“Mom, you better come home. Your dog is acting weird,” said Laura. “The carbon monoxide detector was going off when I got home, and I found Music in the basement.”
“I’ll be right home.” Our dog, Music, did not like loud sounds. Laura figured out that the battery was going out on the detector, and was making noises just to annoy us.
When I got home, Music was sprawled out right smack in the middle of the kitchen floor sleeping. One of her curly ears was flattened out on the floor. I walked softly pass her and felt what I thought was a pebble on the bottom of my foot. I looked down, and I found another little pebble and another. I picked them up and looked at them very closely. I thought it was strange because I never saw such white pearly pebbles before. I threw them in the trash.
I cleaned the dishes, made up some snacks, helped with some homework questions, and thought about what to make for dinner. We always fed Music right about the time we sat down to eat. Music ate up all her food and drank her water without any problems. She wandered into the family room with her head resting on her stretched out legs while watching the rest of her family eat, talk and laugh at the kitchen table.
Laura scooped up some vanilla ice cream, and Music made her way over to where Laura was sitting. Music sat right next to Laura and stared up at her.
“Mom, what is that?” Laura asked.
Music’s face was all puffy right by her cheek bone. It looked as if something was poking out but didn’t make it through the skin. I realized that Music’s eyes looked a little sad. Had I been too busy and not paying much attention to her?
“Ouch, poor baby,” I said. I put some ice in a baggie, wrapped a little towel around it, and rested it gently on the swollen part of Music’s face. I didn’t get to hold it there for long because it must have hurt her.
“I don’t know what that is,” I said. “I wonder why her face is so swollen. I’ll take her to the vet in the morning.”
We went to the vet right after the kids left for school. Dr. S examined her face and opened her mouth.
“Did she hurt herself?” Dr. S asked me, while he looked at the ground.
“I don’t know. I know she was scared. She was home alone for a little while yesterday, and my daughter said she found her in the basement because our carbon monoxide detector was beeping. She doesn’t like loud noises.”
“Was she outside digging up anything?”
“It looks like she’s injured herself somehow. I see that she has broken off a few teeth right here, and that these teeth look broken too.” He pointed to her gum line.
“Oh.” I remembered the little pebbles. Those were teeth. “Yesterday, when I came home, I noticed what I thought were pebbles on the kitchen floor. Those must have been her teeth. The noise must have scared her so much that she tried to get into the basement, but the door was closed. I bet she tried to turn the doorknob with her mouth.”
“I’d like you to bring her in tomorrow morning. I’m going to have to get a closer look at those teeth.” Dr. S gave Music some pain pills and canned food.
After I dropped Music off the next day, my Mom and I ran errands. While we were at the grocery store, I started to wonder why I hadn’t heard from Dr. S yet, and my cell phone rang. It was him.
“We just got out of surgery,” Dr. S said as he let out a big breath. His words all strung together, and some of them didn’t make any sense to me. My hands started to get a little sweaty when I figured out what he was saying to me.
“I had to dig out 10 of her teeth on the one side. She broke off all of those teeth.”
My heart felt as if it had sunk into the pit of my stomach.
I went to get her right away. Her cute face looked a little droopy on the one side, and she had a squeaky cry. Music was so out of it from the medication. When we got home, we cuddled together on the sofa. She rested her head in my lap, and I petted her. We sat like that for hours. It’s what we do for the love of dogs.