Thursday, April 26, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #297

Nancy White Kelly

Poor Midget! She came of age this month to have that little operation. We knew that when we bought her. In fact, the breeder would not even consider selling her unless we signed papers that we would have her spayed. Don’t know how legally binding that contract was, but we honor our word. Besides, the senior Kelly family doesn’t need a litter of tiny Chihuahuas. For that matter, neither does the junior Kelly family. They also have a Chihuahua, as well as two-year-old Micah, and that precious newborn, Noah.

We have always been satisfied with our veterinarians. Our primary residential vet was booked up for over three weeks. The second one we called didn’t bother to return our call. I couldn’t remember the traveling vet’s name though I used him once before and liked him. I called a newer vet in the area. I had been to that office once before when we had a tape worm scare with Midget. Turned out to be false alarm. The breeder graciously warned us two weeks after the adoption that another pup in the litter had them.

The receptionist told me the price for neutering was $97 and, almost as an afterthought, said, “That includes anesthesia.” My mind reflected on the oddity of that statement, but I said nothing. Who would ever consider an operation without anesthesia? Sedation was just understood.

On the morning of the surgery, I arrived at 7:30 a.m. with Midget in tow. She had no idea what was ahead. Neither did I. The receptionist asked if I wanted a battery of blood tests for $72.60. I said no. Did I want an x-ray for $57.50? Again I said no. EKG, $47? No.

This was getting ridiculous. But the real kicker was when she asked me if I wanted Midget to have a pain shot after the surgery? Well, of course. Then that would be an “extra $18.00.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was this an option or extortion? It wasn’t so much the money as it was the principle of it. How absurd to put a pet owner in that position. Pay or your puppy suffers unnecessary pain. I gave in and agreed, but not before letting my position be known.

That afternoon I picked up Midget. Was she ever glad to see me. I paid the bill, including $5.20 for clipping the nails while asleep.

Other than getting her stitches out, I seriously doubt that this vet will ever get another dollar out of us. I don’t begrudge the man making an honest living. I just begrudge what I perceive as the gouging of the unexpecting.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Journal of the Living Lady #296

Nancy White Kelly

We have been waiting almost nine months for the phone call. When it came, wouldn’t you know that Buddy would be no where to be found.

“We are on the way to the hospital,” Tori said excitedly. “The doctors are going to try to hold off until 2:00 to give grandparents time to arrive.”

I looked at my watch. It was 11:30. Where was Buddy?

I called his cell phone. Some strange lady answered. I apologized for the wrong number and punched the tiny buttons again. The same young lady answered. I am not the jealous type. Yet, the thought of another woman brought a brief laugh. Then I spotted Buddy’s cell phone on the kitchen counter. It was recharging. So much for cell phones.

Buddy had a standing appointment for a routine blood test so I guessed that he might be at the hospital. I picked up the land phone and dialed. The operator quickly transferred me to lab registration.

“Is Buddy Kelly there?” I asked. This is an emergency…sort of.” Because of the new Hippa regulations, I was pleasantly surprised that she offered to check. Nice lady.

“We had a Hiram Kelly” here at 11:30,” she offered.

Doggone. I had just missed him. Where else might he go?

Since I was still in my pajamas, I took a break from my search for Buddy. Baby or not, I had to dress. My birthing clothes were in a special section of our closet waiting patiently for this occasion.

In the midst of dressing, I called a friend who was in a near-by hospital recuperating from knee surgery. Yes, Buddy had been there earlier, but hadn’t said where he was going next.

I tied my shoes, applied some make-up, threw my night bag on the couch and headed outside. Dixie was grazing in the backyard. Baby or not, the horse had to be put up.

Dixie is easily lured with a little sweet feed. She followed me back to the pasture. I hooked the gate and tied it with a rope to be certain it was as secure as Buddy would want. Next I put out a large bowl of water and food for Midget, our Chihuahua.

I tried to think of all the places Buddy might go. The drugstore. A friend’s house. The hardware store. Buddy is well-known for his non-stop gabbing. He could be holding a listening stranger hostage… anywhere.

Trying to make good use of fleeting time, I gathered Buddy’s medicines and razor. He wouldn’t leave home without those. An extra pair of jeans and a shirt went into the backseat of the white car. I was hoping that this was the car Buddy would choose to use. He is the family “safeologist” and is adamant about having good tires. Would he want the white Mazda or the red Kia? We didn’t have time to measure tire tread today. Eeney, meaney, miney, mo. In the Mazda we will go.

The clock seemed to be ticking at double speed. It was 12:15 already and Buddy still wasn’t home. It was a decision I had to make. Do I leave without him and possibly prevent him from participating in one of the more memorable moments of our married lives? Or do I wait a little longer and take a chance of missing the event myself?

Midget sensed my unusual, anxious mood. She continually ran around the house in circles. She stopped so quickly that I could hear her little feet skid. Midget turned and ran to the back door, barking hysterically. What a relief. That usually meant somebody was in the driveway. Sure enough. It was Buddy, the soon-to-be paternal grandfather, who had no idea that he was so desired.

In less than ten minutes we were on the road. We arrived only five minutes before the maternal grandparents. They came from Warner Robins which is much further from the hospital. All our hurriedness was for naught.

Tori had a C-section at 6:50 p.m. Noah Samuel Kelly entered his bright new world unaware of the life-time of love awaiting him from his family. Tired, but elated, we all celebrated as the bell rung in the nursery signifying a new arrival.

All is well. We are home again. Buddy is taking a needed nap and I am about to join him. Slumber and birth are always best when shared with the ones you love.