You wake up to the sound of barking Standard Poodles since your daughter let them out to go pee at 7 AM nevermind you were up until 2 AM “working the business” and the squirrels were too much to keep silent about and you are still sore form two days of hockey in a row when you know your 50-oid body is on its downward arc but you still have to get up check the facebook page to make sure you are still relevant.
After the hot shower massage to reinvigorate you dress and grab the aluminum water bottle to fill with hot coffee since you left your Starbux mug at the office again and despite burning hand you check your mobile calendar and see it has morphed yet again to include more appointments criss-crossing the Greater LA area more than you’d like in a single day and you wonder when you will be able to get some more help.
Judy tells you that someone wants you to go earlier and that another pet owner wants you to come a little later but the in-house appointment wants you to be on time since she has an appointment she can’t miss so you manage to freeway think in your head with the help of the mobile traffic map that you could easily hit Studio City and then slide down the 101 to downtown and help a dog you are 95% sure will need to be dragged down the 10 to your office where the in-house clients are waiting.
After a tearful goodbye in Studio City you proceed past the Capital Records Building and you notice the large red “W” suspended among the old Hollywood hotel logos like the Knickerbocker and you imagine that letter stood for your name and is taking its rightful place among the stars but you shake that off and join the red tail lights and slip off at Broadway only to remember how lovely it is to park downtown for a housecall.
You recall many a downtown home visit trudging the cart with the too-hard wheels across the uneven sidewalks since you had to park blocks away at a meter forcing you to set your iPhone timer giving you exactly 50 minutes to conduct your exam, diagnostics and treatment and be back to avoid the ticket so this time you have to park at the meter again since Joe’s Garage does NOT take credit cards but the meter does (?).
After a bumpy stroll past puzzled business people, street people dog walkers and shop owners you arrive at the latest Office Loft residence and check in with the guard who knows exactly the unit for whom you are about to visit and taking the lift to meet a nice young woman in a wheelchair who has a dog barking in the bathroom.
The loft is very spacious with a nice view of other nice lofts and the woman tells you that the building is loaded with dogs for whom there is no local vet and as you ponder that issue you discover that the dog who is a service lab has chewed his crate and bones to shards and that’s exactly what you know you will find when you open his stomach.
The woman reports “Dude” (not his real name) the lab has not eaten for 36 hours and has had nothing but vomit and diarrhea all over the place and you think that’s no bulletin judging by the smell when you rolled your crap in and over his and then upon exam the chance that you were 5% wrong did not come to pass and soon you and the nice lady in a wheelchair are rolling Dude and your crap back to the meter in time to load him up avoid a ticket and head back down the 10 but not before some guy honks and says: “Dude” and you are wondering why he knows the dog and wow what a close knit downtown neighborhood where everyone knows each others dog’s name but you realize he just was trying to get your attention to get your business card.
You finish the spay for the lady whose Uncle took his last pleasure drive through your old rail fence and roses and shrubbery then the little Asian designer dog is resistant to pain meds howls while you are trying to examine two nice schnauzers but can’t hear the owner let alone the soft heart murmur in one of her dogs and of course the digital xray machine is acting up slowing you down as Dude sits in the cage awaiting bone and plastic removal by gastrotomy since his digital rads confirm the bones and the schnauzer owner eschews Animal Planet to watch Lifetime on the front room TV and you pine for the old developer and fixer tanks the used to have for radiographs and you realize you have become your dad.
Dude is spinning and Alex the tech is untangling the IV tubing after you had removed a large handful of sharp junk and sewed him up six layers from the inside and the young lady is happy and now you just need to find out what is making Dude so bored to ingest everything and it must be he needs more exercise when on the phone she tells you that you must’ve dropped your credit card you needed for the parking meter up in her loft and you tell her you will retrieve it later tonight since you have yet another tearful goodbye in Studio City and can swing back through downtown after you grab some legendary Italian food to go on the way there to end your starvation cause you forgot to eat
You enjoy meatballs and ravioli from heaven as you take the nighttime glance at your glowing red “W” once again and you wonder why it is so utterly common to go past the same route twice in a day and how odd ESPN radio is discussing how the Clippers are better that the Lakers right now and you say to yourself this all must be a dream and you drive down the 101 back to Broadway but this time it easy to park in the loading zone and get back your credit card in front of the nice lady lady who was so kind to roll out to the street and give it to you and you tell her Dude is doing well and you are heading back down the 10 to check on him
Your surgery patient a cup of bones and plastic lighter has spun an IV tubing web around himself since the sedatives and pain meds must be given again and you clean the doo off the Dude including the mystery piece of is it doo or is it barf sticking to the e-collar and as you write up his orders for tomorrow and his return trip back to Broadway you ponder when you will get some more help to really make this thing go wide since there seems to be so many nice people with a hard time bringing in their pets for healthcare you wonder how many suffer unnecessarily and how many you pass by on your way to Studio City or La Crescenta or Canyon Country or Lakewood and you come HOME finally after 1AM to two dogs of your own who need a walk only to bark at that one guy riding his bike past your house with the yard with half a new rail fence and shrubbery that woefully mismatches the old established side grown in with lots of experience in your dirt.