03 November 2005


Colin and I have been keeping an eye out in the grocery stores for a particular brand of soda called Pschitt. (Yes, it's pronounced just like you think it is, like the four-letter curse word in English.) Like Orangina, Pschitt is produced by the French. It purportedly tastes similar to Sprite or 7-Up. Of course, you can imagine the fun we've been having with puns on this brand name ("Wow, this Pschitt is great!" or "I'm drinking Pschitt" come to mind quickly.) We read about Pschitt in a France guidebook, and have been perplexed as to why we have had trouble finding it.

Little did I know that there was, in fact, a very specific reason that the beverage had been eluding us: divine intervention. God was waiting to send it to me as a warning sign when the time came. Alas, I didn't realize this until it was too late, but I appreciate His effort nonetheless! So, with a sigh of resignation, here is my tale of woe for today...

As I mentioned yesterday, I successfully made an appointment over the phone for Didge at a vet's office in a neighboring arrondissement. So, around 2 pm, we confidently headed to the metro and made it to our appointed location in the 6th with 30 minutes to spare. With so much time to kill, I decided to sit at the café on the corner of Rue du Cherche Midi and Rue de l'Abbé Grégoire and have a limonade at an outdoor table.

I've wanted to try limonade for a while -- it's not "lemonade" as the English cognate word would suggest, but rather a fizzy lemon drink. So, when the waiter came up, I asked if they served limonade, which they did. When the waiter returned, I got a bottle of Pschitt!! You can only imagine my delight! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera to document the inaugural glass of Pschitt, but hey, I didn't expect to need it at the vet's office!

I am pleased to report that it indeed was good Pschitt.

The longer I sat at that café, however, the more I started to feel weird about the impending appointment with the vet. I kept looking at that bottle of Pschitt and associating its crass English connotation with the vet's office, which was within plain sight of the table where I was sitting. At the time, I thought I was being paranoid, and that my mental creation of a "Pschitty" vet was just the overprotective mom instinct taking control of an idle mind.

Ignoring the bad-omen beverage, we went to meet the vet, Dr. Christian Rodriguez, at our appointed time. His office was off a lovely little courtyard tucked back behind a large wooden door, which was reassuring. We opened his office door and a little bell announced our arrival. Dr. Rodriguez was waiting for us, a middle-aged white haired man with glasses. (In appearance, he reminded me quite a bit of Frank Casa at U of M, but I like Frank a heck of a lot better than this guy!) Dr. Rodriguez asked me a couple of questions and looked over Didge's most recent vet records to familiarize himself with his patient's health background. Then, I confirmed that I was only in for a toenail trimming, as Didge is very uncooperative and snarly with this procedure. (Colin and I gave up cutting them about 2 years ago when it became a 30-minute wrestling match that usually ended in a draw.)

As usual, Didge bristled and bared his teeth when the vet started to clip his front nails, so he quickly decided to tie Didge's mouth shut with a makeshift muzzle. I went along with this -- despite my displeasure at how tight he tied the strings -- because I know that Didge will bite if you cut his nails too close. (His quicks are very close to the end of his nails, so he's quite fussy.) The vet hacked into Didge's nails, and in a matter of moments had cut them all. IN HALF.

As you might guess, Didge started to bleed because the vet cut so close. And while it's not unusual for Didge to bleed a little bit when he gets his nails trimmed, it is highly unusual for him to create pools of blood on the floor. The vet just kept getting paper towels and wiping it up, but Didge very quickly got blood on his hind end and tail. (Plus, the vet didn't have any styptic powder to stop the bleeding, which I thought was REALLY weird.) Eventually, he just wrapped Didge's foot up in a bandage and sent us on our way.

Within minutes of leaving the office, Didge's bandage was soaked through and I had a real mess on my hands. I decided that I could just resolve the problem by going to a pharmacy and buying styptic powder on my own. Goodness knows I wasn't going back to the same guy that hurt my baby in the first place!

After coming up empty-handed at three pharmacies in a row, I stopped in a vet's office and used what little French I had to explain the problem. (Didge was back at the apartment, since I wasn't sure the pharmacies would allow him to come in with me.) As luck would have it, the vet was Australian, and came over to speak English with me once I had conveyed to his tech that Didge had been bleeding for at least 30 minutes. He told me that I should bring Didge in if the bleeding didn't stop, so I headed back to the apartment to get him.

On the way back, I found a pharmacy with styptic powder. This only solved the problem until Didge licked it off, so I left a quick note for Colin and headed back toward the Aussie vet's office. Fortunately, I caught Colin in the stairwell, and we went there together.

There is a happy ending to the story, fortunately: the Aussie vet was really helpful and kind, and he patiently attended to Didge until he got the bleeding under control. In fact, Didge had the undivided attention of the vet and both vet techs. This vet, Bruce Peacock (cute name for a vet, huh?), comfirmed that the bleeding was a direct result of the toenails being cut "way too short" and that he would need some time to heal. After two bandages (Didge soaked the first one) and a shot of painkiller, we were on our way back home with Mr. Doo. (In case you're wondering, Didge literally grinned through the entire ordeal, as if it was no big deal that he had been butchered.)

We got Didge home safe and sound around 6 pm, and spent a few minutes washing the blood off of his side, tail and belly. He's curled up at the foot of the bed now with a blue bandage on his back left foot, passed out in normal fashion. Occassionally, I hear a belly ache from him as he changes positions, but that's par for the course with our boy.

There are two lessons to be learned from today:

Lesson #1: Dogs are better than people. If someone had gagged me and cut my toes off, I would have been ANGRY! Didge, however, gave the bad vet kisses the second the muzzle was off, even though he was still bleeding and probably in a lot of pain. Can you imagine how different our world would be if people had the same outlook on life as Didge? I thank my lucky stars every day to have such an amazing being in my life.

Lesson #2: When life hands you Pschitt, take it seriously.


At 4/11/05 21:38, Blogger Scott P. Shields said...

Pschitt!!! I cringe for Didge. I say go find that Vet and yank out his fingernails!


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