It all started innocently enough. I woke up and began my birthday by driving the kids to school and going to work. After work, I got the kids back home and decided to do something completely crazy for myself on my special day. I decided to go to the gym.
Perhaps this is where I made my fatal mistake. By leaving the house. Or perhaps not. Maybe it was my stop at 7-11 on the way home from an amazing workout that was when it all went downhill.
Yes, I purchased some healthy items. But then I eyed the champagne. And bought it. And made plans to have a glass after all my night “at home” work was done. One should never make plans for oneself on one’s birthday. This, I soon discovered.
Just as I pulled in to my driveway, my son called my cell.
“Mom, where are you?”
“In the driveway. I’ll be right in.”
“OK. I was thinking about dinner and… oh wait. Why is there so much blood on the floor?”
“What the? Ummmm. Oh wow, there is SO MUCH BLOOD. I wonder… OHHHHH. Ummm Mom?”
“I accidently closed the door before the dog got completely in the house. It hit her tail and I heard her yelp but… oh look at all that BLOOD!”
There is a moment in your life when you find you have to make a difficult choice. Do you run like hell or do you throw yourself in to what will obviously be something very-very-bad?
Slowly, I reached for the keys and nearly turned the car back on. But then I stopped. Fate was staring me in the face and would still be waiting for me no matter where I tried to hide.
Indeed, it was time to face the music.
My son and dog greeted me at the door. Nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. With tail ferociously wagging, the dog seemed none the worse for wear.
Then I felt something wet hit my leg. And something else. And then something liquid began to pour down my leg. Looking further at the scene in front of me, the reality of the situation came slowly in to focus.
The dog? The end of her tail was stripped off on one side and bleeding. Funny things, dog’s tails. They bleed just like human head wounds. And apparently, the dog had been bleeding long enough to have run multiple times through every room of my house. Wagging her tail.
Do you remember the Saturday Night Live commercial skit for Big Red?
THAT is what a dog’s tail does when it bleeds. I am NOT KIDDING. AT ALL.
First things first. I had the kids take Emma in to the kitchen to minimize the blood spray around the house. The kitchen was already covered from the floor to the cabinets to the appliances. What’s a little more blood, right? I had to race to the neighbor’s for gauze and tape. Then I ran back, praying my night would not be spent in an emergency vet’s office.
My daughter stood in front of the dog with a huge spoonful of peanut butter. My son straddled the dog in order to hold her. Then I straddled the back of her, facing her business end. Catching the tail was a job in itself. Once secured, I wrapped, taped and wrapped some more.
About three minutes later the bandage flew across the room on another wave of blood. FAIL. The next flying bundle of gauze came a few minutes later. By now the dog’s breath smelled like she had recently killed and devoured Mr. Peanut himself.
“That’s IT. I’m using BAND-AIDS!” After all, what else would stick?
Seven twisting and turning Band-Aids later, the dog’s tail was secured and the bleeding finally slowed. With this blood-free opportunity, I hesitantly took a tour of the house. The bloody, bloody bloody house.
Every single thing I saw was covered in sprays of blood. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
With a bowl of detergent and water, I began scrubbing things down with a towel. The TV. The laptop. The floors. The walls. The pictures. The carpet. The backpacks. The shoes. The furniture. The lamps. The vertical blinds. Every surface of the kitchen. EVEN PARTS OF THE CEILING.
And then I took a look at myself. I even had blood down my legs and on my clothes.
Looking at the clock, I saw it was 11:00. I had not eaten, done my nightly chores or fed the other animals. Do I cry? Or do I laugh. It was my birthday. And I had cleaned up blood for the last few hours.
Can you guess what I did?
I laughed. And then I grabbed a piece of cheese, poured a glass of champagne, got in my bed, turned out the lights, raised my glass and spoke, “Happy birthday girl. Happy bloody birthday.”
The dog? She is perfectly fine. No infection, no more bleeding, and she now sports a furless area on her tail that she can brag about to the neighborhood pack. Now THAT is a good birthday gift, indeed.