Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer, Day 90

Our last full, stay-up-later-than-normal day before school begins did not go as planned.

I'll admit it: The boys and I were slugs this morning. We took Lori to work (our Outback was in the shop -- more on that later), but we got home and collapsed into laziness. I thought of maybe going to Kohl's to get Michael some Levi's and then running a few errands, but finally, I settled on taking the dog on a much-needed hike on the off-leash trail near our house. Yes, it was hot again today, but she's been on hikes in the heat before. This trail intersects and ends at a creek, so she could splash around and get a drink if needed.

As expected, Popcorn was running and playing as soon as we took her off the leash. She made some new dog friends, splashed in the creek, fetched a stick another dog owner was throwing and was sprinting all over the trail. In other words, she was loving the hike. On the way, a bee or wasp stung Michael on his hand. He cried, but the sting wasn't too bad. In retrospect, it was an omen.

We got to the end of the trail, which is a pond created by Parley's Creek. Popcorn generally doesn't jump in this pond, but was moving through the creek and being curious. We were there for a few minutes when Popcorn threw up a gooey, thick yellow substance -- possibly bile. Then she threw up again. I got her away from the trail and she threw up a third time. Definitely not good. She wouldn't drink any water we tried giving her. I called the vet, who said to bring her in. Of course, we were a mile from my car. We started walking, but she looked so tired and eventually found a shady spot to plop down. I was getting worried. I picked her up and started carrying her back to the car. I didn't carry her the whole way, and eventually, she did walk some again. We made it to the creek crossing earlier in the trail, and she walked down for a drink, but she didn't play. In fact, she didn't play with any dogs she encountered on the way back, including a cute Great Dane puppy about her size. That's when I knew she was truly feeling icky. I thought maybe she was suffering from heatstroke -- she is a black dog, after all -- or she ate something (yellow flowers?) that disagreed with her. I carried her some more, and we got back to the car and hurried to our vet.

While waiting in the reception area, Popcorn drank some water, and her tail was wagging again, offering me some relief that she was feeling better. We saw the vet, who wondered if maybe something stung her. The vet reasoned that a healthy, young lab, shouldn't be affected by the heat so quickly. At the end of the trail is some muddy, swampy ground next to the creek that is always wet but never has anything really flowing through it. Wasps always are buzzing about this ground, and I wonder if one stung Popcorn and caused an allergic reaction. The vet reasoned that a sting could shut her down that quickly. One minute she was fine; the next, she was miserable. And her heart rate was still elevated when the vet checked. They took Popcorn to a quiet room where she got a couple injections to deal with the possible sting,  then let her rest, drink some water, and monitor her blood pressure, which came down. When Lori arrived, Popcorn was happy to see her and  feeling better. We brought Popcorn home and let her rest. I took her out later, and she wanted to play, but we stopped that -- she needs a good night's rest after her rough day.

Our car had a rough day, too. After the mechanics could not definitively say what was wrong with the Outback, and it started right up for them every time, it conked out on Lori while she was waiting at a light. It started up right away, and now the mechanics are thinking it might be a fuel pump. At least that can be fixed. I drove it home, and I could feel it not getting the surge it should when you step on the gas. But I still got home in it. 

I skip a day in numbers but not on the calendar, so Day 92 is next.


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