After we got home from Florida in early April, I noticed that Momma was in more of a frenzy than usual. It didn’t take me long to figure out that she was going on another trip.
First, she dialed up a bunch of salons to make maintenance appointments – you know the kind – hair, nails, skin, etc. Then I observed her studying a little black binder for instructions on how and what to pack for a 24-day trip. I next saw that she was spending an inordinate amount of time in her closet (and that’s saying something) looking through clothes, shoes, handbags and totes. The dead giveaway, of course, was when she brought out the suitcases.
Since Momma had failed to share the news of her trip (“I didn’t want you to feel bad, Lina.”), I couldn’t help but wonder what type of arrangements she had made for me. When she saw the look of concern on my face, she reassured me that there was nothing to worry about. “Yes, Lina, Momma’s going on a little trip, but she won’t be gone long and guess what – Dr. Becca will be staying with you and Nanny Becky will also be around.” (I know that she had heard that dogs have no concept of time, but even I could tell that 24 days was a tad long.)
Unfortunately a couple of days before she was to leave, Momma was forced to turn her attention away from her non-stop prepping, to me. Out of the blue, I began having episodes during which I had trouble getting my breath. At first Momma thought the problem would just go away or was something I would have to live with based on comments of several dog owners that it was likely just a “reverse sneeze.” Huh?
Momma wasn’t satisfied with that explanation either, and decided to take me to the local vet for a look. He couldn’t find anything wrong but thought the problem might be allergies and suggested that we try children’s Benadryl. Momma, however, drawing on her vast amount of medical knowledge, decided it wasn’t allergies and declined to buy the drug.
The day before she was to leave, I was having the breathing problems more frequently and Momma, half crazy by now because her big trip was looming large, concluded that she better bite the bullet and take me to a specialist. I’m not sure how, but she roped Nanny Becky into going along.
We had booked an appointment at the nearest specialty clinic which turned out to be in Eden Prairie, a suburb southwest of the Minneapolis. The internist there said they’d probably have to do a rhinoscopy to determine what was wrong (I never experienced the breathing problems while with the vets so they didn’t have much to go on). The internist further explained that I would have to be anesthetized for the test, which would consist of putting a speculum in my nostrils to view the inside of my nose!
By now we were both sick – me at the thought of the scope going into my head and Momma because of the inevitable astronomical bill. Nevertheless, she did have that trip coming up the next day so had little choice but to approve of the horrific test.
We were all set to go forward when the clinic informed us that their rhinoscopy equipment was on the blink. If we wanted to proceed, we would have to go to their sister clinic in Blaine, a northern suburb about 45 minutes away. As far as Momma was concerned it might as well have been in another country. (Even though Momma is from a tiny town about 5 hours north of Minneapolis, she thought of Blaine as in “the boonies” and dreaded the thought of going to a vet clinic there.)
Out of options by now though, we piled into the car and headed to Blaine. Momma casually looked at the little map she had been given from the first clinic and announced to Becky that she knew the way. Well, it turns out that she didn’t and took the wrong exit as we were approaching Minneapolis. Pretty soon, instead of speeding up to Blaine on I-94, we were driving past all the bars, strip clubs and theaters on Hennepin Avenue. Really, I thought, would it have been so hard to just plug the address into the GPS??? I’m sure Becky, who was not at all happy with this turn of events, was thinking the same thing. (She did have a family and her own schedule, after all.)
After driving around downtown Minneapolis for about an hour in the middle of a busy workday, we somehow ended up on the freeway again and headed north. When we finally, mercifully, arrived at the clinic in Blaine, Momma quickly came off her high horse. She could tell that this was a top-notch facility with a great staff. And we loved our vet (even though she did knock me out for the dastardly set of tests I was about to endure).
Here we are before ~
And me, trying to get my paws under me again, after ~
In addition to the rhinoscopy, they also conducted a series of X-rays, a CT scan and a nasal biopsy, after which they informed Momma that my nasal passages were somewhat pink and inflamed. Despite this finding, however, the internist was not sure of the cause. She did suspect allergies though and therefore suggested we pick up some – you guessed it – Benadryl!!
Momma, by now staring at a bill for $2,200.00 was beside herself. “Becky,” she wailed, “if only I had given her the children’s Benadryl before, think of the money I could have saved!” (And I was thinking, if only you hadn’t booked a 24-day trip, think of the money you could have saved.) Anyway, after she reluctantly paid the bill, we rushed out to the car, all of us anxious to get home.
Our excitement for the day wasn’t quite over yet, however. Momma, understandably was by now pretty upset over the day’s events. I was sick, she was out at least $2,200, she had probably used up all the goodwill Becky had left in her, it was 8:00 p.m. and (this was the clincher) she had not yet finished shopping or packing for her whirlwind trip the next day. So what happened next really shouldn’t have been a surprise.
When we finally pulled into the garage that evening, Momma could not find her keys. In fact, they were not in the car with us. “That can’t be, Becky,” she croaked – after all we had just driven home in the car (which had a keyless starter). “The car wouldn’t drive without the keys would it?”
Well, it turned out, it would. God only knows how it happened, but Momma must have started the car, put the keys on the roof or hood or trunk or on the street and driven off. Luckily Becky had keys for our house, and was able to get us in and on her way. Now Momma had a new worry, however – the cost of a new key fob, plus the fact that her keys for everything were somewhere in Blaine, possibly in someone else’s possession!
Unbelievably though, Becky (who as usual mopped up Momma’s messes for her) got the keys back. She had called the vet’s office the next day and after explaining the situation, an employee found our keys in their parking lot. (Am I the only one thinking they are probably still talking about us?)
In the end, I must report that the Benadryl did not clear up the inflammation – and Momma was happy to be vindicated. It turned out I had an infection and with the help of the vet, Dr. Becca and Becky, I switched medicine and had a complete recovery!
When the dust finally settled, as it always does when Momma leaves town, I was able to enjoy my time with the Bs, as I always do.