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20 October 2011

The Perilous Adventures of Hershey the Aptly-Named Chocolate Lab: Part 2

(Continued from the previous post, "The Perilous Adventures of Hershey, the Aptly-Named Chocolate Lab: Part 1". Be sure to read that post first for the back-story.)

Waking several hours later, I got ready for the day and woke my son Nelson so he could help me get Hershey to the veterinarian. Though I knew my wife would want to go with us, she'd been sick and I hoped she would be able to recover by staying in and drinking fruit juice, etc. Throughout the morning, as I had done the night before, I prayed a prayer that would've been totally understood by my six-year-old self years before when my dog Astro had died: "Lord, please let Hershey survive. Please heal any internal injuries."

Because I've become so spiritual, you see, I realized that that was a very selfish prayer. You know, the kind we're not supposed to pray. God would probably not give me the thumbs-up on it unless I added, "...for Your glory." Knowing that He would very likely not be fooled by me putting a spin on my prayer, however, I decided not to say that. I'm a little embarrassed by all this, but in retrospect I realize this is exactly what was going on in my head.

It was pitiful to scoop up a large, helpless dog who'd been running and playing only a couple days ago. It was physically and emotionally difficult getting him into the van and then from the van into Countryside Veterinary Hospital, only a few minutes down the road. I've learned throughout life that not only do our pets die long before we do, but often the end comes unexpectedly. I was bracing for that with Hershey; I wanted to be prepared.

He was gotten into an exam room quickly, and as my son and I left I dreaded what the doctor would tell us after he'd had a look at Hershey. I was still recalling the deaths of all the pets I'd lost in 42 years of life, and my mental preparation for this event wasn't really working.

I'm not sure I can describe my surprise when I answered the phone an hour later and listened to the doctor say, "Hershey wasn't hit by a car. He's been shot."

We jumped in the van and headed to the vet, and sure enough, the X-pays revealed two bullets in Hershey. One had hit him in the left front elbow, shattering the bone. The other was in his right rear leg but had not hit the bone or any vital organ. An X-ray of the bone in his front leg is below.

(I'm not going to describe the angry, vengeful emotions that stormed into my head at this point, but they were not pretty and were not becoming of a follower of Jesus Christ.)

It was an instant relief to hear the doctor say that he would survive. I'd been afraid that Hershey was so old that ANY serious injury would result in his being put to sleep. Have I mentioned that I'm a "glass is half empty" person?

We were told that we'd need to take Hershey to Veterinary Regional Referral Hospital in neighboring Decatur, AL if we were to have the bullet in his elbow removed and the bone repaired. Our other two options were to have the leg amputated or -- you guessed it -- to have Hershey put to sleep.

Any self-respecting adult at this point would begin to see dollar signs and try to begin balancing money and love for a pet. And that's what I automatically did as we thanked the doctor, gratefully petted Hershey (who'd been in remarkably good spirits the whole time in spite of being in obvious pain), and loaded up to head to Decatur.

Hershey would not be put to sleep.

To be continued...


John King said...

I am so thankful Hershy is going to be ok. I too prayed. As im sure others did too. When we are in a desperate situation, we dont think completely clearly. Emotions good and bad go by so fast it can make your head spin. I honestly belive this. When we pray. God already knows are prayer. He also knows are heart. Thats the "key'. examaple..I might say something to you in anger, but you know my heart. I think this is human. To vent. I agree we should ask for the prayer to glorify God. Sometimes emotions can make our prayer sound like Charlie Brown as you wrote in another blog. But God can hear it clearly. Lastly, now that the worst is over, im sure you thanked God in prayer. Also tell him your sorry for your thoughts during the time. Were not perfect. Your glass maybe 1/2 full or 1/2 empty...Its still has water in it. Fill it up. That will truly glorify God. God will punish those who sin against him, and others. Its not for us to take action by revenge so to speak. However, I would be watching out for any trouble do to this. Satin will not quit until your glass is full. luv you brother. Please dont be so hard on yourself. God....and your friends and family....we know your heart...

Anonymous said...

John, I love your comment, "Your glass may be 1/2 full or 1/2 empty... it still has water in it." That is awesome. And you are right, we do need to "fill it up". :)


Lydia said...

OH MY GOD. Who would DO that??? I read these out of order and I am horrified that someone would hurt an animal.

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