A Friend Is...
I was in Boston this weekend with my wife. The kids were home in CA, with their grandmother. At 6am PST, we get a frantic call: our 200lb. English Mastiff, "Owen," has fallen down the steep grade in our backyard, and may have broken his leg! Our son (12) is pretty shaken and confused about how to handle this situation, but our daughter (10) is frantic: apparently she thinks that dogs that are as big as horses get put-down like horses, when their legs break. "I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIEEEEEEEEEEE" she howls.
So I'm pressing hands to my temples. I am 3,000 miles away!
I call a friend down the street. He is gracious about his 6am wake-up call and hustles his entire clan into the car, on the Big Mastiff Rescue Mission.
Now, Owen loves this family; they watch him for us on occassion - so when he sees the whole squad peering down the embankment at him, he miraculously lifts himself up and limps up the hill to say hello. And 30 minutes later, after a lot of huffing and puffing, my friend has managed to hoist the big boy onto the patio. Then he takes him to the vet...
Owen is shaken up. He's upset. And he HATES the vet. Our last vet quit on us, because he got sick of wrestling with a 200lb. trembling baby. Owen's all hunched up, whimpering, as he waits in the lobby with my friend. My friend tries to calm the dog; scratches his tush.
And then he is instantly coated by a thunderous spray of liquified excrement!!!
Yes... My 200lb. dog took an enormous shit all over my friend.
The entire vet office - the vet himself, the nurses and staff, and all the patients EMPTIED OUT of the building - THAT'S how bad it smelled.
After Owen (finally) checked out okay, he and my buddy hop into the minivan - which my friend just posted for sale that same week! They are both still covered in diarrhea.
Owen is brought back home. My friend hoses off, and hoses Owen off. The misadventure is almost over.
And then Owen lets loose another bowel-ripper - all over my friend. Again. In front of my horrified kids.
And thanks to the miracle of cell phone technology, I was getting the play-by-plays every 15 minutes. The emotions ranged from desperation to laughter to horror to relief to terrified disbelief. The "terrified disbelief" really kicked in when I thought to myself, "How in the hell do you repay a favor like THIS one???"
Man o' man. That's a friend. Even after his 6am wake-up call, the back-breaking exertion, the shit-coating, the vet bills, the car detailing and discarded clothing, the guy refused all compensation.
"Just take me out to dinner one night," he says. "...And make sure they serve alcohol."