For this Cinco de Mayo 2018 weekend edition of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cat Nap, we have a cat living up to the billing and a very sweet dog of an unfamiliar breed who wasn’t interested in sleeping when we met her.
They crossed paths in a vet’s office. Here’s the story:
On Saturday the 28th, my companion cat of several years, The Senator, began to exhibit difficulties in breathing and his purr sounded more like an angry growl. It wasn’t quite a gasp, but it was a bit of a heave. He’s never done that stuff before. I went into a Mother Hen-panic while my RockSteadySpouse Martha calmly made calls. Yes, calls to help the cat -- I’m beyond help in these situations.
Our regular vet office (Love Freeway) was closed, so we went to our fave alternative, Hillside Veterinary Clinic on Mockingbird. [LARRY ASIDE: I once fell in love with a dog I was transporting to Hillside and the staff there treated her so well that I thought of checking myself in and staying a few days.]
Back to the panic: I ran through the possibilities: Heart attack. Something he ate. Household product mishap. I knew he wasn’t suffering the heartache of a broken romance -- he’s one of just two Oak Cliff animals we’ve taken in over the decades who arrived “fixed.”
I was genuinely concerned. We don’t know how old he is -- but he’s no kid. He sleeps a lot. He is grumpy now and then. And when he sits in my lap as I write, he has been known to read my fiction and bite my hand. I take it as a hint that I should rewrite once I’ve stopped the bleeding.
About our trip north: The Senator rode in his fancy, one-cat zip-up carrier. He was quiet. And what I saw as “desperate breathing” had subsided and he was almost normal. But you need to be sure in these situations.
He was pretty darned calm by the time I navigated the new freeway complex in downtown Dallas -- what a challenge: New but maybe not improved.
When I crept onto Woodall Rodgers, I saw daylight and hit the gas pedal with a jerk -- The Senator meowed with alarm. I’m not kidding. A big “holy smoke, you idiot” meow. I think he’s been taking IPPLs (Innocent Passenger Protest Lessons) from Martha, not always happy with my driving. I slowed to travel from downtown north on Central -- why not, everybody else was tiptoeing along the freeway.
At the clinic, a staffer took my boy back into an exam area and after I filled out paperwork I was put in a consultation room. A tech asked me general questions about The Senator and his situation. She left and about 15 or 20 minutes later, the door opened and in walked Dr. Jason Ferrell holding my very calm friend, The Senator -- they had the demeanor of longtime friends. The Senator appeared to be pleased that he was being comfortably held by a professional.
Basically, The Senator checked out great -- no signs of any heart problems or lung problems or anything. As Dr. Farrell said (and cracked me up), “It looks like he enjoyed a therapeutic car ride.”
So, The Senator was fine then and he’s fine now.
You see the Senator in traditional sleep modes here -- except when the kitten Simon is tapping him on the head. The Senator eventually prevailed by nodding off.
Now, about that dog.
We returned to the lobby to wait for paperwork to catch up with us and we sat on a bench near a nice young woman and her nice dog, Lily. That’s Lily in the photos. Fluffy ears. Fluffy tail. A very dear personality.
She also has a story. Lily, clearly loved and adored now, had been rescued off the side of a highway a few years ago. Lily’s human Megan Delatte told me and The Senator that Lily was at the vet for a checkup -- Megan has that same loving mentality animal people share: Let’s just make sure everything’s OK.
Lily has a beautiful reddish coat. And look at that great face! Yep, found on the side of the road -- all that beauty and charm just walking along the road. Now, she lives with people and two rescued cats, Swarley and Sparkley.
So what kind of dog is Lily -- you know, other than a “Charming Roadside Acquisition”?
Megan smiled as she prepared to tell me and The Senator who was listening intently from inside the screened window of his carrier. Megan said that someone who knows dogs saw Lily and told her, “It looks like you’ve got a Nova Scotia Duck Toller.” That’s the shorthand term for a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either, but sure enough it’s an AKC breed -- smallest of the retrievers, the AKC says. Here’s the LINK. You can see Lily’s heritage in the AKC photos.
There you have it, we survived a crisis and met a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever -- you can’t say that every Saturday of the year.
So, as The Senator sleeps in his empty catfood flat -- he loves that thing -- I’ve written this story of a human suffering feline panic and confirming this fact: You meet the nicest people with dogs and cats.
[REMEMBER, send photos of your sleeping dogs and napping cats and slumbering “others” to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them in our weekend edition of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap. You’ll be making your critter famous on that World Wide Web thing -- even goes to Nova Scotia, I understand. And you’ll also be inspiring people to consider adoption and rescue. Perhaps the kindest thing is you’ll be inspiring insomniacs to have faith that they, too, can enjoy some sleep if they can just curl up in the right empty catfood flat.]
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