This morning I took Mina to the vet for an EKG. That's right. A dog EKG. A procedure necessitated by the fact that during her yearly visit last week they detected a heart murmur, something that appeared inexplicably and suddenly, they said. But I knew. I knew that the moment our child burst forth from my womb, that tiny dog's heart began beating abnormally because she felt her world alter ever so slightly. She understood, undeniably, that things would never be the same. Anyway, I figured dropping her off this morning would be a simple task, despite the fact that Mina hates the vet. Yeah, yeah, I know, your dog hates the vet, too! No, you don't understand. Mina wants to KILL the vet. Then she wants to pee on the vet's dead body and go out for a celebratory meal of tacos and tequila shots. Okay?
But I faced more than the normal dog jitters this morning. Upon checking in, I was asked to fill out some paperwork. Sure, standard, I thought. Until I got to the section that explained that "should your pet's heart stop beating" blah blah blah, the doctors could perform CPR which is "a sometimes very complicated procedure" that involves "considerable financial commitment" and so forth. And I didn't think much about it. I was like, "Alright, this is a dog that once ate a hot dog that was attached to a lit sparkler. This is a 10-pound dog that used to round up all the pit bulls at the dog park like a star rodeo cowboy and then sit in the sun and bask in the glory of her ultimate power. She's not going to die during an EKG."
And so I checked "No."
And I felt fine about it until the tech came out to retrieve Mina. As she dug her claws into the concrete floor and resisted his advances with all her might, I noticed a sticker on her chart. A large, bright orange sticker that read "DNR" in bold letters. Do. Not. Resuscitate.
I felt like the worst person ever. I mean, the worst. Who the HELL checks the "no" box? It was a decision I'd made based on probability and on my firm belief that the vet will nickel and dime you shamelessly, all the while making you feel guilty as hell for not brushing your dog's teeth regularly, and that you shouldn't fall prey to their evil tricks. Because, sure enough, like 4 million dollars later, you realize that, you know what? Maybe my dog didn't need her toenails professionally clipped.
So, when I checked my phone a few minutes ago and realized I had two missed calls, I knew that was it. Mina had somehow died during her visit this morning and they'd let her languish because I'm the asshole owner who said, "It's fine! If she's gonna die, let her die!" and then skipped off to get a cappuccino.
Of course, this was not the case. Mina's doing just fine, and according to J, who talked to the vet, she has some kind of "enlargement" resulting in "aortic widening" and "reverse blood flow," or something like that and needs daily medication, which, let me tell you, is going to be quite an adventure, but whatever. My Mina is fine. My little dog is alive and well. And yeah, the vets sometimes take you for all you are worth, and I hate that, but I will never check the "no" box again.