was sad about it, and the next day a bunch of soldiers came through his town dragging all the men off to fight the war, but he couldn’t go because he had a broken leg! Or the magical dog who got bit in the face but ended up with both a good local vet and some much-needed eye medicine.
photo by Tam Tam