Well, Zippy took a sudden turn for the worse yesterday morning. Her hind end just gave out completely. I could stand her up all right, but the slightest little puff of wind would knock her over, goddammit. The situation was untenable.
I couldn’t find a vet who’d do a housecall euthanasia, so Stingray and I took her in to Dripping Springs.
At the moment of truth, when the vet was administering the barbiturate and I was bawling my eyes out, his cell phone started playing “My Girl.” Whoops! But he couldn’t turn it off because he needed both hands, so we all just sort of sat there drinking in the hilarity of the inappropriateness until it stopped ringing. Vets with stupid ringtones maybe oughta put a reminder on their exam room doors. “Doing a euth? Cell phones off!” I was glad Zippy was unconscious at this point. Zippy had many excellent qualities, but a sense of humor was not one of them.
The most popular postcard at the Spinster Aunt HQ Souvenir Shoppe
We wrapped her body in a sheet, and they put it on a stretcher to take it out to the car. Our little procession went through the waiting room. Some idiot woman observed us — the stretcher, the enshrouded corpse, the tear-stained mourners — and felt compelled to announce “Is that what I think it is?”
No, lady, it’s the charcuterie platter for our gala yacht party. You’re invited! Bring your friends, if they’re as charming and delicate as you are!
Stingray and Chuck, my ranch hand, had dug a nice hole under a couple of oak trees. This may sound odd, but I liked carrying her down there. Zippy wasn’t a touchy-feely dog in life, and never would have let me snuggle her, much less pick her up. Less than an hour dead, she was warm and floppy and compliant. It was nice.
Stingray and I eased her into the hole. I stuck in a piece of mail, such as she had been accustomed to chewing the fuck up every day of her life when the mailman dropped it through the slot. It was a bill from the tax office; she had always found particular delectation in official mail.
And now she’s dead.
In a couple of weeks, a pup from a litter of Labradors bred by an irresponsible acquaintance of Tidy’s will arrive here at the rancho to pee on my floor and eat my slippers. I’m kinda not in the mood at the moment, but I’m sure this will change, because puppies are fucking cute and shit.