Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Pepper Predicament - Part 5: Pepper Comes Home

My dad and I drove separately to the vet, since he had business to attend to when we were done, so I led the way. Thankfully, the drive there is super easy. You drive straight down one street for 60+ blocks, make a right, and then just a few blocks later you're there. Et voila!

We went in and I told the receptionist we were there to see Pepper. She called back and Dad and I waited in the lobby. This was the longest we'd had to wait yet, but there seemed to be a pretty good reason. Instead of us going back to see Pepper, they brought Pepper out to us.

When Hubby and I had visited the night before, we took Pepper outside on a walk. (OK, we just wandered around the lawn, but still.) He was fairly stable, but still a little wobbly, so I was pretty excited when the vet tech walked my little man out to us on a leash!

They had us go into a room with a big leather sofa and lots of boxes of tissues (I'm guessing it doubles as the bad news room, or maybe even the euthanasia room...). My biggest surprise of the day came when I sat on the couch and my little man jumped right up after me. What?! This dog couldn't even stand long enough to eat less than 48 hours ago, and now he's jumping up on the couch like it's nothing! Is this the right dog?

We waited for the vet for awhile. She popped her head in to let us know it would be another 5 minutes, and we waited some more. My dad never sat. He just stood there, ready to take on whatever or whomever he had to. I'm so thankful he was there.

Anywhoozles, the vet finally came in and started talking to us. If I had written this sooner, I could tell you more about the conversation, but here's what I remember.

She told us that since they had started him back on the thyroid medication the night before, he had had 2 doses and already she could see a difference in him. Why hadn't we seen it before? Possibly because of the heart meds he had been on at the time. According to this vet (who we'll call Dr. L), everyone was so worried about his heart disease and murmur that we kind of let the thyroid issue take a back seat. But in her opinion, the hypothyroidism is the more pressing of the two issues and should be the focus of our medical attention.

My other surprise of the day was when Dr. L asked what I wanted to do. Did I want to keep him there or take him home. She said if it was her dog, she'd be taking him home. My first reaction was to ask if he was in any pain. If he was in pain and needed more medical attention, then that would have been a factor in my decision. But she said no (YAY!), so I told her I wanted to take him home. She told us she'd have his IV taken out and he'd be cleaned up (hospital policy that all pets get a bath before leaving).

That's when my dad stepped in. As I said, he didn't sit the whole time we were there. He asked a few questions, made a few comments, but was mostly just this presence in the room that gave vibes of "don't mess with my daughter" (or maybe that was just my imagination). At this point he asked about the money, because the figured he had heard were "shocking" for a dog toward the end of his lifetime. Dr. L went to check, and as it turned out we were still within the original estimate. I don't know if the $2700 was a misunderstanding or what, but I was incredibly relieved to see a number under $2k.

The best part of that day was walking my little man to the car, having him hop into the backseat (by himself!), and driving him home. My family had been incomplete while he was gone. Even Maxine could feel it and wasn't 100% herself. Bringing him home made everything right again.

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