My phone rang in the car on my way to dinner on Saturday night. I recognized my daughter’s number and answered in happy surprise. “I think Nash swallowed a fish hook,” she said without preamble. Nash is her year and a half old, 100-pound German Shepherd. The little thrill I had been feeling deflated like a popped balloon. “I gave him hydrogen peroxide and he threw up some pieces of fish, but I couldn’t find the hook!” she cried. “And when I googled it I read that a fish hook almost ALWAYS requires surgery! Should I take him in?!”
“Well how does he seem?” I asked, worry for the dog competing with a sudden flash of irritation. Why can’t kids call when things are fine? Such a buzz kill on a Saturday night.
This twenty-two year old daughter is living on one of the most southern Florida Keys, doing marine research. The closest vet was forty minutes away. It was 8 pm and after hours. The math on emergency surgery was not good.
“He seems okay now. The hook was small, and brittle. Maybe it broke,” she continued hopefully. “We were fishing.”
“Yes I gathered that,” I said drily, pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant where I was meeting my friends.
“Maybe I’ll call my co worker. She’s an assistant vet. She might know what to do. I’ll call you back,” she said, hanging up before I could say anything else.
“Now why wouldn’t that have been her first move?” I said out loud to myself.
Mothers always seem to get the panic call. Which just puts us into a panic. Then the wretched children go on feeling much lighter, blithely unaware that they have dumped their troubles conveniently into the mom depository. I guess they need to connect to the home tree in order to calm down and think logically again. A sudden appreciation for my own mother snuck into my senses, with a faint waft of I told you so.
I parked and walked into the crowded bar of the restaurant. My friends hadn’t arrived yet, but I ordered a glass of champagne to steady my nerves. Although in hindsight, tequila might have worked faster.