Picture this: a romantic evening alone with your
spouse…the kids are away having sleepovers with friends, there’s music, there’s
candlelight…and there’s a puking dog. Such was the case with my husband and me
a few weeks ago. After returning from a relaxing dinner, we let our dogs
outside and then settled in for a romantic night for two. Suddenly, we started
hearing those tell-tale sounds of a dog foaming at the mouth and getting
reading to hurl. After quickly deducing that these were not the sweet sounds of
tender romance, we realized that our dog Petunia had swallowed something she
In lieu of dancing to soft music with soft
lighting, we ended up at our pet hospital taking radiographs of our dearest dog
only to find that she had swallowed a metal washer. Instead of an enticing
negligee, I got to wear an oh-so-sexy lead shield and apron (I’m fairly sure
this cannot be found anywhere in the latest Victoria Secret™ catalogue). From
that point on, here is a fair accounting of the romantic events to follow:
12:30 a.m.: after injecting Petunia with a dose
of APO morphine, we were treated to the lovely sights, sounds, and smells of
her vomiting all over the floor in hopes of retrieving the washer she had
swallowed. Unfortunately, all this managed to accomplish was for the washer to
move from her stomach only to get stuck in her esophagus.
1:00 a.m.: My husband performed surgery to
retrieve the washer while I assisted as emergency back-up nurse (this time I
got to wear those alluring surgical scrubs). There was no champagne or flowers,
but there was an anesthesia machine, surgical tools, and a stomach tube which
we used to gently push the metal washer back into her stomach so that the
washer could be retrieved successfully.
4:30 a.m.: With romance still thick in the air,
my husband and I transported Petunia back to our house and set up a “recovery
room” in our bedroom so that she could be monitored and given pain medications for
the rest of the night. We both ended up falling asleep at about 5:00 a.m.
Congratulations! A romantic and memorable night for two!
Naturally, this experience got me to thinking
about stress management and how people are supposed to handle the daily stress
of their work when the time they set aside for relaxation gets ruined as it did
in this situation. What do all of you do when your stress level gets too high
and your attempts to relax are thwarted? For us, not only did we miss the
chance to relax, but we ended up spending time in the very place we were trying
to get away from! It almost seemed like some cosmic joke.
When we look back at that evening now, my
husband and I can laugh about it but I guarantee you at the time…it did NOT
seem funny. But maybe that’s the ultimate answer… a cosmic joke. In the end,
all we can do is laugh at experiences that seem so ludicrous; we feel that we
are living in a circus. If you’ve ever been in situations like this, believe
me… I’m right there with you and I’ll try to laugh too!