Thank you to ALL my awesome friends and family for rallying together and sending us glad thoughts last night. I truly believe in my heart that they are what brought that baby back to us.
I came home yesterday at 5 from a Disney shoot — in FULL DRAG MAKEUP, by the way — walked into my room, and she was perfectly fine. I took both she and Frances outside to squirt a clam, and all was gambolic and frolicsome. Almost immediately after she scampered out the door and peed, she started vomiting, staggering, and then collapsed. In all of 60 seconds, she went from a delightfully cavorting SASS MASTER, to a limp, unconscious little ragdoll. Thank christ my teenage son, Otis, was here with me — his calm, logical, stoic, Stonehengish nature surely saved the goddamn day AND our beloved poochie. I was an absolute mess — and remain so. I didn’t realize that it was possible to belly cry that hard for that long — so long and so hard, in fact, that the skin on my face is actually CHEMICAL BURNED from all the salt in my tears. Almost 24 hours later, I am still fucking traumatized — but also relieved beyond words.
Anyway, when I realized what was happening, I called Gregory and told him to rush to meet us and we called the vet and told them we were coming and to be ready for her. I then gently wrapped her limp little body up in a soft baby blanket and we left for the hospital — my son cradling her and trying to keep her conscious with tender kisses on her face and sweet nothings in her ear. All I remember of this drive, aside from the horrific 5 o’clock traffic, was telling Pearl over and over again, “Don’t go, honey. Hold on. Don’t leave us. Keep fighting. We love you SO SO SO SO much.” When we got there, as I was hurrying her inside, I could feel her dying in my arms. There are NO WORDS to describe what I felt in my heart at that moment.
They whisked her away to the emergency triage area in the back. And then, all there was to do was simply wait — and send love and light to our tiny girl as she fought for her life.
They immediately ran blood tests on her and found results consistent with anaphylactic shock, most likely sustained from the sting of a bee hiding in or hovering above the grass. Some of the results were so profoundly high as to not even register on their charts. The vet told us that she was in shock, had sustained liver damage, and was in grave shape — and that she should be immediately transferred to an actual animal hospital for further treatment. We packed her up and rushed her there, where we were told that she needed to stay the night for treatment, observation, more tests, hydration, and various medications (antihistamines and antibiotics).
When I saw her this morning, she looked much better and was alert. Now that he knew she would survive, the critical care doctor there told me that, given the results of her blood tests and her vital signs when she came in, if we had waited even another 15 minutes to bring her in to the vet, she most certainly would have died. I can’t even bear to think about it.
But, our girl is alive and still with us — the people who adore her and revel in her tiny form and sweet face a thousand times a day. I think I can pretty safely say that although I know everyone loves their dogs with as much ferocity as we do, there are NO DOGS I know of who have lips pressed against their faces as much as these dogs do. Between the five of us, it’s actually ludicrous. Two hundred kisses a day, AT THE VERY LEAST.
So, what I will say to you all is this. First of all, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your healing thoughts and good wishes. Even in our horror, we took great comfort in knowing that so many people were thinking of Pearl and shooting her love and light across the many miles. She remains in the hospital and I await word from them on when we can safely bring her home.
Secondly, that if you have a pet, you NEED to be prepared to deal with an emergency should one arise. We are exemplary pet parents because we work at it and are hopelessly devoted to them and love them and have made the decision to take care of them with every bit as much care, concern, providence, and preparation as our three non-fuzzy babies. We had them spayed, they are micro-chipped, they have all of their shots, they receive both regular medical and dental check-ups and treatment, they eat the very best and very healthiest food available, they sleep in and on our bed on soft, clean fuzzy baby blankets LIKE GODDAMNED QUEENS. They are adored, protected, and cared for every minute of their lives…
BUT… I did NOT have the phone number and address of an emergency veterinary care facility programmed into my phone — and the panic and fumbling that ensued as a result lost us precious minutes.
So, I am telling you right now — RIGHT THIS FUCKING MINUTE — to find that information NOW, and program it into your phone and into the phone of your spouse and children. It could quite literally make the difference between life and death — and if you are anything like us, the thought of our life without these two babies is absolutely unimaginable. I am looking out my back window even as I type this, and see about 5 bastard bees buzzing about — and it’s making me want to go out there and beat some SERIOUS bee ass. Fuckers. Forget their awesome, vital purpose in the natural world and my endless obsession with their history, myth, and archetypical allusions in both literature and art. BEES CAN SUCK IT.
Our little family — and especially Miss Pearl — thank you for all your love…and send it right back to you in droves. xoxo