My dog spent five of the last seven days in the ICU, where they shaved a patch from each of her front legs for an IV and catheter. She had to have an ultrasound, so they shaved the right side of her ribcage. She’s had a fatty hematoma on her right side for the last few years, and now it’s showing and looks like her rib is out of joint.

After being on an IV and catheter for five days, she’s lost approximately six pounds, roughly twenty percent of her body weight. She is on codeine for pain associated with her medical condition, so she weaves and wobbles like a drunk.

It’s been super stressful, and has involved hand-feeding her bits of boiled chicken every hour or two as if she were some sort of furry infant. Last weekend, when the emergency vet was useless and she was clearly dehydrated, I woke up every hour to force her to drink a few eyedroppers of water. The ICU vet said it was probably the difference between organ failure and making it to Monday. Two-thousand dollars later, my dog looks like hell but she’ll probably make a recovery.

This morning, she’d finally gotten the strength to walk downstairs on her own steam. She stood in the grass and lifted her head to the wind, sniffing the air. She deserved a minute to enjoy being alive, so I put down the leash and sat with her for a few moments.

Cue the nosey neighbor, who stuck her head out of her window, threatening to report me for animal abuse. Apparently I’m neglecting the dog. No questions. Just bitchy shouting.

Happy Monday, y’all.