When I left you, I was wailing and gnashing my teeth about my dog’s health and medical bills. Probably less than an hour after hitting “publish”, the phone rang. I saw “Simsbury Veterinary Hospital” on Caller ID and my heart sank. I was due to come pick River up within the hour, and the fact that they were calling me could not possibly be good.
I answered. ”Hello?”
“Cari? This is Dr. Potter.”
“Hi, doctor. How are you?”
“Well, I’m a doctor who has a dog here with a hundred and seven temp.”
My knees nearly buckled. My eyes immediately filled with tears. 107? Oh my God. They hospitalized her at 105, because that was almost seizure-level. They were worried that taking her off IV fluids may possible re-elevate her temp, which they fought to get down the 103, but all the way to 107?
“Oh no. Oh no.” It was all I could say. We were going to have to put the dog down today. Provided she survived long enough for me to get to the vet.
There was the briefest of pauses at the other end. Then, “What? No, that’s good. 100 is normal for dogs.”
Then, slowly, “Wait. What did you say her temp was?”
“One hundred point seven. That’s perfect.”
Then my knees nearly gave way again, but for the opposite reason. Somehow, as mysteriously as it came on, River’s fever broke. The doctor said that she was now standing, spry, and had chewed out her IV in a clear sign that she was ready to come home.
Tearfully, I thanked the doctor, hung up, and grabbed my coat to go get River.
I sent a brief text to my mom, who, when I told her the day before that I was a sobbing mess, hopped on an airplane and was flying from Tennessee to Connecticut to come help me. Eight people with the flu. One dog on death’s door. A daughter at the end of her rope. Moms do what moms have to do.
“River’s fever broke!!!!!!!! Going to get her now” was my hasty text to her.
I drove to the vet, where I was reunited with a glossy, energetic, joyful dog. They still have no idea what was wrong with her, but I know that it was all your prayers that helped cure her. So thank you so much.
Then, as if that wasn’t good enough news, as if having a mom hurtling in the air towards me to come help wasn’t good enough news, my brother texted me asking if he could help out with the vet bills.
There’s a scene in Lilo and Stitch that makes me tear up every time I see it. Not because it’s a tear jerker on its own, but because it explains the concept of “Ohana”. Whenever stuff like these past two weeks happen, my dad always says to me, simply, “Ohana, Cari”.
In fact, years ago, when we were going through some other crisis, he sent me a note that said, “Ohana means no one gets forgotten or left behind”, and I carry it with me in my wallet all the time.
Thank you to Pack Leaders Pet Rescue, who took up a collection for River. Thank you to the people in Arkansas who were with River at the beginning and were so concerned to hear that she was ill. And thank you to all you who commented and emailed your prayers and well-wishes. Truly, I am richer than I deserve with my Ohana.