Last night, Bonnie the Beloved Scottish Terrier of myth and legend, did not feel well. She was shivering and could not seem to find a comfortable position. When we gave her a careful looking over, she was all puffed up, like a blowfish about to pop. I had known for a few days that she was a bit constipated, something I thought might be related to the leftover New Year’s Eve rosemary roast potatoes. It might have been the potatoes — or for that matter, the rosemary — but Bonnie was an unhappy pup. Which made us unhappy dog parents.


These things never happen during veterinary business hours. I had no way to know if it was a genuine (potentially deadly) blockage or bloat (though bloat is uncommon in small dogs) … or just a normal backup during her digestive rush hour. After considerable soul-searching, we decided better safe than sorry and packed her off to the Doggy ER, about 20 miles away through some of the most labyrinthine and unlit roads in the commonwealth.

Night vision isn’t one of the things that improves with age. There aren’t many things that do improve with age, but vision in general is definitely not one of them and night vision in particular. I don’t like driving at all anymore and Garry is only slightly happier about it. But he will do it because he is Garry and he does what he has to do. It’s a thing.


Floating flakes

This was a job for the GPS. However, the GPS is a Garmin, made in Germany, and it is not at it’s best in rural areas where its internal maps seem to believe roads exist in places where they are not. But these illusory roads are on a map, somewhere, and Garmin will send us there. This can be funny, but at night, with a sick dog in the car and limited visibility, not so funny.

It was snowing very lightly. Big, soft flakes floating slowly and gently to the ground. Not enough to make the road disappear. Not heavy enough to be of much concern, but not a big help in navigation, either. We did eventually find the hospital. Find the ER. Get Bonnie in. And then, we waited. Like a human ER, the most serious cases go first, and Bonnie seemed stable and in fact, was apparently a really big hit with the doctors, who popped out periodically to tell us she was doing fine and what a charming girl!

Floating clouds

Floating clouds

Yes, indeed. By the end of the waiting, it was nearly two in morning. Bonnie was beginning to look downright chipper. She had been given some doggy Sennacot, an x-ray, a gentle probing, and some basic blood work because her liver is a bit big. They also found that at some point, she was shot. With a bee-bee, clearly visible under her skin. Not infected or anything. Just … there. No idea who shot her or when, but I suspect the nasty neighbors.

When we came out, finally, it had snowed a little. Mostly, it had snowed over the hospital parking lot because there was no snow anywhere else. When we finally crawled out of be this morning, it had snowed here too. Less than an inch. Nothing worth shoveling or plowing, especially in view of a prediction more snow tonight into tomorrow. Thus far, the big ones have been up in the hills, or down on the coast, giving us the “miss.” I do not expect this pattern will last, but I can hope.

These are pictures I took this morning as the flakes were floating down. Pretty. I wish I could appreciate the beauty without dreading the shoveling and plowing and slipping and sliding.

Bonnie is just fine, thank you. And they gave us six months to pay off the bill.

41 thoughts on “CLOUDS AHOY!

  1. Six months to pay off the bill.., that was nice of them. Those Pet ER visits can drain ones purse really quickly and there doesn’t seem to be a decent insurance plan covering pets either?


  2. I know that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when a fur baby has something and they cannot tell you what it is. No matter how the weather conditions or what the time is, you go, go, go. Battling through blizzards, icy roads, until you arrive. Relief settles in, be it the early hours of the morning, when you find the reason, and then go on the return journey. Glad that Bonnie is better and that you made it in one piece. We have our next excursion to the vet end Janurary for Tabby jabs, but it is a known fact and not so far away. Hope Bonnie makes a complete recovery.


    • Thank you. A long drive in not-so-good weather in the dark, late at night over dark, winding roads… yeah, not our first choice either. Poor Garry likes driving less with each passing day, but someone’s got to do it and it’s kind of obvious it won’t be me.

      Bonnie is better, but there are a number of questions involving liver function and underlying causes. We know WHAT happened, but we don’t know why. Always very worrying. We are hoping whatever it is, it isn’t life-threatening. It doesn’t seem to be. She’s basically okay. No fever, heart, breathing … all good. But her liver is enlarged and she has a high liver and white cell count … which may be nothing. Or something. We’ll get a new panel of blood tests next week and if they show up normal, we can breathe easier. If not, then we have to try and find out what’s really going on.

      One way or the other, it’s going to be nervous worry time around here until we know. It’s good you understand. It helps.


  3. I used to have a Garmin GPS and it is no better in navigating here than there. I now use Siri on my iPhone and she is not much better. With Siri, you have the ability to change the voice from female to male but his directions are usually no better than hers. My wife likes to argue with Siri but that does no good, either. We once asked for directions home and she/he wanted us to drive to somewhere in Ireland. We might have enjoyed the drive but were not prepared for the change in weather. As for Bonnie, I’m glad she is doing better. The last time Lynn was constipated, she was given a gentle probing, too, and was also a really big hit with the doctors. 🙂


  4. It’s bad enough when the dog is sick, but to then have to find the doggie ER at night, in bad weather, is definitely not fun. And it’s even worse if you get to the doggie ER with your very sick dog, only to find a note on the door that the doggie ER has moved to the other side of town. And then you call the doggie ER for directions to the new location, only to be told they can’t take any more emergency patients because they’re booked up. Say what? So then you go to the second doggie ER, all the way across town again, and by then the poor dog is too sick to be saved. Been there, done that, still cry about it. So glad your doggie ER visit had a happy ending – I know some of your visits have gone differently in the past.


    • We’re lucky we are within driving distance of Tufts because there are very few doggy ERs in the region. Tufts runs the two good ones in Massachusetts. We used to use the one in Boston before we moved out here. But Bonnie still has elevated liver levels and a high white blood cell count, so something IS going on. We’ll have to run more blood tests next week and if that stuff hasn’t come back into the normal range, we’ll have to do some of those really expensive tests. I’m hoping they will come down of their own accord … which has happened to ME several times. So far, so good. She’s definitely perkier today and she’s eating and drinking, though not eating much which is very unusual for Bonnie. I’m trying not to worry because worrying doesn’t fix anything, but it’s hard to take my own advice.


  5. She was shot?! Oh my goodness. How awful. I have had Teemu, my cat, at the emergency vet–nice of them to give you 6 months to pay. They are great but they are not cheap.


    • I’m also VERY glad Bonnie is OK. Otherwise, havoc would be reigning here!

      It isn’t so much the GPS that’s the problem, though it’s habit of routing us on roads that probably haven’t existed since Revolutionary War times can be unsettling … but the lack of decently lighted and marked roads, even to what around here would be considered major highways. They spend millions on fixing up the roads but won’t spent a couple of hundred to put up a sign so you know where to turn. OR a light so you can actually SEE where the road is. It’s a problem all over the state, even (maybe especially) in Boston.


  6. I’m glad Bonnie is OK…. minus the war souvenir. You should see if she can get a Purple Heart…

    I read that mapmakers have a copyrighting trick of adding fictitious features to obscure (read: rural) parts of maps in order to be able to see when their work’s been plagiarized. Maybe that explains why you have so many ghost roads in your area…


    • Maybe. But I think some of these were roads … like 300 years ago. How they wind up on modern maps is baffling. You can sometimes see where there was a road … really, a dirt path … obviously not used in a loooong time judging by the big oak trees growing in the middle!


    • Us too. Even though it was costly, we would not have slept for worrying overnight. And though it turned out to be not serious, it could just as easily been very serious. It’s hard enough to know when it’s a person who can tell you what’s going on, much less a dog who just looks miserable.. But she does seem to be fine. Not eating much, but otherwise okay.


        • Yes, it was scary. The back roads around here are completely unlit and very twisty. And mostly, unmarked. I don’t understand why this area is so bad about putting up signs, but we are infamous for it. We had to depend on the GPS which has a rather whimsical view of travel. And it absolutely has no idea where you are if you are in a parking lot or anyplace that isn’t an official road … and sometimes, even if it IS an official road. This is the first area settled by Europeans and our roads are a weird mishmash of old cattle trails, post roads, and highways that you can only get to by bizarre local routes. It’s not so bad during the day, but at night with a sick pup, we weren’t laughing.


          • I can imagine. The lanes around here aren’t lit either and signage is hit and miss. I don’t trust GPS though, not after some of the routes it has tried to send me…


            • I rarely use the GPS, but at night when neither of us can see — and the signs are more miss than hit — we’d never have gotten there otherwise. It has tried to send us through swamps and woods and across long-ago washed out bridges, so we distrust it too. A GPS works best around cities and in suburbs. And on major roads. You get out into the country and your GPS is even more lost than you are.


  7. I am very relieved to hear that Bonnie is OK. I know she is not a young dog and I’d hate for you to lose another one so soon after the others. I’d heard something on the news about lots of snow in the USA but the major falls seem to have given you a miss this time.


    • So far the snow has been everywhere BUT here. Eventually, it will find its way to us, but I’m happy for every day we don’t get any.

      Bonnie was not her usual happy self. I think maybe no more roast potatoes! She’s almost 8 but she does look older. She isn’t, though. We’ve had her since she was a tiny pup, so she hasn’t lived anywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

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