Saturday, June 6, 2009

toula's bloody nose

The other day I leashed up the lowdogs for a walk. Rather than going the predicatble way: down the street and to the left, I decided to be wacky and go down the street and to the right. I like to mix things up a bit. I'm wild that way.

So, we crossed the really busy street, rounded the corner, and aimed for an area where the sidewalk is bordered by low-lying dry grasses. Suddenly, Toula began sneezing.

This is not unusual, but on this day she immediately started frenetically achooing as if she were spasming. Violently shaking her head, she was flinging out giant globs of snot.

Toula is a skilled snot thrower, so I wasn't too surprised at this until I realized the snot was a particular crimson color. I knelt down to take a look and to my shock found a thick trail of blood streaming out her left nostril. She had inhaled something that sliced open the inside of her nose.

Now, I do multitasking for a living, so I instantly started mind-stacking how I was going to repond to this. It went a little like this:

First: don't panic. Well, maybe a little. Put Panic Level on Defcon One.

Second: Pull cell phone out of back pocket while holding one wildly flailing dog and restraining second oblivious dog who is pulling me toward a pile of some other dog's poo for a grand sniff.

Third: Dial veteranarian, made more difficult by a touch-screen phone that doesn't respond to fingers being jerked by two dogs.

Fourth: Utter "godDAMMIT!" when vet's office voicemail announces office closed 4 minutes ago, eliciting disapproving stares from older couple across the street. Say small prayer apologizing to God, and move Panic Level to Defcon Two.

Fifth: Briskly jog blood-snot-flailing and poop-sniffing dogs home for probable ride to pet hospital. Calculate likely bill from pet hospital and commence preparation for Explaining To Husband.

After putting the dogs in the back yard I grabbed a towel and held it to Toula's nose, swiftly realized this was actually suffocating her (oops), grabbed the camera to video-capture the event so I could inform the vet better, then realized as I pulled the towel away that she'd stopped the sneezing, and the blood was no longer flowing.

What the...? Was it the run home? The magic towel and almost-suffocation?

I grabbed a flashlight and peered up her nostril where I could see a little bit of bleeding, but that was all. Oddly, the blood flow had stopped as quickly as it had started.

After ratcheting my Panic Level back to Normal I decided to wait 10 minutes before making any further decisions. Ten minutes later both dogs were whining at the back door so I thought, What the hell? and grabbed up the leashes, started out down the street and had another go at the walk.

This time we turned to the left at the end of the street. I think there's something to be said for sticking to the status quo.