Last Saturday I nearly killed Ollie.
I’ll tell this story all arse about, otherwise it might scare you if you’re one of the people who read here and love the Ollmeister. So, ending first: Ollie is here, alive and undamaged, with his cheery, rather bumptious personality intact. We’ve just been snuggling on the couch with a DVD, after he’s circled the park at normal warp speed, played bitey-face with Maggie and scoffed his dinner.
Last Saturday, it was a warm-to-hot day. It was a mild morning. Ollie came out with me in the car to get his annual injection – Parvovirus, distemper and such. We drove home. He was so quiet and good on the way, I forgot he was there. I got home, I locked the car. I went inside. I did housework. The day warmed up.
I had forgotten he was there.
If a friend hadn’t come to visit, he would be dead. “Where’s Ollie?” She had her dog with her and if Ollie wasn’t bursting out of his current napping place to greet them then something was awry. Then the awful realisation and the mad scramble to find the keys, open the car, would have used a brick if the keys hadn’t been in an obvious place. Poor Ollie was huddled into the back seat trying to get away from the sun, drifting into a stupor, panting way too fast, leaking with saliva, and hot…I pulled him out and carried him like a baby to the hose. His legs bicycled, disoriented. Oh Ollie, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. We ran a hose on him, got some drops of water into his mouth and rushed him to the vet. A different vet who’s closer.
The vet nurse hustled us into the back and put Ollie in the hydrobath. Ollie hates water but he wasn’t in a position to complain. His legs were flat out as the vet nurse washed him and washed him with the cold water. The Boy was there, calm and collected but starting to be a little pink around the eyes and nose, which is how you know he’s upset. Please be OK Ollie! Please be OK! Oh I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.
After about five minutes the vet came in and asked me to put Ollie down to see how his legs were working. He stood! He asked me to walk Ollie up and down their little back courtyard. He walked! He had a bit of a run! He hopped up the step!
He was home in half an hour. Vet wasn’t in the least interested in keeping him, which was an auspicious sign. By the end of the day he’d had a good rest, lots of water, a little mini-walk on the leash, and … er.. all the bodily functions were working properly. More importantly, he came back. He was himself. Undamaged. No thanks to me.
Waking nightmares have followed me all this week of what I did to this little guy and how it could have ended. I could help him recover, but I can never take away what I put him through, something he never deserved. There is no excuse. Domestic animals depend on us so much. We have so much power over them.
Dogs die in hot cars. Pass it on. I don’t care if people think they know. I thought I knew. Tell them again! I thought I was vigilant, but obviously not vigilant enough. And I can never apologise to that dog enough.