Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just Another Tuesday Morning

This morning wasn't too different from most Tuesday mornings. Wake up, kiss Erin good-bye for work, blog, shower, get ready for the day. What was different this morning was having to take Jackson into the vet and leaving him there for a couple hours.

We think he got bit by a spider. At least, that's what the vet told us probably happened when we took him in a couple weeks ago. They gave us some antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory for him, and told us to bring him back in for a follow up in a week. We washed his penny-sized "thing" on the side of his belly for a week, then put the antibiotic cream on it twice a day, and gave him his anti-inflammatory pills with a treat every night. The "thing" didn't get bigger, but it certainly didn't get smaller. So we took him back on Sunday.

They said Jax is too young for it to be a mast cell tumor, but in any event, it's probably better to just have it removed. Which is what's happening as I type.

The car ride to the vet wasn't much different than any other. With the back windows rolled down, Jackson stuck his head out the driver's side window and let his ears and jowls flap in the wind. When we pulled up to the curb, he was anxious to get out, hoping I was taking him exploring. I was not.

Once inside the vet, he behaved like normal. Sat when I asked him to, growled at a child (he doesn't understand what children are or why they're so fidgety or loud), and then laid at my feet to protect me from the little boy with the kitten in his hands. And then he started to shake.

I don't know why he started to shake, I can only assume that dogs are more in tune with their intuition than humans. Just as I started to comfort him, one of the nurses asked me to confirm some information and sign some papers before they let him in the back to get prepped for surgery. As I signed the documents, I noticed myself getting choked up. Am I crying?

Tears did not flow, but I'm glad the nurse didn't ask me to speak anything more than "yes," "no," and "okay." I knew he was just going in to have a "thing" removed, and that he'd be fine, but he's my baby, my boy, my Bubs. I can't even begin to imagine how I'll react when I have an actual child and he or she gets hurt. For now, I'll settle for being emotional about my dog going in for surgery.

Another nurse came from the back and said it was time to take Jackson back. I almost just handed his leash off and walked away, but just before I did, I knelt on one knee in front of him and asked for kisses. Bubs obliged. I felt myself getting emotional all over again. I handed the leash over and watched him walk to the prep room and out of sight. A lump settled in my throat until I realized I'd been standing there for at least a minute after Bubs was out of sight.

I asked a nurse at the reception desk how long she thought it would be, and she said at least a couple of hours. She said the doctor would call me when she was finished with the surgery to let me know how it went and when I can pick him up. I walked out of the vet's office and began to cry.

It's not like we're having him put down. I know he's going to be fine, and it's just a minor surgery to have a little "thing" removed. And still, I worry. He's my baby, my boy, my Bubs. I want to fast forward to after the phone call, after picking him up, after he's recovered and he doesn't have to wear the cone around his neck to protect the wound from licking. But that's not how life goes. So I'll just wait for the call, pick him up, and try not to laugh at the silly cone that will need to go around his neck. This isn't just another Tuesday morning, at all.