(This was written late Tuesday night for submission to the Opelika Observer.)
I really never know what I’m going to write about until I sit down and start typing.
I wish I was the type of writer who had several articles on stand-by for cases such as this. It would be so convenient just to pluck one from my laptop and send to the good folks at the Opelika Observer. Sadly, I do not. Even if I did have one on stand-by, it’d be hard to find, because congress is more organized than the files on my computer.
Each week, my goal is to write about something educational, motivating, or inspiring with a touch of humor. That’s my goal.
Today, that is hard to do. My mind is focused solely on one thing.
Ruby, my 5 month old chocolate lab, is the most wonderful dog to ever grace these parts. Everywhere I go, people ask, “Where’s Ruby?” She is amazing in every way. I love my baby girl.
She was doing fine for most of the day on Monday. She was running on all cylinders. She had the pedal to the medal. She was being, what I have dubbed, “Hurricane Ruby.”
That evening, something changed. The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression. Before long, there was just a dormant cloud.
The dormant cloud settled her head in my lap for much of the night.
Prior to Ruby’s inactivity, she was sick a couple of times. She moped around and whimpered. I couldn’t get her to eat or drink, which is unheard of.
I knew something was wrong but assumed she’d just eaten something that didn’t agree with her. We’ve all been there. She only eats high quality dog food but has been known to find some odd makeshift edibles in the back yard.
She would be fine after a good night’s sleep.
Usually, it takes her a while to find a comfortable spot in her bed. Technically, it’s my bed but it’s hers. She just lets me sleep in it. This night was different. She balled up right next to me alongside my torso and didn’t move for the next eight hours. I had to poke and prod her a time or two to ensure she was still with me.
I expected her to have regained her hurricane status upon waking up. Sadly, this was not the case, so I wasted no time in getting her to Opelika Animal Hospital. I love my baby girl.
Thank God I did.
I still wasn’t overly concerned. All animals get stomach aches from time to time. They get sick, mope around a bit, and are back to themselves in no time.
She was being boarded, anyway. By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be in Michigan and will have already performed in Ohio. I just dropped her off a few hours earlier than originally planned.
As I was running errands Tuesday afternoon, I decided to drop by the vet to check on my baby girl.
When I walked in, they were getting ready to call me. Ruby had been diagnosed with canine parvovirus type 2, known to most of us as parvo. My heart sank and my stomach immediately began to ache. I felt so bad for her.
In case you’re wondering, she was up to date on all of her immunizations and received them all on time.
I had Chyna, my previous lab, for over 15 years. I had to put her to sleep on July 30, 2012. I was hesitant about getting another dog and didn’t think I could ever love another as much as I loved Chyna, but Ruby has proven me wrong.
By the time this article is published, I should know one way or another whether or not she’s going to pull through. Hopefully getting her to the vet in a timely manner will play to her favor. She deserves it, because she might just be the best dog ever.
We can do everything in the world to protect our babies but sometimes that is simply not enough. Life happens.
I feel so helpless. I hate being so far away. I hate that I am not with her, but the show must go on. I have bills to pay. Her stay at the vet for this treatment will likely be a costly one but one that I would pay again and again, because I love my baby and she loves me.
UPDATE: As many of you now know, she will make it. In fact, she is at home with my veterinarian right now. Now I can’t wait to get home to see my baby girl! Here is my update from yesterday! Please take a second to read it.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with 3 tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at email@example.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.