05 December 2010

Here's your brain on drugs.

Last night I found myself at the cement bar of a swanky wine restaurant. The inside is constructed of architectural wine barrels with a flying spaceship theme. We don't usually go there because the prices are high and the food selections weird. Usually we just go to Tacos Morenos. A little room where you wait for your tacos, they come fast, in a pink plastic bag and you drive away to eat them. Too messy to eat in the car. The owner's daughter is a champion lady boxer and there is hot sauce on the tables.

There were some guys sitting next to my friend at the bar, eating a pizza covered in lamb and a fried egg. You ever seen that, a fried egg on a pizza? Like that commercial about your brain on drugs? The guys had this look that I see around town, I guess you call it hipster farmer. I think I may have this look now, without even trying. I work on a ranch with big animals, and I don't always have time to change clothes. Such was the case last night, I just threw on my avant garde sweater over my work clothes and upgraded to my cleaner vintage Frye boots. I like to think I fit right in, and looked like I had arrived in a Hybrid Toyota Highlander.

One of the guys had braids and a patchwork ensemble, rolled up to showcase full sleeve tattoos. He wore his black ranch hat at the bar. I think you can do that if the bar has spaceship decor. Heck, the guy that was artfully arranging leaves on stacks of food on the other side of the bar wore his hair stuffed up in a rasta cap. They were nice and offered me some of their pizza, but I was scared of the lamb and fried egg. I did keep looking over sideways, because of the braids. It's like seeing the flipper feet shoes. You keep looking.

In the morning I was walking with the dogs out in the gopher field, on the edge of the coast. It's windy there, and one tent has been out there in the middle of the field, camouflaged with army colored tarps. Military chic is in this season. It seems like a rough place to live, out there in the field where the wind blows horizontal off the sea, but people live where they do. I think I saw the residents this morning, maybe the older couple trudging with daypacks through the wet scrub brush. The man had on a shirt like the fried egg pizza guy but his looked less ironic, and the woman had rumpled hair. We all didn't really look at each other, the dogs were running their fastest, beating the rain and didn't really notice them.

A few minutes later, another couple walked through with their lab, and I think they didn't notice me. I can say with certainty, I'm almost 99% positive they don't live out there in the tent. They had carefully placed hair, and moisture wicking hiking outfits. Maybe overdressed for walking around in the field. Maybe drove there in the Hybrid Toyota Highlander parked out by the road, on their way to brunch. All of us walking the dogs, just the same.

I was wearing what I slept in and sporty pants tucked into rubber boots. I was missing a dog. I almost wanted to tell them this. One is missing. Ruby has to stay home locked in a crate, and it makes me sad to walk with two out of three Team Small Dog. It shouldn't ever make me sad to watch them running through the field at top speed, but Ruby is the one that actually walks with me. We talk about stuff. We watch Otterpop's weird gopher attack method. Most dogs dig them out. Otterpop waits, poised, ears cocked, and when she hears one just below the surface, she dives into the mud mouth first. She never gets them this way, then has to spit out mud.

We did see Blue Heron. He's this giant bird that lives out there, if I could stand right next to him he'd come up as high as my boobs. The dogs stay away, they think his name is NoGustavo. I think he could probably eat them if he wanted. When sometimes he spreads out his wings to fly, they look as long as a truck with feathery, fingery ends. Usually he just stands out there, very still, on skinny legs with his chin beak tucked down. I think the dogs are afraid of him. We try not to stare.

When I got home, I unzipped Ruby's crate door and stuck my head in and lay it down on her bed with her. It doesn't smell too bad. I couldn't do this when she was possessed, she thought I was coming in to kill her. She's endured the vet a couple times now, everyone trying to help her leg not hurt and at the same time not hallucinate. I know it could be worse. When I wait around at the emergency vet, there is weeping going on behind the closed doors. They come out holding just a leash and wads of tissues and I step outside for a bit. Later I also step outside when the so called Not So Nice pitbull comes in, and no one can get the white hockey mask muzzle on. His man owner has a knife on his belt, and the lady owner rubs her face right up in his and tries to get him to calm down while the man wrestles him down. She has on really tight pants and boots that go up past her knees. The dog is going crazy with fear, but he weighs about 100lbs and has a giant mouth and the nurse is staying away. Outside seemed like a better place to be just then.

Today, Ruby's crazy eyes are done and she just lays in her crate, waiting for her leg to stop hurting. We move her box around the house so she can see us all doing our normal stuff. It was hard on the days she couldn't stop screaming, but now she's quiet aside from the occasional yelp of pain, and her brain isn't possessed anymore. Drugs can do that. Here's your brain. Crack the egg. And your brain on drugs. Put the egg in a pan. It sizzles. She still can't walk, but I think that will go away. Why wouldn't it? I think we can wait it out.


terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terry said...

It's heartbreaking to see them that way. Hope she is better soon.

Jodi, eh? said...

That's a beautifully rendered day you had without your Ruby. Sometimes beauty can be so sad.

Kathleen said...

Poor little Ruby. So sorry she is feeling so poorly. (my Word Verification word was kind of apropos for her: "criesis")

Lovely reading on a rainy day, though. Thanks for that.....

team small dog said...

Wow I hope your brother's dog is going to be ok!!! I feel bad taking up space at the emergency vet with xrays when there are dogs that got hit by a car that need to see Kim. But she is my favorite vet, as is one of her bosses, so we go at emergency hour.

She had a bad episode a while ago, it's like her leg just doesn't work and then she starts screaming and freaking out. I've figured out to keep the other dogs in a different room if we try to move her because they freak out and bark when she starts screaming like that. If she rests and doesn't move at all, she seems better. But as soon as she tries to move, it just hurts her so much.

I can't believe our neighbors haven't called animal services. When she screams for 5 minutes straight it sounds like we're murdering dogs in our house.

team small dog said...

The thing is, she actually had an ok day. She just lay very still and was very calm and ok to do that. She is ok if she doesn't move at all. I invited her out though, I thought we could move her outside to pee, and that was a very bad idea. She needs to not move because that's what makes her hurt.

We are doing ok. It's just what we do when we have animals. We have to help them get better.

Shawn said...

I'm so sorry - I just been through the same type thing. I came home from work and Hobbit (bichon) was screaming in pain. Vet gave him narcotics, steriods, etc. because they thought he'd damaged a disk in his back. Then a nerve running down his front shoulder. Pred was about the only thing that kept him on the planet, but that gave him pemphigus. And lots of narcotics and other pain killers. It was awful and it took a full year for him to recover, but he has and is going for his ADCh this weekend - we need one pairs leg. Take care of the little lady - she deserves all the pampering.

Anonymous said...

get well soon Ruby in the rough

we send many healing stella-kisses

corinne said...

I was just reading up on Lyme disease symptoms (seems like a good thing to stay refreshed on). Has Ruby been tested for it? Random lameness and pain are symptoms.

I hope she's pain-free and accompanying you on walks in no time.

team small dog said...

I haven't asked them about lyme, none of her doctors mentioned this, I will ask next time I'm talking to one of the vets. They are trying her on a new drug I think this week.