I thought I was thinking clearly. At 11:30 PM, I strolled into the kitchen for my evening routine. Put peanut butter on three spoons. Place medicine on one spoon for the oldest dog, a vitamin pill for the new puppy on another spoon and just peanut butter on the spoon for the third dog.
This was ordinary enough. I had done this same thing for many evenings. So, the dogs lined
up, licking their chops and ready for their treat. I delivered this delight to them as they smacked their sticky tongues.
Panic struck. The vitamin pill looks almost identical to the pill that is given to the senior dog. Suddenly I wondered, “Had I accidentally given the wrong pill to the wrong dog?”
My first thought was “no big deal.” I left the kitchen and decided to forget this nonsense and hit the sack. But, the worry clawed at me.
The next thing I knew, I was cruising the internet to see if my supposed mistake would be of any
harm. Panic ran through my veins. I read, call “animal poison control immediately.” I quickly dialed to be told there would be a $65 charge for the services. What choice did I have?
I coughed up my credit card number. The kind man on the other end told me I needed hydrogen peroxide to make the puppy throw up. I rummaged through the bathroom cupboards; no peroxide.
I could call a neighbor but why disturb them after midnight?
The streets in my small town roll up early, so my next choice was to drive 20 minutes to Walmart
with my puppy sound asleep next to me on the car seat. I ran through a deserted Walmart, got my magic poison removal potent, and even told the cashier to keep the change. I couldn’t lose precious time.
I removed the puppy from the car and felt intense guilt as I poured peroxide into her sweet little mouth. I was told to check the resulting throw up for a pill. We paced the dark parking lot waiting for the peroxide to do its thing. Victory! I ran my fingers through the mess only to not be able to find a vitamin or a pill.
Now I was at my wits end. I phoned the poison control man back. He insisted I get her to a 24 hour emergency care veterinary clinic as soon as possible. The location was another 20 minutes away. With adrenaline pumping through my veins. I soared down the road at 80 mph. I spied two police cars in the medium. Oh no! That’s it! I’m definitely getting a ticket! But, they must have been engrossed in a juicy story as I continued right on.
I sped into the clinic parking lot with a puppy that appeared to be totally normal. I rambled to the vet tech about my possible boo boo and we were escorted into an exam room. A brief visit with the doctor revealed the need to monitor her overnight at a cost of $900! After a brief moment of unbelief, I suggested I sleep in my car in their parking lot. Maybe the puppy could be monitored hour by hour? Maybe this could reduce the cost? Suddenly the price dropped to $350.
With tears in my eyes, I left my baby in the arms of strangers and drove back home. Old inner voices of condemnation began screaming for my attention. “How can you be so stupid?” “Why don’t you pay better attention?” “You are incompetent.” Yes, these voices were part of my past, but they are no longer allowed in my present. I began to gain my ground again by saying out loud, “I am a child of God. He declares me as good. Everyone makes mistakes.”
So, some of you will start the New Year by making resolutions. I suggest that as Christians, this is unnecessary. Every day is a new start with Christ. I might have had a lousy day today but tomorrow brings the opportunity to start over. I resolve to live in freedom every day and not in bondage.
I remembered Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” As the sun rose, I drove sanely to the vet clinic and cuddled my puppy. She had been fine all night long. Thanks be to God!