The Scooter Story – Christmas Eve 2008

The last Christmas we had with my mom, all the family decided to come to our house since my mother was no longer able to travel. Her cancer and chemo treatments left her mostly bed bound. So, my sister Tracy and her husband Randy along with their son Avery came from Atlanta and Kelly came up from Montgomery. We were all geared up for a low-key, quite Christmas with my mom.The big story this year was that Avery was getting an electric scooter for Christmas….not just any old scooter. This thing was like a moped! I was afraid my kids were going to feel slighted by Santa but there wasn’t much I could do.

On Christmas Eve, we noticed our dog Cool was breathing in an odd manner and it seemed to be getting worse over time. Cool was 15 years old and had been diagnosed the year before with congestive heart failure and was on meds for that. Luke and I figured this might be her time to go. Since she seemed to be struggling to breathe, we decided we should take her to the vet. I called and our clinic was closed. I left a message on their machine and waited for a bit, but no return call so we took Cool to the closest emergency vet clinic. After waiting for quite a while, we were taken into a room where someone came in to get information on what was happening with the dog. We explained she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the trouble breathing, etc. She took all the information and said the doctor would be in shortly. We waited and waited and waited. Then another girl comes in with a clipboard and papers. She explained that the doctor (whom we’ve not yet seen) said they wanted to keep the dog overnight, flush her with fluids on an IV, do some x-rays, etc to the tune of $1000 and that we must sign these papers stating we will pay that money now before they would help the dog. Well, we had a fit! The dog is 15 years old and has congestive heart failure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out she needs to be put down. Are they hoping to nurse her into 19 years?!?? After we basically ripped that girl apart, she said she would send someone in to talk to us. The doctor came in and said it would be against her orders if we took the dog home.  All the while, the dog is in my lap GASPING for air with a panicked look on her sweet little face.  We left.

When we got home, Luke immediately grabbed a beer. Now mind you, he’d already had several before we left for the vet. I took Cool into our bathroom and made her a bed on the floor. We brought the kids in to see her and told them she was very sick and probably was not going to make it. We let them say their goodbyes.  I also left Luke with her for a while. When he came out, I went back to her and stayed with her until she took her last breath. She made it less than 2 hours after we left the clinic.  Luke was extremely distraught. He found this dog when she was 9 months old well before he ever knew me. She had been his buddy for a long, long time.

We waited until the children were in bed before we would bury her in the yard. So, during the hours until bedtime, Luke continued to pound beers and also helped out with the pitcher of mojitos my sister made. By burial time, he was plowed. He went out into the cold and began to dig the hole while we waited inside. Tracy and Randy decided they would go ahead and turn in for the night. Kelly was up with me. Luke came in to get Cool and I went out with him to bury her. He took her over to the hole and whispered to her, “It’s been one hell of a ride, sister.” And he placed her in the ground….except she was already very stiff so the hole was not quite big enough. I held the stiff dog while Luke attempted to dig more. I thought Luke was going to break his ankle falling in that hole, jumping on the shovel! But, we got it done.

When we came back in, Luke, Kelly and I sat drinking for a few minutes when Luke looked at Kelly and said, “I think we ought to take that scooter out for a test ride!” I wasn’t about to try to stop them but I couldn’t watch either. They gently removed the bow and rolled that thing out the front door and down the front steps. I saw Luke hop on it on the front walkway and tell Kelly to get on the back. That’s when I closed the door and started to pace. A few minutes later, Kelly came in laughing hysterically. Luke soon followed with the scooter. She said she refused to get on the back but followed him down to the street and watched him take off and once he got nearly out of sight, she saw him lay it down in the middle of the road. All I could think was, “Oh my God! Tracy is going to KILL US!!” We brought that thing in and looked everywhere…all over it… and couldn’t find so much as a scratch! So we stuck the damn bow back on it and decided to call it a night.


1 Comment

  1. December 21, 2012 at 4:18 am

    […] Tracy and her family along with Kelly were here to be with Mama. You can read about that one in The Scooter Story. That was one fantastically memorable Christmas. But since then, it’s been just us. I needed […]

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