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Posts Tagged ‘vet visits’

Three times a week, my 83-year-old mother drives from a north Chicago neighborhood to Gary, Indiana so she can help me get my dog, Brownie, to the vet.

Brownie (with Mom, on the right) must go to a vet in Valparaiso for laser treatments on the torn ligaments of her back right knee. She’s an extremely nervous car passenger, insisting on standing the whole way no matter how long the trip. This is accompanied by panting and drooling on my shoulder.

With a bum leg, that’s a hazardous arrangement. The Thunder Shirt, touted for its calming ability, had no effect. She foiled attempts to secure her with a leash and halter, getting so twisted up in them I feared she’d lose a limb to constricted blood flow.

So Mom sits in the back seat with Brownie and holds her steady if she wants to stand, or soothes her with petting when Brownie deigns to sit or lie down. That she sits or lies at all is because of the tranquilizer she must take well before the trip.

It was Mom’s idea to lodge an enormous velvet-covered pillow back there, behind the gap between the two front seats, which gives Brownie a little more support when she insists on standing to drool on me.

All the way to Valpo and back I hear her alternating between cooing words of comfort at the dog and little exclamations of “Ouch” whenever Brownie manages to step on Mom’s leg or lap. At the end of each trip, Mom is covered in dog hair and wants immediately to wash her hands.

She doesn’t seem to want me to thank her, although I do. She likes being needed, and she certainly is. I couldn’t do this without such devoted, caring help – the kind often given by a mother, if you’re lucky.

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