“OK,” I smiled before I shrugged into my coat and waved to the group congregated in a room at work. “I should be back in an hour or two. Call if you need me.”
“Hi, pretty girl,” I greeted Chienne when I walked in. We spent a restless night and I woke with a headache. She stayed in bed while I got ready, picking up her head to show me her open but very cloudy eye. I dutifully called when the vet opened, though I did so from work.
“OK,” I said with resignation when they told me 11:30 was their only opening though I asked for something a bit later. “I’ll be there.”
We walked in a bit early and were ushered to a small exam room. I sighed while the vet clucked and hummed and wasn’t fazed when he said he was ‘very concerned’ about the eye. He seems ‘very concerned’ about most things.
“OK,” I blinked at him and replied with my oft-used word when he told me to go immediately to the eye clinic.
“OK,” I said, forehead creasing with worry when he said it was glaucoma. The pressure was far too high, he told me.
“OK,” I said, feeling heavy with guilt and sorrow when he told me the left eye was blind and the condition was likely permanent.
“OK,” I whispered when he noted it would likely need surgical attention. They’d try medication first but by the time most of these cases are caught, it’s too late to do much in the way of prevention.
“OK,” I replied, my response barely audible, when he said there was a good chance it would affect the other eye as well. That pressure was elevated there too, though not as dramatically as the left.
“It’s not life threatening,” I stated, for the alternative was simply unacceptable. I’d taken in all the other information, uttering those same two syllables as I acknowledged that I understood. The vet touched my shoulder and confirmed that she would be fine and with a single nod of thanks, we sped across town to the clinic that was awaiting our arrival.
Her eye glowed green in another exam room, lights extinguished while a thin beam of light illuminated it. The specialist stared as he shifted, moving to his counter to change instruments so he could look some more.
“There’s no vision,” he said gently, regarding me kindly as I stood with tear-stained face and trembling hands pressed to Chienne’s coat.
“In either eye?” I asked, horrified, and he quickly shook his head. He explained pressures and chances of recovering vision and his tech began to administer drops and shots and some goo that would dehydrate her.
“I don’t want to leave her,” I insisted when he offered to keep her for observation and brought her home to put in drops and deprive her of water myself. We returned a few hours later and he noted some improvement. “It’s a blind eye,” he said, not unkindly. Then he outlined plans to put her under anesthesia and inject some antibiotic to reduce the ability of eye to create so much pressure. We have it scheduled for tomorrow.
“OK,” I said, looking up at him as I sat on the floor with my dog. We went outside and I looked into her one brown eye, the other cloudy and useless beside it. I was unable to blink back tears as I pressed a kiss to her brindled head while I whimpered words of love and apologies. She's across the room, more drops administered and pain medication swallowed, asleep in her chair. Conversely, I keep wiping at tears while I write of how I failed my precious puppy. But she had me for today - I never did make it back to work.