(This was written a few years ago, repost by request...)
I just had the trippiest experience. Last night as I was coming home, I noticed a dog in the middle of the street. Big white dog, bit bigger than a lab, with a brown squishy face, and deep brown eyes. A group of teenagers were telling him to go home, but it just kept limping along. As I pulled into the driveway, he came over and was real friendly, wearing a busted collar, fixed with duct tape, and no tag. I told him to go home, but it just looked confused & whined at me. I thought hmm, dog medicine, what message are you bringing me today?
I went inside & called Animal Control, but just got the machine. I went for a walk, and coming back, the dog was in the middle of California street, about to get hit by a car! I hurried over, and took him back to my house. My neighbor said she had seen him wandering around the day before too.
I put the dog in the backyard, much to the cat's dismay. I gave him some water and cat food, which he ignored, much to my surprise. He put his nose in my lap and left the biggest puddle of drool imaginable. Yuck.
He had a sore on his leg, and kept shaking and then would collapse. I called Animal Control again, and this time got through, and they said they'd send someone right over. A few minutes later the dispatcher called back, and asked me if I would drive the dog over to the 24 hour vet/clinic in Soquel, since they were about to go off shift. Having nothing better to do, I said sure.
The dog hopped into the car pretty easy, but it was one BIG dog, and right away was spattering the car with drool. I mean, it was GROSS - I pulled a towel from the back to drape over the seat & hand brake, but literally, it was just streaming out of his mouth, in huge puddles along the dash, and my right arm.
Since it was around six, I didn't want to take the freeway, so I took Soquel all the way in to avoid traffic. Around Morrissey, I was just freaking on how much the dog was drooling, when I realized, it wasn't drooling - it was foaming. It was foaming at the mouth. Suddenly I remembered being told as a child never to approach friendly wild life, like a raccoon or squirrel, because it meant one thing. Rabies.
Yes, I was in a car, with a dog, with RABIES!
I had been talking to the dog all along, petting his head and reassuring it, and now I started singing. I knew if I went into fear, the dog would know and maybe bite me. Part of my mind was calculating how to pull over, stop the car, and get the hell out. Another part was so glad I just got my new health insurance card, and Dominican Hospital was on the way. I'd always heard that rabies shots hurt real bad because they do it your stomach.
So instead of going into fear, I went into love, and just kept singing to the dog, a little nonsense tune how if this dog was my dog, his name would be gazpacho. "Spacho dog, Spacho dog" I sang. He just kept drooling beyond belief, and looking at me with trusting eyes. He would sit up, and then collapse against me. I pet his head, thinking about how rabies eats the brain. Poor thing.
I got to the vet clinic, and Spacho tried to run across the street again. I took him in, and they said they would have to put him down in order to test for rabies. I went home and cried. Poor little Spacho dog. It was just a tangent in my day, but for some reason I was a part of his path, at the end of his journey.
Dog medicine: loyalty, friendship, trust. I'm glad I knew Spacho, because as a cat woman, I really wanted nothing to do with him at first, but now I am glad to have had a dog friend today, and to have been a friend in return.
(written in 2005)