As with most emergencies, this one occurred after 6:00 PM on Friday night — of course! Sydney had a lovely time racing around the yard (yes, Sydney!) chasing several deer just on the other side of the fence. They away and then she ran around, in and out of the rocks, until they were out of sight. This same routine happened with a turkey last week, but there were few repercussions — the turkey flew up (not very gracefully) into a nearby tree and stayed there motionless until Sydney was well gone. After a little while, I noticed that Sydney was licking her paw and discovered that she had ripped a nail probably on the rocks in the yard. Anyone who owns dogs knows that this can be a bloody mess (literally and figuratively). What to do? First, I called my vet, but they were closed and their emergency vet listings sounded very far away. Living in a community with 24/7 public safety officers is certainly a plus, so I called them and they had the same list. Kathy, the on duty public safety officer, told me that the Newton, New Jersey, animal hospital was the best but very expensive. She told me her story of bringing her dog there and I was suitably worried about what the charges would be! Everyone up here has a story.
I called my friend, Nancy, who reiterated that the Newton, NJ, place was the one to go to, having brought her dogs there several times. She offered to go with me, and we set off on a very dark night down Route 739 which seemed to stretch for miles and miles (it does, actually). Over the Dingmans Bridge (to cross the Delaware), which is one of only a few family owned and run toll bridges in the nation. An elderly woman stood in the cold collecting dollars from all cars coming and going. We entered New Jersey and after a 45-minute drive that seemed like hours, we arrived at the emergency animal hospital, a very impressive operation. All the way I thought of what a difference it was living in the country — miles to anywhere important it seemed. This will take some getting used to.
The animal hospital was just like the ones you see on tv — large, well-run, efficient. After assuring the people at check-in that I was not the one who just called with a dog with swollen legs, we registered and were seen by a technician first and then the vet, a lovely woman who coaxed Sydney into the back. She returned less than 15 minutes later, with Sydney bandaged and looking quite pathetic, not to mention extremely anxious to get out! Instructions given, Sydney okay, only needing to keep the bandage on for 1-2 days, and we were off again.
It was quite an adventure. I am lucky to have a friend in Nancy who is willing to drop everything and drive with me on a dark and stormy night!! The whole thing made me thankful that I live up here — the people were very nice, very efficient, and very caring. The cost? $198.00, a bargain in my opinion. After several trips to emergency vets in Tallahassee, where one misdiagnosis was pretty serious, I felt totally confident. We just have to get used to the long drives to anywhere. Coming home, I did not revisit the Dingmans Bridge, but went through Milford to I84, a better lit and faster route I think. And, my EZPass was good enough for the bridge going back over the river into Pennsylvania. This sure takes some getting used to, but I’m getting there.