Monday, April 6, 2009

And now, I'd like to interrupt this . . . cake

Poor Kate. Her birthday falls over spring break every year. We're never at home, and she never gets a "normal" birthday cake.

This year, when we were still on vacation, and after a rather dismal attempt at birthday cake disguised in the form of Costco pound cake, I promised her that I would make her a cake from scratch when we got home.

She requested a white cake with white frosting, so over the weekend I did my research and decided to make Sara Moulton's Classic White Cake.

Today was the day. I mixed; I stirred; I whipped. I baked. Or, at least I started to bake.

Fifteen minutes into the baking process, something went terribly awry.

With the dog.

Thunder the Wonder Dog was lying on her bed, sleeping peacefully, as I cleaned up the kitchen and my beautiful white cakes-from-scratch were baking in the oven when she suddenly jerked her head up, lurched out of her bed, and started running/stumbling across the kitchen floor. At first I thought her back legs had fallen asleep from lying in her bed, but very soon it was obvious that something was terribly wrong.

She made her way to the living room, struggling all the way, finally falling on the floor. She was drooling, struggling for breath. Within a matter of seconds, I knew she was in trouble, but I didn't know what to do. She needed to get to the vet, but she couldn't walk, and I couldn't lift her to get her into the car.

I tried calling B in his office. He always knows what to do.

No answer.

After a few frantic minutes, calling a couple of other people for help, I tried B again, this time on his cell phone.

He answered this time. At this point I was hysterical.

"WHERE ARE YOU?! I mean, you don't have to come home or anything, but SOMETHING IS REALLY WRONG WITH THUNDER. [Deep breath.] She can't walk, and she's shaking. I need to get her to the vet, but she can't walk. I know you can't do anything, but I just needed to talk to someone. SOMETHING'S REALLY WRONG!!!!"

B, in his ever-calm manner, simply said, "Sounds like she needs to get to the vet. Just try to get her to the vet." (I found out later that he was in a meeting. The woman in his office heard every word I shouted said.)

Ah, yeah. Problem is, she can't walk!

Finally, our dear "dog guy," Rob, and my dear friend, Amy, came over in answer to my hysterical calls to them. Rob is the wonderful man who cares for Thunder when we're out of town. He helped me get her into the car (by this time she could walk again), and Amy just generally calmed me down.

Thunder had a seizure. She's fine now; I'm not so fine.

Not only was I pretty much shaken up this morning, I'm also pretty much worried about myself. I actually cried over my dog today. I called my husband (and my friends) in hysterics. I was out-of-control worried about my dog.

How did this happen to me?!? I'm the farm girl who grew up with 14 dogs in 20 years (and, no, not all at the same time). Needless to say, we never got too attached to our dogs. I'm the insensitive person who actually laughed--LAUGHED!--at her friend in college who cried when her family dog died. I thought she was crazy.

But now I've become the crazy woman who cries hysterically over her sick dog and who actually took her daughter's birthday cake out of the oven in the middle of baking it in order to take the dog to the vet.

Half-baked. I think that's what they call people like me.

Hopefully tomorrow's cake . . . and day . . . will turn out better.


  1. So is she on meds now? Poor Thunder. How scary for you. I can understand why you were so distraught. You felt powerless to help her because you couldn't pick her up and carry her (I am assuming Thunder is a big dog like mine). Our dogs become like one of our family when they live in our houses with us. My mom tells me that it probably isn't a good idea because we become so much more attached to them than we did on the farm when they just lived outside. You are NOT crazy. Just a good "mom".

  2. I know that college friend wasn't me! Who was it?!?!?

  3. Ooops. That was me in the anonymous post.

  4. Ths first one that is.

  5. Welcome back, Shelly! I'm sorry you had such a rough 'welcoming' back to reality. I'm glad Thunder is better. Good luck with the cake tomorrow:-)

  6. I would feel just the same as you. My dogs are my children and I cried when my youngest died this past fall. In fact it took me several weeks to be able to keep it together just at the mention of her name. I think that as moms we tend to think we can fix it no matter what the problem, but some times we cannot and worry takes over. You are not only your girls' mother, but Thunder's as well. As Linda P said you are NOT crazy, just a good 'mom'.

  7. I agree you are not crazy...just a good mom! Two summers ago when we got back from Florida our little 8 pound wiener dog got clipped by the mailman and our youngest two kids saw the whole thing. She started crying and all the sudden was dragging her lower body. They called me at work and I told them their Aunt could bring the dog to the vet but if her back was broke mommy would have to put Luci to sleep so she wouldn't suffer. Then when I got off the phone I lost it in tears and started praying please broken back. Thankfullly in the end it was a broken pelvis and we had her in the small kennel for 8 weeks with NO activity. Not even to go out to potty, etc. So I'm the mommy that took care of that mess, gave her the medicine, and everything. We get attached to dogs when we are older maybe because of our kids. I did things I wouldn't do normally for the sake of my kids. I didn't like seeing them so sad. Hope your dog continues to do well.

  8. Oh my stars. Sorry to hear about your shake-up. We have a rule in our family that we're each allowed to fall apart, with or without good reason, at least once a month without special allowances. That way, nobody's mortified to do so, because, hey, it happens. You are a good storyteller.. leaving us with a smile is very thoughtful of you. Half-baked... that's good.

  9. Oh I hope Thunder is OK? The difference is that now you're a Mom. I find myself attached to our dog in a mom-like way - it's hard to turn that off!

  10. Oh my goodness, something happened to our boxer puppy one day and I was in absolute hysterics too...thinking the worst the whole time! I'm so wildly attached to our puppy, so I feel your pain! Glad Thunder is doing better now!

  11. Hmm, I wish I knew where I found you but I can't remember! I'm thinking it was probably BooMama/Big Mama/Antique Mommy or some combination of the three because I read all of theirs. :)

  12. Hi Shelly,

    I'm so glad Thunder is going to be OK. I hope that tomorrow and the cake are much better!

    I just stopped by to thank you for your nice comment on my blog. I'm so excited to be there this summer. I'll see you there!