I had made my appointment for 4 pm, for after school, on my way home. That seemed like a good idea.
At the time.
It really did. Breeze in, end of the day, quick appointment. All is well, home again. Quick as a wink. Not a problem. I forgot to tell Jam the plan.
We arrive at the doctor's office and a chill wind is blowing and evidently it blew some major crazy jujubees up his butt, because he immediately began to pull and run to the door. OK. He likes the doctor?
We walk in and he is SO EXCITED to be there. Practically JUMPING for joy. And there are tons of OLD PEOPLE around. Really delicate old people with tissue paper skin.
A panting and exuberant Jam and I make it to the counter and sign in. Then we wait and listen to American Pickers while I try to keep Jam from eating the Ladies Home Journal from December 2006. 2006? Really? Why do they have a LHJ from 2006. Do they go to yard sales and pick up old magazines? I shouldn't complain. The magazine selection is much better since Dr. Betancourt came. It used to be just yachting and golfing and sports magazines. At least there is a LHJ. Quit your bitching, I tell myself. Find out what Nicole Kidman thought 6 years ago and be happy about it!
Just when I start to read about the always fascinating Nicole, Jam and I are called back. At least I am called back and Jam jumps up and is ready to play. So I say easy all the way to the door where there is a nurse who loves dogs and who knows she can't touch him. "Ah, service dog." She says. "Let me know how I can help."
I need lots of help. Jam is jumping in the small hallway as I try to correct him. Then there is the always popular hallway weigh-in. I put Jam into a down stay and step onto the scale and have to let go of the leash.
"Can I laugh if he runs away?" The nurse asks? I decide she is not really my friend. I'm not looking at the scale, it's only bad news anyway, and have been giving Jam the stay death stare. I step down. My Heart Is Racing.
She leads my down the hallway, calling out to people to see the pretty dog, blah blah blah. I start to hate her just a little bit. My pulse is going a bit faster. Jam is really pulling and I am a broken record: Easy, Easy, Easy. All this emotion is going right down the leash, but I just don't know how to control it. We have gotten ourselves in a deadly embrace: the more nervous and anxious I get, the more jumpy he gets and the more nervous I get, until we both collapse in a dead heap of burst hearts. Classic Valentine's Day tragedy.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Actually, I'm thinking, get me the blankety blank out of here. And why did I think the end of the day was a good time of day to do this?
My frenemy, the nurse, was a vet tech in an earlier life and is actually a very nice person, and she tells me an interesting story about Tommy Hilfiger's westie who had allergy problems. Then she says,
I look at Jam. I look back at her. "He stresses me out when he isn't acting right."
FORTY MINUTES LATER.
My doctor comes in. We chat, I'm fine. Jam tries to jump up from his down under under the chair several times. She listens to my heart.
"Your heart is racing."
"Yeah. He does that when he misbehaves. It makes me nervous." She laughed. I had an acupuncturist once tell me that I was like a little rabbit, just a jumpy bundle of nerves. I don't think it was a compliment. I never went back to him. I mean, I was born in the year of the hare, but still.
My doctor said I needed to have blood drawn to see how my vitamin D levels were. It is now 5:30 pm. I've been there an hour and a half. I have to wait another 20 minutes for the blood lady to see me. I'm surprised she could capture my blood. It was moving so fast.
We left at 6.
Jam normally poops at 5 to 5:30.
I have one more stop to go. I am on borrowed time.
I have bookclub tomorrow and we are discussing Valley of the Dolls. I need to make a caviar dip. I need to buy some caviar. I look over at Jam. Surely he can make a quick in and out at Publix.
We get out and run into Publix. I get the basket (better to run with) and Jam and start to race down the aisles. I'm trying to go fast but also trying to keep an eye out for gopher butt and any slight slowing down. I'm also thinking that I could always just put the basket underneath him and catch his poo in that, but no, that would be gross. I could pick him up and run. I did that with Bingo. He was 50 pounds. The trick is getting them before they commit.
The problem is whenever I would stop. Jam would stop. And then, my heart would race and I would think, "OMG POO!" and I would look at his butt, but there wouldn't be anything. And we would start to fast walk it again. So we were sort of doing one of John Cleese's Ministry of Funny Walks down the aisles and all I can think about is "Crap, this Publix is chock full of people. Don't they have anything better to do than grocery shop? What is the matter with them? There is not one aisle I could have Jam do a secret poo and a secret cleanup!" They were like a fungus, or ants on an anthill, they were EVERYWHERE. And they were all smiling at me. And I had to smile back.
I know it looked like the rictus of death, but it was the best I could do. My heart was racing, folks! My blood was spinning through me.
Then, just when it looked like we were home free, a small child with a balloon was in front of us. Holy Mother of God. Are we doomed to life eternal in this god forsaken Publix? Can I not just find the freaking caviar and leave? Jam goes nuts because not only did this crazy mom buy her adorable child a helium balloon, she also let him RUN. Jam adores running children. Adores as in WANTS TO TACKLE AND LOVE TO DEATH.
I think the mother sensed something, because after about 30 seconds of my pulling at Jam, she finally picked up her son. I could have kissed her, but that would have brought me too close.
It is now almost 6:30. It is the poo witching hour. We checkout. No poo.
My heart is still racing.