Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Exhibit B

Cowboy almost died. It started when he sneezed and blood shot out of his nose all over my friend Ann’s living room. I was there alone, as I was dropping Cowboy off for Ann to babysit while I went out of town. I grabbed my phone and called Ann, frantically explaining the situation. Unfortunately, Ann’s biggest fear in life is being wrongly accused of a murder and going to prison, so as I scrubbed the blood from her hardwoods, I broke the news to her that if she’s ever accused of murder and the cops show up and turn that light thing on her floors like in Dateline, they’re going to see all kinda blood in that room. And to make matters worse, it’ll look like someone tried to clean it up.

Dateline Guy to Cop: What’d you see when you entered the house?

Cop Being Interviewed by Dateline Guy: You could tell she’d tried to clean it up…nothing to see from the naked eye, but once we turned that light thing on, we knew we had our killer. Blood everywhere

Then it’ll cut to a shot of Ann frowning as she enters the courtroom. And I’ll be in the background on the courthouse steps holding up a sign reading “INNOCENT!”

Three days later as I applied mascara in my bathroom, Cowboy had a seizure at my feet. By the time I pulled into the vet’s office seven minutes later, he’d had two more. I left him there for observation, and when the vet called and told me he couldn’t walk and his eyes were rolling in his head, I was in Kroger and hence broke down crying in the peaches section. I called Ann since she is madly in love with her dog, too, and would understand my emotions. “He…he…can’t…WALK!” I cried as I threw some quinoa in my cart.

That night the vet let us take Cowboy home with plans to get him to a neurologist as soon as possible. (Yes, there are dog neurologists and they cost nine billion dollars.) That night, Benson and I slept in our downstairs guest room since Cowboy couldn’t climb the stairs. He looked like a crazy dog with his eyes all rolling around. Like the dog you’d see at a shelter and be like, “Well we know we don’t want that one – looks like he’s about to start chewing off his own leg or something.”

"What's he got, rabies?"

“What’s he got, rabies?”

The next day he still couldn’t walk. Benson and I drove him to the neurologist, and get this – they came out with a stretcher for him. My labradoodle was on a stretcher. Thus ensued an internal dialogue – I’m the kind of person who owns a labradoodle and is paying for him to be wheeled in to a dog neurologist on a stretcher. Syrian children are starving and my labradoodle is on a stretcher. He looks so scared though…Oh God, PLEASE SAVE MY DOG!

Once we got checked in, the neurologist laid out our options. Most of them included an MRI and thousands of dollars. Then Benson had a grand idea – “Can we just treat all the possible problems with medicine and skip the MRI?” Bingo! We left with enough medication to treat a stroke, ear infection, brain swelling, and a few other ailments. If he had a tumor, we’d be out of luck either way since, though I am a somewhat irrational person, I would not pay for my nine-year-old hound to have brain surgery. On another positive note, they had decent reading material…

Cat Fancy

In the end, Cowboy didn’t die. He acted totally wonky for a week, still stumbles when I throw a ball too high for him and he tries to jump to catch it, poor soul, and can’t walk as far as he used to, but we’ve still got him.

And if Ann is ever wrongly accused of a murder (or even rightly accused, I suppose), hopefully the attorneys will submit this post as exhibit B so that I won’t have to spend my Sundays visiting her in the pen and can instead spend them taking this guy on (slightly shorter) walks…

Cowboy

Categories: Pets

6 replies

  1. I love Cowboy Ledbetter

  2. Sorry about Cowboy. All dog owners will be able to relate. We love our pooches.
    Hope he stays okay!

  3. Aww. Poor Cowboy.

  4. I’ve had some tough times with vet neurologists with my last dog. It’s totes true about how exorbanent the cost can be – and even finding one in some parts of the country.

    The thing is, God have you Cowboy to take care of. It wouldn’t have been right not to at least try to find a way to help him. Yeah, it wasn’t cheap, but that money wouldn’t have saved all the starving children in Ethiopia. You did what you felt was right and took care of one of God’s creatures. (Plus, don’t even get me started on the effects of voluntourism.)

    Feel better cowboy!

  5. We had a dog with these same symptoms and thought he had a stroke. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease, commonly called “Old Dog Disease.” http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/oct/old_dog_vestibular_disease-11847

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