On Thursday, a very dear friend of mine got married. Nothing so unusual in that, is there? No – not at all!
However, that was only the beginning .. and I wasn’t even sure I’d get there at all, what with Sid being so poorly. I was so torn about what to do. There were times during this last week that I even thought we might lose him. For instance, when I gave credence to the girl-vet’s suggestion that perhaps it was an infarct, which would mean his beautiful personality was probably gone for good .. and of course, what with the pain the poor guy was in, it would mean that there’d be precious little for him to live for or us to hope for. It was a terrible week. If you read the last post, you’ll know that he was given an opiate painkiller. It didn’t suit him, and he spent two days not eating, hardly drinking, but panting heavily and wandering in and (mostly) out all day, never settling anywhere for long, unless it was far, far away from his people and his comfy beds, right up at the end of the garden. And, distressingly, he would run away from us, apparently in fear.
On the day before the wedding, after a consultation with the girl-vet (the only one I could actually get hold of), we had the potential diagnoses of 1) a fractured temporo-mandibular joint, 2) acute oesophagitis following acid reflux during the op, or 3) an infarct, which is basically a blood clot lodged somewhere important, likely the brain, and she wanted to send me to a neuro for the full work-up or at least x-ray his jaw*. And there was I, due to leave him with the kennel and drive three hours up to Bridlington to be a witness to my friend’s marriage and stay away for the following night. This was important to me not just because it was an honour, but because not even family were invited to this wedding, only the witnesses and their partners.
I actually rang my very dear friend, Heathrow Jen, and said I didn’t know what to do, but if he wasn’t a LOT better the next morning, I didn’t see how I could leave him and might have to be driving in the opposite direction to a specialist veterinary referral centre. She was incredibly understanding, despite the fact that it upset her hugely and was likely to spoil her special day, and I want to say here and now what a very, very special friend she is. Not many brides would be so supportive of a friend and her sick dog, even if they had a hundred other witnesses to call on at the last minute, but HJ was. Unbelievably so.
The tiny twinkling light at the end of the tunnel was that Sid had been given Vetergesic, the opiate painkiller, and I had just a suspicion that it could be responsible for his lack of personality and his odd behaviour. By the next morning, it should be out of his system.
And Hallelujah! By the next morning he had indeed begun to look a lot more like himself. I would no way have left him, even then, if it hadn’t been for the fact that he was going to stay with S (his trainer) while we were away, in her own house, and I knew he’d be looked after every bit as well as if he were with me. So we loaded up, dropped the dogs off with S, and hit the road, and I rang HJ to tell her we were on the way and Made her Day.
The wedding was as quirky as I would have expected from HJ and her groom. For a start, they referred to themselves as Butch and Gomez pretty much all day, and it was the groom who wore white. It was a registry office wedding, nice and low key, just as they wanted, but we all set off from the groom’s house, and walked the half mile to the venue through shoppers and passers-by and I’m sure I remember going over a level crossing at one point. HJ then went through the ceremony with her legs crossed because the registrar told her there was no toilet she could use, a friend ‘gatecrashed’ the ceremony with a bottle of champagne and was promptly asked to leave by the registrar**, and the groom took a turn behind the camera to take photographs.
After the ceremony, we walked down to the sea and took a ride on a pirate ship. The little chap in the orange jacket is the groom’s grandson, who said he didn’t want to be a pirate, but changed his mind once at sea.
It was a great day. Even with the worry over Sid at the back of my mind, I had fun, and was just SO glad I managed to get there to witness HJ’s wedding to her ‘Gomez’ and do my part. It was just lovely to spend time with them and see just how happy they were to be together. Of course, quirkiness doesn’t stop after the ceremony for some people, and for the moment, these two will be living in separate houses for a while yet while they sort out various things, but they are now man and wife, which warms my heart. ‘Gomez’ is such a great guy: intelligent, witty, entertaining and so damned nice, and it’s always a teeny bit of a relief when one of your best friends in the world shacks up with someone you’re actually rather fond of, isn’t it?
After the pirate boat ride, we returned to the groom’s place where HJ rang her mother to tell her the deed was done. Her mother answered the phone and said ‘So, how does it feel to be Mrs Robinson?’ which was rather a stunner, since that is not the name of the man she married. She pointed this out to her Mum, who replied, after a pause, ‘Are you sure?’
The funniest – and most disturbing thing – about this is that HJ does actually have a male friend whose name is Robinson, but she assures me she isn’t, and never has been married to him.
So. We got home to find that Sid had had another of his screaming-in-pain-and-running-out-into-the-garden-to-tremble-violently sessions, which was very worrying, but he was pleased to see us, and jumped in the car with no problems. He continued to improved, personality-wise, on Saturday, but was clearly still in pain even if it was a lot less than it had been, so today I gave him a dose of Tramadol.
I’d been avoiding the Tramadol in case he reacted as badly as he did to the opiate, but thankfully, he hasn’t. It has allowed him to relax fully and behave pretty normally. He clearly does still have pain, and I suppose if it’s pain from the extractions referring into the joint then I can equate that to my wisdom teeth removal and understand completely just how painful it can be, and for how long. I guess we just wait and see for now, but I do have the name of a specialist greyhound vet if I need to get a referral, who will be better able to judge the problem than a random ‘veterinary referral centre’, I think.
* To x-ray a dog’s temporo-mandibular joint, one has to prop the dog on his back and open his mouth as wide as it can possibly go – which is likely what caused the problem in the first place. The over-developed musculature around Sid’s neck and shoulders also means it’s possible that the pulling around under the first anaesthetic damaged something in his neck or shoulder muscles or ligaments, so you can imagine how I felt about putting him under again and repeating the insult.
** They have a strict ‘no alcohol’ rule on the premises – which includes an unopened gift bottle, apparently.