Monday was just a normal day for me. I woke up late, had lunch with Adrian, and then came home and started working. Ruby, my 5 ½ month old chocolate lab, was normal, too; she was wide open.
Late that afternoon, that changed. Long story short, I could tell she was sick.
After showing no signs of improvement after a good night’s sleep, I took her to my vet within a half hour of waking up. We didn’t sleep late on this day.
That afternoon, I found out that although Ruby was up to date on all her shots, she had parvo. It was not pretty and I was a nervous wreck. Parvo can be fatal, but I had hundreds of people praying for my sweet baby.
I had to fly early Wednesday morning to Ohio for a show at the University of Findlay. I also had to write my weekly article for the Opelika Observer. I also had a million other things that needed to be done, but all I could think about was my sweet Ruby.
Because of time restraints and just not wanting to be around people, I cancelled my flight and decided to drive. My GPS estimated it’d take me 11 ½ hours. No worries. I got this, even on 3 hours sleep, right? Right.
I sat down to write my article but couldn’t think of anything. All I could think of was Ruby, so Ruby it was…
It didn’t take long to complete the article and I finished around 12:45 a.m. and got it bed around 1:00. I woke up at 4:00 and was on the road at 5:00 a.m……in the morning.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I’d never make my 5:30 appointment at Findlay. I had failed to realize that Findlay, Ohio, was on Eastern Standard Time. The show wasn’t until 7:00 but I was meeting with a member of the faculty, Lori, and some students for dinner at 5:30.
I almost called Lori to let her know that I’d be late for dinner but on time for the show. I hate not being punctual.
I failed to take into account the Atlanta traffic, too. This was not going to be a good day.
None of this mattered, though. All I could think of was Ruby.
After about four hours on the road, I got a call from my veterinarian, Dr. Colley, who was extremely optimistic about Ruby’s prognosis. I immediately felt better.
He called back a little while later and said the she would most likely be going home in the next day or two. I was a happy man.
He called back again and said that since I was out of town that he would take her home and keep her there until I got back in town.
I was exstat, ecstac, esctact…overwhelmed with joy!!!
Thank God I noticed the warning signs very early and got her to the clinic in a timely manner.
If your dog all of a sudden becomes lethargic, won’t eat or drink, and has stuff coming out of both ends, get it to the vet ASAP! Time is of the urgency!
I still had a show to get to and still had a shot at making that 5:30 appointment. I hate being late.
And I wasn’t…I got to my hotel at 4:30, beating the GPS estimate by an hour.
I took a shower, put on my fancy clothes, sprayed on the smell good and met the good folks at Findlay for dinner at 5:30. I also found out the show was at 8.
Half way through dinner, Lori left the table only to return a few minutes later with a surprise and what a surprise it was!
Making the two hour trek from Cleveland to see me was my best friend from Basic Training and AIT. I hadn’t seen Jason in about 20 years, since our early days in Germany together. He also brought along his very lovely and very pregnant wife, Selma. What a surprise! Jason had contacted the school and they set that up. He’d seen my post about the event on Facebook.
I immediately put Jason to work as he helped me retrieve some of my junk from my car. As we walked towards my car, a gentleman approached us from behind. He asked, “Do you remember me?” It took me about half a second and immediately went in for the hug. It was my friend Marc from Officer Candidate School. I hadn’t seen him since we graduated from OCS on Jan 10, 2003.
I was so humbled that these two old friends drove to Findlay, Ohio, to see their old buddy tell some jokes. I am still humbled. It was special and I am very appreciative of their efforts.
Then there was the show and it went extremely well. It was a great crowd, no doubt about it. They wanted to laugh and that they did for about 70 minutes or so. I’m so glad I didn’t stink it up for my pals in the crowd.
After merchandise sales, autographs, pictures, and hugs, I joined two of the faculty members, Lori and Sharinda, and Jason and Selma for dinner. Marc had to get home to get ready for work the next day. The meal was fabulous and Jason even picked up the tab for the whole table.
Like I said, this day was perfect…
Never give up. Surround yourself with good people. Drive on and good things will eventually happen. You just gotta keep the faith.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.