Small World

Still shell-shocked and recovering from “this what you get when you wear yourself out” respiratory virus, I drove to the vet’s office to pick up some painkillers and anti-inflammatories for Folly. I walked in the door only to see this 40-something, fat, hairy guy wearing one of those sleeveless, side-split shirts circa 1980-whatever railing at the two receptionists and a vet tech.

He’s shouting about someone not calling him back. He’s ranting about how it was easier for him to drive over. He’s going on and on about all this, interspersed with semi-apologies but still expressing how frustrated he is by the situation.

Then he says, “I just need to know how much it will cost to amputate my dog’s leg”

My breath caught. I actually could feel the tears welling up. There are very few reasons you’d amputate a dog’s leg.

A malignant tumor is one of them.

A part of me wanted to interrupt his outburst, tell him my dog has cancer too, but I didn’t. I just stood as close to the door as possible, silent.

When he finished his harangue and got the information he needed, he turned to leave. It was only then that he saw me.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, and I knew what he meant.

“It’s okay,” I said, “I undertand.”

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