So there I was yesterday, happily putting in some tomatoes after getting all the domestic jobs/emails and other work out of the way. It was a sparkling day after the rain of the night before; birds were shouting, plants thrusting upwards - (weeds especially); all rather wonderful really . . . I went in to make a cup of tea and write something and heard an odd noise in the living room.
Our older Spanish Greyhound appeared to be about to have a crap on the floor tiles - you know, that rounded-arched-back sort of shape. I was about to reprimand when I saw blood and what appeared to be a knife sticking out of her chest. I just stood pathetically for a moment watching her shake and wondering what I was supposed to do in such a situation - vet obviously but Gala is about the size of a small deer and I can't lift her.
I hastily drove the car up to the door and phoned lots of friends and neighbours - no one in. The vet said there was no way they could come and get her. I looked at the object amongst the bloody fur - could I give it a quick yank out? No. Fire brigade? Ambulance? I tried a neighbour again, with luck this time.
He appeared and we both circled her wondering how to try and pick her up. He tried and she screamed - never heard a dog actually scream before.
"Will she bite me?" he asked, quite understandably.
I shook my head. "No - well, she is the most gentle dog in the world, 'normalement' mais . . . "
Whose to say what a normally placid dog might do with a sharpe projectile stuck in her chest and possibly about to peg out. He just did it, somehow - bundled her out into the car and I drove to the vets, Starsky and Hutch style.
The waiting room was crammed with sad cats and limping dogs. I ran in feeling dramatic: "Au Secours! - my dog is about to peg out!"
I was suddenly in a reality TV pet show. Dr Zanin ran from a back room where he had been no doubt dealing with something less exciting; a stretcher was produced which he thrust aside and man-handled the howling dog from our bloodstained car.
"Vite - prepare the anaesthetic!" The operating room door closed and everyone turned reassuring and sad expressions onto me.
The receptionist suggested I go home and wait for a phone call. I thanked him and turned to leave feeling still quite dramatic and close to tears. Then, I couldn't find the bloody car key and the car was blocking the door. After a search of the car, the gravel surrounding the car, the reception area and listening to helpful suggestions, I found it in my pocket . . . I slunk off and went home to finish planting tomatoes to find the other dog had dug them all up due to some particularly fragrant chicken poo I had used as fertiliser.
The sun was still shining and everything else as bucolic as it was before the dog accident but I couldn't concentrate on anything much other than drinking tea and reading about Donald Trump's latest stupidities.
An hour before vet-closing time, I rang them. She was ready to go.
I arrived, paid (arg!) was shown the eight inch stick that had just missed one of her lungs by a fraction, and the helpful assistant got her into the car. The key wasn't lost; I went home and couldn't get her out of the car. Drank more tea. Showed her the small runty dog in case she was lonely. Covered her with a blanket and watched dusk approach.
Of course in their natural(?) habitat a wounded hunting dog such as this would probably have had a gun to the head, or worse, but Gala is a pampered, sofa-greyhound, so I did worry . . . bit of music, an extra pillow?
Anyway, an hour later she stood up and got out of the car like some ancient member of a royal family about to greet her subjects, had a piss for about five minutes and hobbled into the house where she tried to get into her normal chair. "No!" me and son cried, "it's the wrong shape." We wheeled the chair to the sofa and she eventually decided the sofa was a better option and fell onto it at which point I poured a large glass of wine and wondered where the day had gone.
Recovering dog with wounds and sad eyes.