I figured I would get this out of the way for those of you who caught my Facebook status on Monday.
Yes, Mac got hit by a car on Sunday night.
He is a very lucky dog.
He's lucky, because my brother-in-law was one of the 14 people present when he bolted out the door and ran across the street. And Mark is a veterinarian. He examined him right after the accident and monitored him for the better part of the day on Monday, and saw no signs of internal bleeding.
I'm lucky, too. I figure Mark saved me hundreds of dollars I would have spent at the emergency veterinary clinic on the Sunday night of a holiday weekend.
So where was I when the accident happened? Did I mention that I'd just served dinner to 14 people? Or that we hosted 15 (mostly the same) people the previous night?
The occasion was my niece's first visit to Los Angeles since her move to Boston last summer. Her mom (my sister) wasn't about to miss an opportunity to see her daughter, so she drove down to be here, too... along with her husband and younger daughter. And a family friend. And then we were joined by my nephew (who attends the university up in Camarillo). And my sister's in-laws. And some more friends.
I was doing dishes. My husband was in the living room, playing host. Some of our guests were leaving and did not realize that our new dog doesn't know that an open door is not an invitation to play in the street. I did not realize anything had happened until my nephew -- who chased after Mac and witnessed the whole thing -- brought him inside and announced he'd been hit by a car.
Apparently, the poor woman who was driving was pretty shaken up by it, too. I don't know, because I didn't see her or it.
I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT the person you want around in a crisis. Once I've had time to think about things, I can formulate a logical plan -- but my first reaction is always an emotional one, and I need to work through that before I can think. This can be distressing to the people around me, especially my sister, who has always found my emotionalism irritating. And so we play out sisterly patterns from decades ago.
I slumped down in the kitchen and started to cry, and I continued to do so for a good 15 minutes. Maybe more.
"Pull yourself together!" she ordered. "The dog is OK."
I couldn't help it. We adopted this dog. We made a commitment to take care of him. We've only had him a month and now THIS happens? I wasn't there to stop him. I hadn't thought to warn our friends that he has to be watched when the door opens. I felt like a lousy pet owner.
My husband didn't feel very good about himself, either. He told me he didn't sleep well on Sunday night because he was so worried about Mac. And he didn't feel a lot better on Monday morning. Mac did not seem his usual, happy self.
"He could be a little sore," Mark said. "Or a little spooked. That would be natural."
He watched Mac for signs of internal bleeding. Fortunately, there were none. But the dog was subdued all morning, and barely touched his breakfast... until late afternoon, when he apparently regained his appetite.
By yesterday, it was as if nothing had happened. As far as the dog is concerned.