That Time The Unholy Trio of Rain, a Crazy Dog, and a Slow IV Gave Me a Panic Attack


I would still classify it as a “minor” freakout, even if “minor” meant me storming into my house, yanking Happy’s leash off and throwing myself on the couch faster than the jiggly IV bag I was attached to could settle.

It’s just that it’s a rainy weekend and I knew when the rain was going to hit because I’d been watching it like a hawk on my weather app all week–weather impacts migraines, so I stay on top of that kind of stuff.

Anyways. The rain meant that it was important to walk Happy earlier than normal so I walked him early this morning and when R.J got home from his GRE exam he walked him too. I had left early this morning to spend the day with my mom. Since I normally do a bag of saline when I wake up I tried to get one in before I left. My infusion center decided to test a new, longer needle this week and it’s been messing with the flow of my port. So the infusion that was supposed to take an easy half hour started to look like it would take at least four hours.shittodo

So obviously I was like fuck that, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and was out the door.

I didn’t get back to the house until late in the afternoon and getting out of my car in front of the house, I could feel the barometric pressure dropping. I quickly got in the house, said my hellos, and hooked myself back up to the bag of saline.

R.J and I were supposed to leave in about an hour for dinner, so, again, I was staring at my IV like…well,what are we going to do with you?

Happy wanted to go out, so I let him outside in the very small area outside our back door to pee. He did, and then came back in while I hopped on my computer and infused.

Ten minutes went by. Then Happy stood in front of the door, barking.

I put my hands up. “I’m attached to this thing,” I said to him, helplessly. “Nothing doing!”

He sat down and stared at me.

“I’m serious. I can’t take you out. You just peed. R.J just took you for a walk an hour ago.”

And stared.

“Jesus, really?”


I could see through our back windows that it was starting to drizzle. If I didn’t get him outside now he probably wouldn’t have a shot for the rest of the night. And since I can’t hold my own bladder for more than an hour, I don’t expect my dog to either.

“Fine. Fine” I picked up my IV pole, shortened and tried to squeeze close the legs, which wouldn’t budge. Slipped on the closest pair of shoes (my fabric slippers) and got him on the leash.

Outside we went… and it just all went to shit.

First it was just the mechanics of the thing. Walking around with my IV pole, trying to keep it high enough to actually keep functioning was difficult. Then trying to pull Happy away from the myriad of things he likes to sniff (maybe eat), and pee on added to the balancing act.

Then trying to keep him on task when he saw the first dog–I kid you not–about a mile down the road–that was trying.

Happy doesn’t have a harness, just a collar. Happy also doesn’t seem to be affected by tugging, choking, or strangulation via this collar. Not that I WANT to do any of these things to my miniature poodle, but he is 23 lbs of steel when he wants to run somewhere.

Got him away from the first dog.

“CONCENTRATE!” I shouted over the barking. It was starting to rain now.

He tried to get back on task. Really, I think he did.

But then the second he went back to sniffing—–dog number two comes out of the woodwork! And then I’m being spun around, my tubing tangling with the leash. More rain.


“Not today!” I said to the woman who owns one of Happy’s little bicheon girlfriends. Like maybe it wasn’t obvious that the girl in the rain with the IV pole and the hysterical poodle didn’t want to have a playdate today.

Ok. we managed to get ourselves turned around and back a corner. At this point I was just focused on getting us back home. Forget a productive walk. It clearly wasn’t going to happen. Happy could hold it. Let’s just get back home alive.

And then the black dog. Now I’m not saying my dog is a racist…

Suddenly he walked on two legs, fighting against his collar. Reaching pitches not remotely in his natural vocal range. My IV yanked against my chest, I almost dropped the pole completely trying to steady us. And then I started losing it.


I’m not proud of the moves I pulled trying to get him to stay the fuck still and stop trying to attack this harmless, barely larger than him, black (AND white) dog. I dragged him, barking, all the way back to the house and shooed him in the front door.

I slammed myself down on the couch, fuming,wet, probably not having infused more than a milliliter of saline.

I did eventually manage to get off the couch and get my shit together. The next day we bought Happy a harness which so far is working well. For me, not for him. In fact today he slow-walked through the rain in what I’m pretty sure was protest.

And he did just slide under the table, across the coffee table and into a remote tray and a salt shaker…so…

Does anyone know a good dog trainer? Or would anyone like to walk upstairs to grab me my Xanax so I don’t have to lug this IV anywhere else?






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