I spent at least half of my day checking to make sure my dog was pulling life supporting oxygen into her lungs and expelling carbon dioxide into the air around her. Scout spent at least half of her day sleeping on my chest, providing me with the warm weight of her twelve pound body as aconstant reminder of what we could be missing.
Last night, after spending a fairly nice afternoon in the company of some good friends and charming acquaintances moving into our new home, we found ourselves shocked as Scout collapsed in my arms and stopped breathing while everyone sat amongst boxes and misplaced furniture, contemplating dinner options. Guy and I sprinted out of the door, our limp dog in his arms. As we charged through our little neighbor hood with frightened abandon, our friends searched for a veterinarian who would be open after 7pm on a Sunday. When we arrived at the hospital her eyes had rolled into the back of her head, her gums were white, and her tongue was turning blue and had shriveled up in the back of her mouth. I couldn’t feel her breathing ; terrified, I held her chest to my ear hoping to hear at least a faint palpitation. To my surprise her heart was beating wildly against her ribcage but she still wasn’t taking in any air and her extremities were cold to the touch. I was beginning to wonder if she would have brain damage from the lack of oxygen but to my surprise less than 7 minutes had passed by the time we bounded into the waiting room and handed the receptionist what looked and felt like a dead dog.
Later, after confirming that Scout was indeed alive and had been stabilized, we were told that she had spiraled into anaphylactic shock after presumably ingesting or being stung by a bee. Her blood pressure dropped to an unhealthy low and her airways were severely constricted. Case in point, she almost died. She would have to stay the night for observation.
We picked her up this morning and took her home and hand fed her white rice and cottage cheese. I lovingly doused her little pink antihistamine pills in crunchy peanut butter and let her lick my hand until she had eradicated every oily molecule, leaving warm kisses instead. And now I am laying in bed with my sweet girl and trying to not to think of a world where I could never smell her little popcorn feet or bury my nose in her tortilla chip ears or wake up with her pressed against the crook of my knee.