Don’t get involved – Part 1

Before I delve into the real story behind this post, I need to give you some background information….  I am going to break it into 2 parts as it is probably quite long.


Son no 1 has just bought a house – in fact he and his wife have bought his mother-in-law’s (MIL’s) house.  Him and his wife decided to buy the MIL’s house and build a cottage on the property for her to live in.  The house also needs a little TLC.  So Son no 1 and his wife have moved back into the cottage on our property while the building work and renovations are taking place.  The MIL has moved in with a friend.


Of course they have had to bring some of their (and the MIL’s) pets with to live on our property as follows:


1 – A parrot called PERCY.  The parrot and I spend the day whistling at each other and is very cute.  I am determined to teach it to say the word PEANUT before they move out again (kids are determined to get it to say DOGS BOLLOCKS).


2 – A cat called SAM – Son no 1 and his wife got Sam as a kitten when they still lived with us.  Sam lived with us for about a year so he is familiar with the property.  He also gets on well with my cats.


3 – A dog called TOFFEE.  Toffee is a Labrador crossed with who-knows-what.  He is 12-15 years old and struggles with arthritis.  Generally has a good temperament but has definitely seen better days.


The other character in this story is my dog Buddy who is a cocker-spaniel – features in Part 2.


Now Toffee and Buddy sort of get on – they don’t romp around and play with each other, but then they are not spring chickens anymore.  Occasionally they have a little snarl at each other but there have been no fights (yet).


So this story starts off last week Thursday.  Toffee started yelping for no reason when she moved.  So I noticed she was not happy and I called my daughter-in-law – she is currently auditing a large banking institution and has been working till 10pm at night.  So I call her and explain the issue.  She then calls the MIL (as she is the legal owner of the dog) and then she calls me back.  She kindly asks me to take the dog to the vet – she cannot get away from work and the MIL lives a 30min drive away.


So Hubby is looking at me with those judgemental eyes and says “you are getting involved again….”.  I politely tell him to bugger off – my kids are working hard for a living and I will help out wherever I can.


So off I go to the vet – I don’t go to my usual vet as he is based on the other side of the highway – 5-10 minute drive but can take 30 minutes in peak hour traffic to get there and possibly 60 minutes to get back.  It is around 5pm so there will be traffic.


I go to my local neighbourhood vet who is based a few streets away – he is not my favourite person but I really don’t feel like spending hours in traffic at the moment.  He is not busy and we go straight in to see him.  He inspects the dog and informs me that the dog is very arthritic (nothing we don’t know already).  He is not convinced the yelping is related though and he cannot identify any other reason for the yelping unless he does a full work up of tests – this of course is going to cost some money.


So I call my daughter-in-law and relay the conversation – she then calls the MIL and then calls me back.  The dog is obviously getting on in years, the dog is struggling with arthritis and is obviously costing more to keep.  This is a bit of an issue – not a big issue but as they are a newly married couple and with the purchase of the house, finances are an issue.  So she asks for my advice – should they consider putting the dog down – they have been expecting to make this decision for a while now and they don’t want the poor thing to suffer.


I explain that I am not emotionally attached to the dog and I cannot make this decision or even offer any advice.


Now I don’t get emotionally attached to animals – I love my pets to bits, I am a responsible pet owner and my pets are very well looked after.  I feel sorry for the rhino’s and dolphins and all other living things, but quite honestly I am just not the sort of person who gets attached to animals.  (and to be perfectly honest I am just too busy – with bringing up 4 boys, managing Hubby and running a company, I just don’t have the time or inclination to create that special little space in my heart for them)


So by this point my daughter-in-law is sobbing her heart out.  They have been expecting to make this decision for a while now and perhaps this is the right time.  Let her go peacefully….


So I relay this to the vet.  He of course explains that he cannot take this instruction from me – in fact he will not take the instruction from my daughter-in-law either – he wants the instruction from the MIL as she is the legal owner.


So I explain this to my daughter-in-law – who is still sobbing her heart out.  She then calls the MIL and gets the MIL to call me.  I answer the call and the MIL is now also in tears.  I hand my phone to the vet for the vet to explain the situation to her.


The vet of course is not very diplomatic – he pretty much accuses her of not being a responsible pet owner and says she should be there with the dog and not me.  Now the MIL is sobbing uncontrollably and I can hear it from 2m away.  He then also tells her that as she is too emotional at the moment he will not take instructions over the phone either – she needs to put it in writing.  So this whole issue gets worse and worse and I am stuck in the middle.


All I wanted to do was help – the dog was not happy and I offered to take it to the vet expecting an injection or 2 and possibly some pain tablets – instead I walked straight into this whole drama.


Anyway, the vet eventually terminates the call with the MIL as he cannot understand a word she is saying as she is crying so much.  The vet and I then agree that the best line of action is to give an anti-inflammatory injection and perhaps a tranquiliser.  So the injections are administered and I take the dog back home.  The dog is now very drowsy and goes straight into her basket and sleeps for the night.


The dog wakes up the next morning and is back to her usual self – no yelping and now walking fine (so all that drama for nothing).


Hubby of course is having a quite little giggle and muttering “I told you so”.  Son no 1 wants no part in this whole issue – he too does not get emotionally attached to animals and tolerates the dog for his wife’s sake.


This is where I will end this post – go to Part 2 for the rest of the story.

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