Okay... imagine this. You're in the car park of the Animal Emergency Clinic, about fifteen kilometres from home and it's four in the morning. Your dog, after shivering and panting in pain on the rush across town in the middle of the night, is now running full pelt around the car park, you hanging onto the leash and running behind her, so your tugging doesn't pull her off balance.
Yep, it's day four after the cruciate ligament surgery.
You check on Penny in the night and find her in lots of pain. Ring the University Clinic where she had her surgery (many, many kilometres from home). Tell them her symptoms. Maybe you should go to the nearest emergency clinic, the voice on the phone suggests. You decide to go to the one you have the most respect for. You drive there, resisting the temptation to run the red lights (and resisting the voice of your companion urging you to do just that).
You arrive there, carry her in, put her on the ground, oh so delicately, and she hurries across the room, wagging her tail, to greet the nurse. What??? She seems okay. But then she's not so good. She hurtles across to the door and you go out with her and she races all over the place, hopping along at top speed on three legs, crouches and out comes a flood of urine. Whew! The trip was worth it even to achieve this.
Inside to tell the nurse she seems a lot better. Then she's off again, hurtling along the footpath and onto the grass of the nature strip.
And then, it finally happens. The Great Poo. Twice. Oh, the relief she must feel at getting something moving after five days! We can relax now, having read that it's only after five days that we should start to worry if there is no bowel movement.
The vet nurse tells us we can stay in the waiting room for fifteen minutes to see if Penny's fine. The staff have emergency cases in the hospital that take priority over Penny.
We wait until another nurse comes out to greet a new client who's vomiting blood. We thank the nurse and head off home.
Tired but happy.