Our children having grown and flown, our dogs are our children now. We have two beautiful toy poodles, Phoebe who is four and Lola who is nearly two. Lola is the smaller, weighing only 2.5 kilograms, just over half the weight of the average cat. They are lovely, bright, friendly, loving little dogs, who in spite of their small size are very good watchdogs. We go everywhere with our dogs, they mean the earth to us.
We have builders at our house at present, putting in a loft room. Last Tuesday morning my husband Colin, needed to tell the builders something so he climbed up the scaffolding to call them. On the way down his foot slipped and he dislodged a section of scaffolding that had been standing upright against the main section. As usual Lola was right at his heels and the scaffolding, weighing some 20 kilograms, landed right on top of her. I was upstairs on my computer when I heard an almighty crash them heart rending screaming. I ran downstairs shouting out ‘What happened? Who’s hurt?’
Colin said ‘it’s Lola’ then I saw her, her little body twisted like a pretzel, her head on one side and these screams coming from her mouth. I grabbed Colin’s fleece, which was the nearest thing on hand and wrapped her in it and we headed for the car. I didn’t stop to put on shoes, or take my handbag, or lock the doors. Colin drove as fast as he could to the vets – asking me continuously to check that she was still breathing. When we got there he ran ahead and told them what had happened so the vet was waiting. He took us into the consulting room, unwrapped her, said ‘she’s convulsing!’ Neither of us had recognized the strange disjointed movements accompanying her screams, not having seen them before. He said he’d put her on a drip and took her away, saying he would call us.
It was the longest afternoon ever. At four o’clock the call came – one of the vet assistants who said Lola was doing really well but the vet wanted to see us at 6 o’clock. Colin and I took the dogs (we had a friend’s dog staying for a few days) for a walk and came back in time to get to our appointment early. Neither of us felt like talking much – the vet’s summons sounded ominous. We were both sure he’d want us to make some sort of decision. On the way there we discussed that we had to do what was best for Lola, not for us.
When we got there, somewhat early for our appointment, the assistant said we could see her, that she was awake. There she was, looking very shaken, and attached to a drip, but very happy to see us. I held her on my lap in front of her cage and we cuddled and spoke to her. She seemed almost normal – it was hard to believe. When the vet came he said he was amazed at her progress, he had had to anaesthetize her and had given her cortisone and pain killers. He said she’d been X rayed and there were no bones broken. He said she wasn’t out of the woods yet but he was cautiously optimistic. He said they would see how she was overnight. He did say that it was easy to lose these little dogs – a sudden bleed to the brain could cause it. He said I could call them at 8:30 next morning .
That night neither of us slept much, though we both prayed a lot, as we had been doing since the accident. I remembered that on the Sunday, two days previously we had had a sermon on St Francis, whose saint’s day had been on the Saturday. I don’t think I have ever prayed to a saint before but I prayed to St Francis all night, to intercede for little Lola.
At 8:25 next morning , gathering all my courage, I phoned the surgery. The assistant said she had been about to call me. ‘Lola is wonderful’ she said – you can come and get her.’
Neither the vet we had seen first nor the one I saw on Friday when I took her for a check up could believe it – she seemed absolutely fine – no sign on any injury, no sign on brain damage, just nothing! She is a little diffident, and nervous near the scaffolding but that’s only to be expected. She seems to sleep a lot, perhaps a little more than usual, but that’s presumably her body telling to rest – she had the incredible trauma, plus an anaesthetic, both of which can put enormous strain on her little body. The vet said she seemed remarkably resilient – but we know the truth. It was a miracle.
Till next time J