The Beat Goes On


Past Christmas and into the New Year we decided it was time to ‘spay’ Matinee. Prior to the scheduled surgery we also noticed a lump on her tail and a small lump on her stomach. Oh no, I thought to myself. I fretted daily as I couldn’t help but think the ‘C’ word. We took her immediately to the vet and she was able to put our concerns to rest,

‘It’s just a fatty deposit on her tail’, she said. ‘As for the lump on her stomach, it is most likely an umbilical hernia, I will try to remove both during the operation’. Phew, that was a relief.

The day of the surgery I was more wound then Mattie. I had grown to depend on and love this dog and did not know how she would react to the procedure and anesthetic.

We dropped her off first thing in the morning and by mid-day were informed we could pick her up around 7 p.m.,

‘She’s doing great’ the vet told us over the phone. ‘She may be a bit groggy for a few days and she looks a little different as we had to shave her tail in order to remove the lump, but I expect she will heal fine’.

We arrived exactly at 7 p.m. to pick her up to find a very different looking dog. A rough collie with a shaved tail and stomach looks, how would I describe it? Pathetic? Sad? Unrecognizable? Next, we were handed ‘the cone of shame’ to put on her head to make sure she didn’t disturb the stitches. Add that to the shaved areas and she really didn’t resemble the regal beautiful girl we brought in that morning. But looks aside, she still could melt your heart.

That night she decided she wanted to sleep on the floor beside my bed instead of her crate. I looked down at this poor girl and noticed she was shivering. So there I was, grabbing my blanket and pillow and curling up beside her (spooning) on the floor. Now, if someone would have told me years ago I would be doing this, I would have exclaimed…. ‘No way, that’s crazy, I’d never do that’! Oh, how times had changed! At 3 years old she was a fast healer and never needed the ‘cone of shame’ as she never disturbed her stitches, even when the healing was itchy for her. Wow, my admiration for this dog grew daily. Her loyalty to me was bulletproof and she never ceased to amaze me with her intelligence and compassion.

A month passed and her fur began to grow back and finally she started to look like a real rough collie again. During this time we still had issues with the ‘money pit’ of a house we had purchased 6 months prior. It all started with sounds and scratching in the walls.

I told my husband who always replied,

‘I don’t hear anything, are you sure you’re just not hearing things?’

I thought to myself, right, I’m making this all up, just to bug you!

Men, listen up, never, ever, doubt your significant other when it comes to sounds in the walls!

Although I loved the 2 acres that came with the house, the house itself should have been torn down.

Let’s see, there was the time I was writing a paper for school in the spare room. Right at that moment I happened to look at Sigfried, our cat, in the hallway playing so cutely with a toy. He would take it in his mouth, and then whip it up in the air trying to catch it. I actually thought, what a great distraction for me as I walked over to him to identify what toy caught his fancy. Eek! That was no toy; it was a mouse! Yikes, I screamed like a girl and ran for the phone. Who to call? What to do? Where to go? All these questions were running through my head as I dialed my husband’s cell number. I once again sincerely had major doubts about having left our cozy 2-bedroom apartment to live in the country. Next, I looked down to see Mattie, who looked as if she was attached to my leg.

Thinking about it now, it’s funny, how such a little creature like a field mouse, can make us bigger animals run for the hills.

Oh boy, I thought about my husband, you better answer your phone!


© 2014 Paula Bilz. All Rights Reserved.


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