We had Dipstick at the vet shortly after dawn. The barium trace visible on this morning’s x-rays confirmed a blockage of his small intestine. Deb and I quickly made the decision to go ahead with surgery and, after hugging him a long time, we left him in the kind and capable hands of the young veterinarian and her staff.
That was hard. If you’ve been through this sort of thing with your own critters, you get it.
The call came just before 1pm — Dipstick was out of surgery. All reportedly went well. The vet removed the source of the intestinal blockage, a small chunk of rubber of indeterminate origin.
Maybe it came from a chew toy, or maybe he picked it up off the ground somewhere. We’re curious to see what it looks like. (They saved it for us.)
Obviously, we’re relieved. The ‘Stick isn’t out of the woods, but Deb and I are breathing again.
He’ll rest and convalesce at the clinic over the next 48 to 72 hours and will be monitored to make sure that his GI tract resumes its normal function. We hope to bring him home to Ernie on Friday, perhaps as late as Saturday.
Scout, by the way, definitely misses her little buddy. She’s a canine empath like I’ve never seen before. Right now, however, she’s delighting in having our full attention for the first time in six years.
Naturally, our two-night stay here will become seven. Everything down the road to Arkansas gets pushed back, too. We expect to take the same route with roughly the same layover time.
It looks like we can make that work.
Y’know how Facebook does that whole “memories” thing? Well, yesterday Deb was auto-reminded of a photo she’d shared five years ago. Originally posted by a page devoted to images of Montana, the scene was a log cabin in an idyllic setting — one of those wish-I-lived-there shots.
It was captioned, “Dream Cabin, Polebridge, Montana.” Back then we had no prospects of ever visiting Montana, much less the settlement of Polebridge.
She showed me the image and we smiled, recalling driving by the place exactly two weeks earlier. It’s on the west side of the North Fork Road just before the right-hand turn toward the Polebridge Mercantile. I got out of the Jeep that afternoon and snapped a couple of cell-phone pictures.
At the time, neither of us remembered a five-year-old Facebook photo. It’s striking, though, that I shot from a similar perspective.
Trivial as it may seem, this simple experience characterizes the journey we’re on. It took a symbol and made it real. We once saw a picture of a faraway “dream cabin” and, five years later, we were standing in front of it.
We didn’t plan that. We didn’t go looking for the place. And yet I contend that it was no coincidence.
The way I see it, we get moments like that when we set our lives up for moments like that. It’s intentional. It only seems like serendipity.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.