Note: This is Part 2 to a two-part story about Olive the Renegade being adopted. Here is Part 1.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT!
I was so overjoyed at adopting Olive, this little bundle of cuteness, that I just HAD to have her sleep in bed with me the night I brought her home. But, unlike my other two chihuahuas, who dug themselves underneath the blankets and then would proceed to dig at the sheets with so much gusto that you’d think the friction may actually cause a fire, Olive preferred to sleep on top of the covers. At the end of the bed. As far away as possible. Because she hated us.
So there it was, the first night. The two resident chihuahuas all snuggled under the covers. And there was my little Olive, on top of the covers. And we all fell asleep. Most of us blissfully. One of us, cautiously.
And then it happened.
Around 4am I got chilly and yanked the covers up around my neck. Within a few seconds I heard a “THUD” and then heard myself utter the most horrible garbled scream I’ve ever heard myself make. But upon waking up a little more, I realized it wasn’t me who made that awful sound. It was Olive.
Who had just been catapulted off the bed and, because she weighed all of 5 pounds, flung rather hard into the wall next to the bed.
I should point out that, at that point, I had several years under my belt as an emergency and critical care veterinary technician. I’ve seen some of the worst of the worst when it comes to animal emergencies.
I should also point out that, when it comes to emergencies with my own animals, I become a blubbering, hysterical, useless idiot. When, a few years later, that 12-year-old, partially blind chihuahua, who was now 14 and more blind, started having heart issues and collapsed in front of me at home, all I could do was scoop her up and scream, “D-D-DOG….T-TRUCK…..HOSPITAL! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCYYYYYY!”
Luckily, Calm-ass Husband, who was then Calm-ass Boyfriend, somehow got what I was trying to spit out and, in true CAH-style, calmly grabbed the keys to his truck and then calmly ushered us out the door to his truck to drive us to the emergency room.
So after Olive let out that horrifying garbled squeal, I shot out of bed with a lightning-quick speed and saw her just laying there unconscious, with one of her pupils dilated. “Shit!,” I thought to myself, “head injury.”
I ran to my closet and grabbed the first pair of shoes I could get my hands on (not even stopping to put them on) and the first jacket I could find.
I was only wearing a mostly see-through nightie.
The shoes were soccer cleats.
The jacket was a military-style, army-green jacket.
I looked like a soccer-playing hooker who wanted to be an extra in Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video.
But I didn’t even care.
By the time I had grabbed Olive to go to the ER, she was up, but circling right, not left. My dog could not turn left.
She was fucking Zoolander.
We got to the ER not 10 minutes later, where I became the client that I always hated when I was working as a vet tech: the one who thinks she knows what you should be doing with her pet better than you.
Doctor: We’ve taken Olive back and put her in the oxygen tank.
Me: Ok, what else??
Doctor: Nothing yet at this point, I came out to talk to you.
Me: That’s it?? Fucking oxygen? Are you fucking kidding me? She has a HEAD INJURY and all you’re giving her is oxygen? SHE CAN ONLY TURN TO THE RIGHT! MY DOG IS FUCKING ZOOLANDER!!!!!
The doctor gave me a strange look, probably because she did not know enough about Zoolander the movie to know that Zoolander could not turn left when walking the catwalk, but enough to know that Zoolander was a movie about a male model. Which probably led her to believe that I was in some kind of delusion that made me think that my dog was a male model.
My outfit did not help matters.
The doctor did hurry back to work on Olive and, when 6am arrived, I haughtily announced that I was transferring Olive to the care of a friend of mine who is a veterinarian at UC Davis, where she would receive competent care by people truly committed to seeing her make a left-hand turn again.
I think they may have comped most of Olive’s bill, just to get us the hell out of the hospital. The details are fuzzy, I can’t remember.
I told you I get hysterical when it is an emergency with one of my own.
By the time I transferred Olive, she was doing significantly better. She had been given medication and hung out in the oxygen tank for a few hours. She only had to stay at the second hospital for a few more hours before they sent her home.
Where she promptly went under the couch and did not come out for a month.
I’m not even kidding. I had to put pee pee pads, and all her food and water under there.
She was understandably terrified of being thrown against the wall again. I’m pretty sure that, at that point, the triple-wide mobile home with 800 dogs was looking better and better.
But time heals all wounds right?
And look at my girl now, enjoying the trails of Marin County:
And here we are 5 years later, celebrating her new life with the family, having totally forgotten the ill-fated catapult incident.
And she saved me as much as I saved her. Because not a year after adopting Olive, my relationship of 7 years fell apart, and I lost the other younger chihuahua in the “divorce.” And on those dark days, when I did not even feel like crawling out of bed, Olive and that old, partially blind dog, Smidge (who JUST passed away last summer) were there to pull me out. Because it didn’t matter what kind of cess-pool of self-pity I was swimming in, I had to take care of those dogs. Which meant that I had to get out of bed.
Which meant I had to leave the house and work on being a whole person again.
Which led me to meeting the love of my life.
And when we got married two years later, Olive and Smidge were there:
So there is my and Olive’s story of horror, neglect, and leaving the house looking like a soccer-playing prostitute who aspires to be Janet Jackson in Rhythm Nation.
And for those of you wondering, Olive has learned to turn left again.
She’s also mastered Blue Steel.