Today her humans are celebrating the birthday of one of Elf the Corgi’s best friends, name of Jericha. Spirits are light, brightness sets the air a-sparkle, and Elf’s eyes shine as well.
But earlier in the week she was struggling with unfamiliar pains in her lady-dog bits. It hurt to pee, and the stalwart corgi was at her wits end about getting the problem fixed. Much as she steadfastly kept on keeping on, this was getting worse, not better.
Eventually things came to a head, as they will do in such cases. Jericha, who has been hemophobic off and on from a tender age, was leading Elf and Opus around the big block they now inhabit in the city of Fresno, California when Elf squatted to pee for the third time of the morning. Why did this normal thing hurt so much?
Jericha happened to glance at Elf’s back end during the process.
Turning white, she asked Elf’s human, who is Jericha’s mother, “Do you see something red?” Uh oh, Human sure did. Bright blood both on the ground, and around a certain spot on the corgi’s iconic, rounded backside.
Jericha had also caught sight of the red spot and pretty quickly she was sinking to her knees, right there on the sidewalk. Human took over the dog leash, a coupler shared by Elf and her partner in dragging humans along, Opus the Dachs-Terr. Elf’s human does not walk the dogs on the coupler as the pair of them, in deciding to take off after a taunting squirrel, might just pull her out of her power wheelchair.
So the three stood by as Jericha gradually recovered from her near faint. Up she stood, off they stepped — for about ten feet, till Jericha again caught sight of the small dog’s rear and went down again. The process was repeated another time or two before the four of them regained the Human’s apartment, allowing Jericha to lie down on something much more comfortable than a sidewalk for a good long while.
Opus, aware of the center of attention his canine companion had become, calmly climbed up onto a sofa and went back to his preferred indoor occupation — snuggling under covers.
It was now Elf’s human’s turn to turn white, as she reflected over what blood in one’s urine often means for human beings. Web searches revealed that in dogs the top cause is urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder stones, though the horrible malignant possibilities are also present.
Time to find the dogs their second brand new veterinary hospital in seven months.
Being a sensitive little creature, Elf spent her next hours commiserating with the woman lying so pale and listless on the sofa and the one staring rigidly at the laptop screen in the den. Absently they would reach down and rub her big ears and the itchy spots around her neck — but she was not fooled. The were scared, and nervous. About her.
Several hours elapsed before she found herself being loaded into her traveling crate in the Human’s van, hurtling up State Highway 41 to the new vet’s office. There, after what seemed an interminable wait punctuated by a prancing, if sickly, boxer, an adorable little ginger colored chihuahua who was a ferocious biter of human hands that tried to pet him, and a cat craftily sneaked past the dogs in a crate by a vet tech, she was deposited onto a high steel table to have her vitals measured, notes vigorously typed into a computer over her head, and lots of absent minded petting by her humans.
The light tone of the vet tech did not fool the corgi at all — these people were worried, markedly worried. She was too — about missing her dinner time.
Eventually a silent big woman carried her off to the back regions, leaving her people alone in the examining room. The woman put her on her back on a strange table with a depression in the middle, turning her one way and another for some mysterious process called X-rays. Then her lower tummy was wet down with isopropyl alcohol, she felt a prick and saw the woman looking pleased to see a lot of red fluid flowing in some sort of tube coming out of Elf’s belly. She was glad when that part ended and she was escorted back to her humans — relieved, and none the worse for the wear.
She did not fully understand the words the doctor said, but she well grasped the relief the humans were showing. He had told them that, while nothing could be ruled out, this looked more like a UTI than anything.
Her humans got a supply of antibiotics for her, and to her immense delight she did not miss dinnertime.
For the next couple of days Elf spent as much time as possible sprawled by the humans as they carried on with the long process of moving her particular Human into the new apartment. Numerous heavy boxes of books were emptied, books lined up on shelves in various areas of the spacious apartment.
Surrounded by the familiar smells of the furnishings that had accompanied herself and Opus from their longtime home in New Mexico, to Mountain View in the Bay Area for seven months, and finally now down to California’s Central Valley, the small dog began, at last, to feel an easing of a long time tension in her humans.
She was healing, getting that warm cheese with a funny little hard thing in the middle twice a day was a fantastic treat, and what’s more, Miz Jericha was remaining firmly on her feet during every walk.
Bring on the squirrels.
Meanwhile, the Human is seeing a new doctor in Fresno, and hopes to get a good bill of health, herself, after all the tests he feels she needs. He is a Sikh, and wears a turban. This is a most interesting development in Human’s nearly lifelong closeness to medical professionals. It’s been a while since she’s had a serious medical review, and this doctor seems intent on getting that job done.
Ow, it will take a great many squirrels to ease the Humans’s mind!
A song for the mood here… Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez, ¿QUÈ HAGO AHORA?
In case you are wondering about the lyrics:
¿dónde pongo lo hallado,
en las calles, los libros, las noches ,
los rostros en que te he buscado?
¿dónde pongo lo hallado,
en la tierra, en tu nombre, en la biblia,
en el dia que al fin te he encontrado?
¿que le digo a la muerte
tantas veces llamada a mi lado
que al cabo se ha vuelto mi hermana?
¿que le digo a la gloria
vacia de estar solo
haciendome el triste, haciendome el lobo?
¿que le digo a los perros
que se iban conmigo en noches
perdidas de estar sin amigos?
¿que le digo a la luna
que crei compañera de noches
y noches sin ser verdadera?
¿que hago ahora contigo?
las palomas que van a dormir a los
parques ya no hablan conmigo.
¿que hago ahora contigo?
ahora que eres la luna, los perros,
las noches, todos los amigos.