50. Sit, Stay, Call

Saturday July 4 2020

It’s occurred to me, as we anticipate the wonders of what July will bring, that I’ve been keeping this journal for three months. More than 23,000 words put together in a row to chronicle the ever-changing new normal.

I’m glad I started this and even more appreciative of my dedication to keep it going. My need to get these thoughts down are self-driven as this is a way to get things out before it gets too toxic in my head. With a highly sensitive personality, shit gets real faster for me than it does many other folk. And as an introvert, I’m loath to talk about it. Actually, I don’t know if that’s because of introversion. I’m not really sure why I internalize like I do, but suspect it has something to do with coping skills I developed when I was a kid.


I’m frustrated when I don’t have the resources to write, whether it’s time or energy that I’m missing.

So, I figured out why the Instant Pot isn’t working. Apparently, a part is missing – the steam release valve. It must have fallen off during cleaning, which has happened before. But it’s a deceptively heavy black knobby thing that bonks loud enough when it hits the floor. Somehow the stupid thing has removed itself from its post and defected without my prior knowledge. I spent yesterday morning with a yardstick going under all the furniture looking for it. It’s possible, if not probable, that the puppy found it and aided in its travels to another part of the house. It has to be in here somewhere, right? Too big for the puppy to swallow and it can’t actually leave the house, unless it was inadvertently put in the trash bin.

Even worse, I can’t find a replacement for the steam release valve online. Spent way too much time looking at various websites, as well. I popped an email off to Instant Pot’s customer care team for help, so we’ll see.

Independence Day falls on Saturday this year, which would be great timing for fireworks, if the celebrations weren’t cancelled. The CPA firm gave us Friday as a holiday. And because if I don’t show up, I don’t get paid, I worked extra time earlier in the week to still get the usual hours. I’ve was really looking forward to putting on comfortable clothes and getting things done around the house, with trimming dog nails near the top of the list.

Grooming day is a thrill for all of us.

I sit on the kitchen floor to do this task we all dislike. I wait too long and am too conservative with the clippers, which leaves their nails longer than they should be. Hitting the quick is painful for them and it makes such a bloody mess to deal with. I’m no professional.

I save Mike for last as he’s the most difficult. As a lean over him, I catch a whiff of something unpleasant. Not the usual smells. I’m familiar with all the undertones of the dog that is Mike. This is different, like infection or decay. As I check him over, I find a spot by his right ear that is weeping and pretty nasty looking. This isn’t a benign hot spot nor a puncture wound.

I call the vet, fingers crossed they can get him in on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend. I should probably have played the lottery as well because the call before mine was a cancellation. We get an appointment at 4:00.

Mike and Holly go to Brookville Veterinary, the puppy to Englewood Vet. It’s just another thing I choose to do to keep my life difficult. So we haven’t been to the Brookville clinic since the COVID changes and I totally forgot about their social distancing practices. I pull into a spot with a sign that says “Sit, Stay, Call.” Oh yeah, clients aren’t allowed in the building. A masked vet tech will come out and get your pet, then the vet calls you later with a diagnosis and recommended treatment. There are a few cars in the parking lot, all of them running with the air conditioners on during this 90-plus degree afternoon. Social distancing is hard on the environment.

Well, this is awkward. The only human interaction I dislike more than talking to people in a small room is talking on the phone. Ok, that’s not true, of course. I hate small-talking at large gatherings the most. By leagues.

The vet calls and says something like “this is weird.” Sure, I’m no stranger to that term when associated with the mighty Micron, but always alarming when coming from a veterinarian. She doesn’t know what caused the wound, but it is indeed infected with the bonus of being necrotic in the center. Maybe a spider bite, she guesses.

My dog rarely leaves the house anymore and it’s usually just to toilet outside. I hate when we don’t have a solid answer, because how do you know 1) that the treatment is appropriate and 2) make sure it doesn’t happen again? We have him on an antibiotic and a steroid, with a checkup in two weeks to see how it’s healing.

I also don’t know how long my dog has been dealing with this and feel bad that I hadn’t noticed before I did. So many excuses come to mind to justify – extra hours this week, Mike hides his pain, family drama with the bio dad, and other detritus. My geriatric dog deserves more vigilant attention.

To spin this positive, the vet techs trimmed his nails, so I got that done.

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