Gary and Sam and I were working in the garden this afternoon while Solomon lounged in the shade of a nearby cedar tree watching us. I was on my hands in knees, literally up to my elbows in dirt, planting watermelon, while Gary was nearby digging out rocks and building hills.
Then Sam said, "Hey Solomon? What's wrong boy?"
I looked up to see the dog pawing frantically at his mouth and gagging.
Garden tools were dropped and we surrounded the dog, trying to determine what was wrong. Blood dripped onto his paws. My heart stopped and I lost all power of objectivity (I'm actually good at this when it comes to the other other animals, but not when it's Solomon). Gary pried his jaws opened and tried to see if it was something he could get himself. Though he was clearly able to breath, Sol began to gag again and more blood came out. Gary began to panic (and Gary doesn't panic).
Gary loaded the 80lb dog into the car and we drove really fast to the nearest vet (not even someone we use often--largely because she's so very expensive). My hands were caked with dirt and I was dressed in a filthy pink shirt and sweats (Why is it that emergencies always happen when you're in your worst clothes?). Trying not to sound as panicky as I was (and probably failing), I explained my emergency and asked if they could see him. They agreed to do so, though I could see the raised eyebrows of the young vet's assistant when she looked me over.
After just a quick look, the vet spotted a stick wedged in the back of his mouth, behind his teeth (easy to miss, she said). Using a small pair of forceps, she quickly removed it and the gagging stopped. She quickly identified as one of those very common thirty-two dollar sticks that dogs are known for finding. Much relieved that it wasn't a three or four hundred dollar stick, I paid the bill while the vet fed Solomon cookies to make sure he was okay (to his delight). His mouth might be a little sore, she said, but she suspected he was fine.
He's obviously quite recovered from his adventure as he just strolled into the office a minute ago and stood beside me, panting, bathing my arm in his hot breath whilst staring at the container of dog vitamins that I keep in my desk beside my own (ostensibly so I'll remember to take mine since I have no trouble making sure the dogs get theirs). Gary, who was sitting within view of the scene, chuckled. "I think he wants you to make sure he's okay too."
Vitamins crunched up, he's now asleep in his bed with his favorite toy nearby. I think he's pretty well convinced that he's somehow been promoted to human status. Judging from my reaction, I'd say he's not far off.