This is a story... partly true, partly make believe; but mostly just from my heart... it will continue at random, just look at the tags for memoirs if you want to read more at a later time...
What am I doing? I have no clue how to drive this truck! One lousy lesson on driving a stick around the block and I’m supposed to be a master. What in the world was I thinking when I thought up this wonderful idea to drive across the country, by myself, in an extremely old ford truck. I mean, it sounded like a good idea to join the Navy and take all my stuff to my parents’ house three states away- then. But now? Going 35 miles an hour on interstate 90? Now it’s all seeming like one more giant mistake of Jacquelyn Cora Oleson, or Jacy for short- what a surprise. I’m actually used to mistakes and I don’t really tend to think of them as mistakes anymore, but merely life lessons. They make me who I am. Needless to say, I suppose people would call me complicated or someone hard to really describe or figure out.
“Its okay, Petey. Just please shut up!” I grit through my teeth at my cat, Petey, who along with my three-legged dog, Kody, is accompanying me on my half way across the country road trip. But Petey isn’t cooperating. He really isn’t fond of traveling in a ’78 F-250 with no muffler. The loud noise is permeating into the cab due to the hot weather and the lack of conventional air conditioning. Kody is lying next to me with her head on my lap. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s been with me through just about everything, and yet, she’s still as loyal as ever. I still remember the day she wasn’t at home when I came back from work, I had just known something was wrong. We had gone running earlier, then I had gone to work. Sure she wandered an awful lot, it was in her breed. Malamutes and huskies are both known for exploring their surrounding territories. But usually she knew when I was going to be home and she was always there. So when she didn’t come out with her tail wagging, I was worried. This went on for a good two weeks, with me asking the neighbors and putting up signs. But nobody seemed to have seen her. Then I get a phone call. An older lady leaves a message saying she thought she had my dog and if it was, she was pretty bad off. So of course, I call back and find out that this lady lives just about 10 miles north of me! 10 miles of Montana mountains and highway. I think to myself that there is no way Kody would ever go that far- she never had before. When I arrive to pick her up, she sees me pull the Bronco into the driveway and tries and tries to get up. Eerily it reminds me of when my mom would tell me about the day of my accident. How I kept trying to get up and run to her, but I couldn’t. Finally, Kody manages to get up and she hobbles/ hops on two legs over to me. On two legs! It was unbelievable, her determination. I knew she was in pretty bad shape. But now what was I going to do? Here I am, a 19 year old, living by myself in eastern Montana. A house payment, car payment, insurance, and countless small bills that seem to add up to a small fortune, which is way more than I can handle. And now I am imagining a monstrous vet bill, and I was completely right.
“Well, we basically have 2 options, Jacy. We can either go in and put pins in the 3 broken spots in her front leg, or we can go ahead and amputate.” Dr. Shannon, Kody’s vet, gently explains to me. I have been in this office a countless number of times, what with all the random pets I accumulate from working in a pet store.
But this time is different. Kody has been with me since the 8th grade. She has run millions of miles with me, keeping me company and in good shape. She came with me to Montana. She was with me when Justin left, and… she was just always there. And now I had to make the decision that would affect her life forever.
“My recommendation is the amputation. She is getting on in her years, and the arthritis doesn’t help. The pins might aggravate it and she could have a hard time walking. She is in great shape, especially for being 12 years old. And she should recover from the amputation fairly quickly. But I know this is a big decision.”
So of course, I ask the question on my mind, although it’s completely irrelevant given the emotional bond I share with this dog, “How much is it going to cost?”
“Well, the amputation is actually less. It will probably run around $600.00 after everything. That includes the observation days and shots, medication, and the actual surgery itself. Keeping the leg, now that could run upwards of $1000.00. I don’t know the exact because there could be more complications.” She wouldn’t look too weird with three legs. Maybe I could change her name to Tripod, or something of equally snappy nature. Just kidding.
“Let me think about it for a minute.”
“Take your time.”