It was 1:30 pm on Christmas Day. I was headed out to open presents with our boarders for our annual Santa Paws Celebration. My santa hat was snuggly and warm on my head, I was all doody-ed up in my Christmas vest and my arms were filled with presents for puppies.
But when I arrived at the office, I was greeted by a kennel staffer with an injured dog. Roma had a puncture, and needed to go to the vet. Although it wasn’t a life threatening emergency, on Christmas Day the only vets that are open are animal emergency clinics. So we left the kids at home with their new toys, and DogBoy and I ventured off on our Christmas adventure of a different kind.
The lobby at Emergency Animal Hospital in northwest Austin was empty (whew), so we were hopeful that our wait wouldn’t be long. And let me just say that the staff there is wonderful! They are so friendly and accomodating. We’ve been to every clinic in town, and this place is one of our favorites for sure. But Roma’s puncture wasn’t a simple one, so we knew she would likely have to have some stitches. It had happened the day before, but with 106 dogs on the property, it’s tough to catch a puncture on a dark haired, curly coated pup. That is something I’m not proud to say.
Within minutes we were joined by a young bearded dragon who had had his eye taken out by his housemate cat. There was a sweet old golden right behind him who had just had her first seizure, although she seemed fine once she got to the clinic. There was the kitty cat who swallowed the lego wheel, and the sweet Jack Russell who was hit by a car. She got to cut in line, and understandably so.
Once in a room, the animals just kept coming in, all with worse emergencies than our little boarder. Four hours later, they gave us the estimate (ouch) and sent us home to wait for her surgery to be completed. Thanks to her mom signing up for our Healthy Pet Plan, her bill will be much smaller than the total that we paid to the vet.
We headed back to the kennel, and the puppies were still anxiously awaiting their presents, so the Santa Hat went back on and we got to work being elves. Our son Mason took pictures, while DogBoy and our daughter Gabby brought me the pups by ones and two’s to open their gifts. Santa Paws was pretty slim this year, but the pups who had gifts where happy to get out of their kennels for a quick treat and a belly rub!
At 8 pm, we finally got the call that our girl had come through the surgery just fine and would be ready to be picked up at 10 pm. We headed over as instructed and found her stitched up, cone on, and sleepy but ready to go. You know what they say: It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone! To make her feel better, we brought her home to sleep by the fire at our home. The kids loved giving her extra attention, and I was hopeful that the extra space gave her time to get used to the plastic cone around her neck…
Now that she’s back in our care, we’ll be administering round the clock meds until her mom comes home. That means I’ll be heading out at 10 pm each night to give her her meatball of meds so she can rest without pain and avoid infection. It is a small price to pay, knowing that our amazing team of dog lovers is there to take care of her the rest of the time.
Why would a pet care facility owner share all this info that may shed a negative light on us? Because we want you to know how we handle accidents and injuries, and the level and quality of care we give to your pups, no matter what day of the year it is.
Santa Paws pics (and maybe even a video!) should be on our Facebook page very soon.
Happy Holidays to all, and a Happy New Year too!
If you’d like to take a private tour, so you can see our facility and get all your questions answered, we’d love to show you around.