All's well that ends well
although he hasn't finished with the rocks yet...there are three still to be passed. I have to watch for them. Goodie.
Two things happened to me today.
I refused to turn a blind eye.
I realised I love my dog.
Poor little Piper started having some problems this afternoon. He was acting funny: weak-legged and faint, he staggered around the yard listlessly, drooling copiously and crying actual tears out of his eyes. He wouldn't eat and he kept retching up water. When he started having a bit of diarrhea I phoned the vet and took him down.
I was afraid it was Canine Distemper Virus. I looked at the symptom list online and saw that he had all but one - the fever. The timeline for CDV didn't really match up, but since the breeder had told us that he didn't have his full immunity until his second shots (which were scheduled for next week), I was paranoid.
First of all, I have obviously been spoiled by the beautiful and wondrous thing that is the Canadian Health Care System (although I did get a $57 ambulance bill once when my daughter and I were taken to hospital following a cataclysmic car wreck), because when the vet told me it was going to cost $300 just to DIAGNOSE the problem, I almost fell over sideways.
After some bloodwork (all perfectly normal) and some x-rays (perfectly NOT normal) they phoned to tell us that he had been eating something he shouldn't have.
Our puppy is basically a warm, furry bag full of rocks.
Thankfully, in the course of nature the rocks have already begun to return to the outside world. There is no blockage. HOWEVER, the poor little thing is dehydrated and has a very irritated and inflamed GI tract, so he has been HOSPITALISED FOR THE NIGHT to be administered IV FLUIDS AND ANTIBIOTICS.
So here we are at 10.00 PM, and the house is quiet. We had the sliding doors between the kitchen and the living room open tonight because there was no little furry, foxy muzzle poking around the corner looking for his chance to bolt out of his puppy-proof area. I left my shoes right inside the back door, with no fears that they will be reduced to a few fragments of damp, shredded canvas.
And you know what? I miss him. I miss him a lot. I am worrying about my poor little pupster, separated from his family and stuck in the animal hospital overnight, where he will probably be bullied into doing the bigger dogs' chores and have his, you know, kibble money taken or whatever. Alternatively, he'll cry through the night and be convinced, by tomorrow, that he'll never see his family again. In the morning he'll be practising his hitchhiking technique and tying his few meager possessions into a bandanna on the end of a stick.
Seriously, I'm so anxious...do you think he'll be okay?
And when I go to pick him up tomorrow afternoon I'm going to let him lick my pewter inukshuk necklace as much as he wants to, and I'm going to let him have Lean Cuts for breakfast AND supper.
Okay, now the not-so-nice part.
I was sitting on a sunny bench outside a local elementary school today, reading "A Thread of Grace" and waiting for my daughter's Guide meeting to finish. Suddenly I heard banging and yelling coming from a house a few doors down the street, then a woman screaming. I looked up to see a man forcing his way into the house, shouting something I couldn't hear. Through the front window I could see a woman leaning against the door trying to keep him out. She was crying "No!! No, don't!! Get out!" He pushed her backwards into the house. I could still hear her screaming.
I immediately reached for my cellphone and called 911, just as I heard another male voice shout "Get your hands off her, @sshoIe!! Get your hands off her!!" The speaker was a neighbour, running over from across the street and following the first guy into the house. The dispatcher answered and I told him everything as it played out. He asked me to get the address...I had to walk down most of the length of the field to see the number. He asked whether there was a vehicle - I couldn't see past the hedge.
Just as he was finishing up my address and phone number, the first guy - the violent, abusive oppressor - came out of the house. I heard a truck start, then saw a beat up Range Rover pull out of the driveway and take off down the street. I told this to the 911 dispatcher who seemed, unlike me, completely NOT relieved by this latest development.
His voice became suddenly sharp. "Can you see the female?"
"Can you hear the female?"
"Can you see the other male who entered the house?"
"Can you hear anything at all?"
I can hear a baby screaming. Maybe a toddler. (And now I've just realised what he is thinking.) You should hurry.
"The boys are on their way, I promise you. Please tell me anything that happens."
It seemed like a really long time. I mean.....a really long time. But it was only a few minutes. Two cars came roaring up, with huge men in bulletproof vests who strode into that house like they owned it, to find who-knows-what. They were unafraid, but wary. I tell you this: in my entire life no man has ever laid an abusive hand on me, and even I was relieved and reassured to see them.
I don't know what happened, but judging from the lack of an ambulance, all was (physically) well with the woman. I hope all was well with the child, too.
I could write a lot here about what it must be like for all these people. The girl behind the door. The children in a house where such things happen. The dispatcher who gets calls like this every single shift. The "boys", heroes of our time, who jeopardise their marriages, their sanity, their health and their lives following up on every call. They go right up, knock on the doors, walk through the house room by room, check on everyone. They ask the woman if she's okay, if she knows her attacker, if this has happened before.
If she wants to press charges.
They look at the little tear-stained child keeping well back, or maybe sitting on the couch with a neighbour or a sister, and they ask if she is all right. They assess. They think about Victim Services, wonder if a call is appropriate. They ask about license plate numbers and places he might be found. They take names, and numbers, and talk about restraining orders and safe houses and shelters and do you have someone you can call?
And then the worst part - or what I imagine must be the worst part. They give one last piece of advice, take one last look around the place. They glance over at that little person who has seen what no person should have to see, and they walk back out the door. Drive away. Make their report. Finish their shift.
None of us can really do anything, can we? I mean, nothing changes. This probably won't be The Last Straw that causes a complete break between them. This probably won't be the thing that convinces her that he's a worthless sack of shit who should be kept away from her and her child. The best I can hope for is that they track that abusive bastard down, arrest him, and in the process intimidate the hell out of him. I can hope the coward realises that someone will hear, someone will see, and he will have to answer for it.
But, whether it changes anything or not, by God no man gets away with that kind of crap anywhere near me.