The picture on the right is Millie the first few days after coming home, about 3 pounds. The picture on the left is Millie--today at about 10 pounds and after the two murder attempts.
I had a gut feeling, you know, the kind that Gavin De Becker says to listen to: Get the heck out of there. I unlock the car door, shoved Millie
In my rearview mirror, I see that one man had hopped out of the pickup and is now standing in the middle of the road staring at my car because I had stopped —probably memorizing my personalized plates. Again (and yes I blame it on my dad) I turned around and stare back. Then I chicken-on out of there.
We drive to our next destination, a well-populated place near the dam, where two older women sit on a picnic table chatting and several older men stand in waders in the river--fishing. At this location, my thought is, we can use a sidewalk to meet and greet—easy peasy stuff. I put my window down, a couple of inches, lock the doors from the inside, get out of the car, pull Millie out and set her on the ground before I slam the door shut.
Where are my keys?
Where are my keys?
I pat my pocket, look on the ground, look on top of the car, look through the window in the seat, glance at Millie’s mouth (you know why) and pat my pocket again. No keys anywhere. Finally, I wonder if I 've left them in the ignition since I didn't remember hearing a ding. From the other side of the car, I see them in the ignition. What should I do?
- Call my parents? I was sure they were in the town I'd just left, shopping.
- Call my daughter who has a key, but she's about an hour away saving the minds of patients?
- Crumble to the pavement and cry? (Because I’m already screaming inside: NO, NO, NO.)
- Break the window? And maybe get arrested and have Millie go into animal Foster Care?
- Call my roadside service for a locksmith? Do I even have locksmith services?
I pat my pocket again and feel my cell phone. I know that number of my insurance company is in my contacts, but would I be able to call out from within the park? In the past, I could not. I make the call and get automation, but I’m still hopeful until I choose the number four and the call drops.
Millie is squirming and panting hard because we’re in the sun and she’s never been out like this before--in the world. At this point, I'm fairly certain, she has visions of fluffy pillows dancing in her head. This is my cue to do the “crumble to the pavement and cry” bit, but I take a deep breath, corral Millie and call again. The call goes through, I get a person and he says:
- Are you in a safe place? (Not psychologically)
- Is the dog out of the car? (Yes, but she’s overheated--do you even care?)
- Where’s your location?
- I’m having trouble finding the state park. (It's there.)
- I found it. (Told you so.)
We end our call and almost immediately I get a text saying ETA will be 11:30. It is 10:42 and I pray, “Let it be sooner”. Millie is growing hotter by the second, so we walk to the picnic table where the two women had been chatting, that is partially shaded and sit down. Even though the day is mild, it’s still too hot at the table, and I still need to use a restroom.
I decide that I have time to walk to restroom area across from the old fish hatchery if it’s still there (hasn’t been torn down). The problem is that it's a fair distance from where we are and I hate leaving my car with the keys in the ignition with my purse in the trunk, but I feel I have no other choice. We walk down the sidewalk, I’d planned to walk earlier, and Millie stops walking, just stops—won’t budge and gives me her wonky eye look (one eye (Maltese) stares ahead and one eye (Shih Tzu) stares at you sideways). Then she sits down and that’s it. She's not budging. I reach over and pick her up and say, “You’re right, this isn’t a good idea.” A man, in waders, walks toward us witnessing my comment and smiles. I say, “She wanted to carry me, but I said no.” I say something else, but can't remember what. He laughs, and we go our separate ways.
I carry her back to the car, stand there for a minute, then look up the hill. The museum! It’s across from the parking lot, up two small hills, over a highway, but I will still be able to see my car and can use the restroom. The only problem is, will they allow Millie inside?
Across the grass we walk. Millie stops to puddle. I pick her up to carry her the rest of the way over the highway and up the next hill. Halfway there, my asthma kicks in and I feel like I’m going to pass out. I wheeze as I walk into the museum. The lobby is full of children. I see a uniformed museum person sitting in the far corner and he sees me. I hurry to the left, to the restroom, but am stopped when a little girl says rather loudly, “I like your dog!” I smile and say thank you and proceed inside the restroom where it is surprisingly empty.
Before I leave the restroom, I carry Millie to the sink and run water in my hand trying to coax her to drink, she does not. I walk outside and sit on the first bench until a second bench becomes available (more shady and secluded) where I sit with Millie on my lap.
Her skin is hot, and she is panting. I’m worried. We sit there a few minutes until I get antsy and head back to the car. Once we're there, I walk to the same picnic table and sit again, holding Millie on my lap. She’s wants down and lies on the concrete.
I look at the water, the fishermen, the dam. I look at the trees, then the barbeque. That’s when I see it—someone had left a skewer behind. Why didn’t I see it the first time? I pick it up and take it to my car and bend it this way and that until I have a tool to open my door. As I’m sticking it through the opening (for the second time), in my attempt to unlock the door, I see a tow truck, three times the length of my car, pulling into the driveway of the parking lot. I rush to put the skewer on the concrete thing I'm parked against, hoping the skewer is not state park property because I’ve sort of ruined it. I wait for him to turn around in the small lot. It is now 11:15 a.m.
It takes two seconds for him to stick a device in the open window and unlock the door. There is NO DING when the door opens. I turn the ignition on and the AC, then put Millie inside her crate . I sign the forms.
After that is done, I give Millie a little drink of water (which in hindsight might have been the wrong thing to do). I put the AC on full blast, and we travel home. We’re three quarters of the way home, and I look back at her in the crate--she's frothing at the mouth. I freak and nearly run off the road looking back. She has puked and is wearing her traumatized look, the one that says to me: What was that? What am I supposed to do now? First time puking for her. She drools the rest of the way home.
At home, I wash her face and put her down on a pillow where she stays the rest of the day, not moving much, not eating or drinking. Around 8 p.m. she drinks and eats and proceeds to maul me. I am now hopeful she will be okay. For two days, she's a little weak, but eats and drinks. Poor Millie.
And that my friends, is how you try to kill your puppy twice in one week, although I wouldn’t recommend it.
(My apologies for the length.) (I am hating Blogger with all might.)