Two weeks ago, my ten year old shih tzu, Sami, underwent dental surgery for teeth cleaning, removal of tartar and the extraction of a few rotten teeth.
I hadn’t slept the night before the surgery, overcome by feelings of guilt and foreboding, my go-to emotions for any anxiety-provoking situation.
Accompanied by my husband’s eye rolls, I waxed doom and gloom for a week beforehand, announcing in that high-pitched, enunciating voice reserved exclusively for fur kids, fids (pet birds), babies, and hard of hearing seniors, to everyone in our household, that Sami was going for an operation and that I was very, very sorry.
Turns out I was justified in thinking the worst. I received a call from the surgeon during a home visit with my first client of the day with bad news: most of his teeth would have to be extracted and it would be a complex procedure as infection from the roots of his teeth had extended to the bone. Plus, as if that wasn’t bad enough, his mouth was full of anomalies, meaning his anatomy had run amok.
Upset with the news, I waited until after the visit to call my husband in the car using the Bluetooth then proceeded to blubber into my N95 mask. Why keep it on to cry? Because we are allotted two masks a day at the health care unit where I work and taking it on and off between clients will result in contamination. I had two more hour long visits to do using this mask before switching it out to do my afternoon visits. Trust me when I say between my nose running from the cold, the snow blowing as I cleaned off my car, and the tears running down face, the mask was pretty worse for wear by the time I took it off.
Fast forward to our check-up today. Sami is doing great after the extraction of about half his teeth. He still has his canines and a few teeth in the front and back but more will have to go at a later date.
He loved his temporary soft food so much that he was waking us up at 4 am for breakfast. I bought a few more cans to transition him over to his usual kibble, softened with a bit of water.
I was paying for the food, chatting with the girl at reception when I felt a soft ripple in the universe, something not quite right in the time-space continuum, a blemish on an otherwise flawless surface that turned out to be a nice deposit of dog shit under my boot.
Suffice to say that Sami shih tzu is no longer the darling of the vet clinic and has exacted his revenge with perfect timing, as if the bill of $2500 wasn’t painful enough.
Picture me aghast (despite the kind receptionist’s reassurance that shit happens regularly there), tiptoeing out the door in search of a patch of snow to rub my boot in, and finding only crusty ice patches to slide it on instead. Where is an accumulation of snow when you need it?
Thank goodness my husband was driving which spared me having to take my boot off to floor the gas pedal all the way home. It gave me plenty of time to strategize. You see, the other side of the doom and gloom coin is that I am the consummate planner, never satisfied to bask in the moment, singularly focused on the task at hand: operation boot clean.
Shit happens. Today, it happened to me. At least this time I wasn’t wearing an N95 mask.