I have been in Mexico long enough now that it takes a special event to remind me that I live in a foreign country. One of these opportunities came when our black lab, Chance, sliced his lip open trying to chew his way into the guy’s house when the New Year’s fireworks went off in town. To the vet we went!
The drive there meant Chance got to hang his big head out the window with his lips flapping in the wind. Once there it was just a quick turn around the saddles, a short walk past the case of cock fighting spurs, and into the little tiled room in the back. A quick glance revealed a few framed vet licenses on the wall, a cabinet full of medicine, a small fridge with a Santa Maria Strawberries magnet, and a metal table the size of a large dog.
Our vet was a young woman who loves animals enough to pet dirty ole’ Chance yet she wasted no time shooting anesthesia in his rear end. After succumbing unwillingly to the medicine he was lifted onto the table by another employee of the store. Knocked out dogs aren’t much different than bags of feed right?
I didn’t think could watch but I witnessed the entire surgery and saw the dirt and dead skin be replaced with fresh blood and antiseptic. It was fascinating actually. After some stitches (and shiny silver spray to keep them in) Chance was a new man. We asked if we should be feeding him more since his ribs were showing through his saggy old man skin the whole time. The vet said he was perfect and looked at us like we were crazy. It dawned on us later that for a dog in Mexico Chance is doing just fine with his two meals a day.
Chance was ready to go back to the car but this time it took two employees to carry his anesthetized body to the car. How, you might ask? On an empty feed sack. With his head flopping off to one side and his tongue sticking out. Poor Chances.
We paid on top of the prize fighting rooster accessories case and were on out way... antibiotics and worm pills for the other dogs in tow. We discussed if we should be taking worm pills with all the tacos we eat and started for home. Carrie remembered we needed gas about 5 minutes down the road. As she completed her u-turn she pealed out in the dirt for a bit of excitement, completely forgetting the dog in the trunk. When we got the the gas station he was crammed up against one side of the car, his eyes still closed. I moved his feed sack back to the middle and he was fine.
He didn’t wake up until we were almost home and wasn’t able to get out of the car for three more hours. Brock (age 6) asserted that he was still crossed eyed when he checked on him. Two weeks later I sat with my sharp fabric scissors and pulled out the stitches while Carrie held his head.
Chance is now a new man with a re-newed face. He still mopes around campus like Eeyore and though he will never remember his trip to the vet I will not. It was truly Mexican and I loved every second of it. I love this little town... vet and all.