Sitting on the side of the road

So, where were we? Ah, yes, sitting on the side of the road, Bodhi panting and me growing more concerned by the minute. The thing was, if he was too tired to walk home, I didn’t have many options. The boy weighs about 100 pounds, and besides, I had the bike with me. I considered just walking the bike home, but when I stood after about 10 minutes, he didn’t even look at me. I figured that was a bad sign.

A few more minutes passed and then a guy going the other way flipped a u-turn and pulled up beside us. A man in a ball cap got out of the car, carrying a bottle of water. “Looks like he needs some water,” he said, and began to attempt to pour water in to Bodhi’s mouth. I have to admit, I was kind of thinking, “uh, really?” Not that I didn’t appreciate the help, just that none of my dogs ever really liked to drink from a bottle like that. The guy went on talking, saying that Bodhi’s tongue was turning purple, something I hadn’t noticed, and that that was a sign of dehydration. By then I had cupped my hands so that Bodhi could drink from my palms. Except that he didn’t. He turned his head away.

Another man came up, this one on a bike and a bit older than the first. I had seen him before while out running with Bodhi. He stopped and asked what was going on. The guy in the ball cap explained that he thought the dog was dehydrated. Then he asked me where I lived. I told him we were less than a mile from home. Ballcap offered to stay with Bodhi while I went home for my car. The older gentleman on the bike raised his eyebrows and offered me his phone – but like I said – no one was home at my house. As I considered my options, the older gentleman said, “I’ll wait too if you want to go.”

So I did, I headed home as fast as I could go and jumped into my car and raced back. By the time I got there, there were 5 people standing around Bodhi and two more cars. Bodhi didn’t even lift his head as I approached. One older woman began to scold me right away, chiding me for having the dog out on such a hot day, etc. She told me he could really be in trouble. I told her she didn’t need to scold me, that I was worried enough already.

Luckily, Bodhi walked most of the way into the car on his own, we only really had to help get his rear in, and off I went.

I went back home first (I totally jumped in my car without my wallet or my phone) and called the local emergency vet. They told me I didn’t need to bring him in if he was eating and drinking ok. He looked better to me, there in the back of my car, so I decided to get him into the house and see how he was. I opened the back door and he hopped out. He walked a few steps but before he got to the door his back legs seemed to go out from under him, and he was down again. To be totally honest, this is when my heart really started to pound and panic set in.

I stood over him as I dialed the vet again to tell them I was bringing him in. I realized that he probably wasn’t going to be able to walk to the car. I stood there, thinking, “why do I have such a big dog?!”

I got the blanket out of the car and put it along his back, then flipped him over onto it. The way he allowed me to manipulate his body scared me some more. I pulled the blanket over the grass to the car, but then there was the problem of how to get him into the car. Even though I could probably lift him up, you know, around the legs like you do sheep? But then how would I get him into the narrow car door opening? Why don’t I own a truck?! I used to have a Blazer, I could have just picked him up and put him in the back!

Instead of lifting him, I put on my happy voice and encouraged him to his feet. He managed to get his front legs onto the seat and I lifted him the rest of the way in and we were off. Whew!


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