By Andy Burrell
Sometimes you want something so badly that you abandon all common sense, ignore the consequences and dive head first into the unknown.
Is this a metaphor for how I’ve left a steady job, put my family close to the breadline and jumped into a career that I have no real knowledge and experience of, all on a whim?
Is it fuck.
I’m sitting in the emergency vet’s surgery. My dog just yanked herself free of my wife’s grip and jumped into a lake full of blue/green algae in pursuit of a duck. She then proceeded to eat three lake-soaked slices of bread that a little girl was throwing said duck.
Blue/green algae is lethal to dogs and can kill them within thirty minutes so ingesting a load of bread covered in the stuff is not the cleverest idea. But she’s a dog. She doesn’t understand consequences.
She loves rolling in fox poo but she hates being hosed down. Yet she can’t comprehend that one leads to the other. She’s like me, cookies and getting fat in that sense.
So when she sees a juicy duck or some perfectly edible bread floating in a lake she is having it. No questions asked.
I hate calling myself her dad. I’m not her parent, I’m her owner. But boy does it feel like you’re about to lose your child when she starts fitting and spasming, her eyes start to droop and her breathing gets short. It’s scary. I’m calm under pressure though. I get ultra practical. It’s no good going into a blind panic and then missing the junction and crashing the car. When my family or friends lose someone close to them I want to know if they have enough food in the fridge. The emotion comes later.
So here I am in the waiting room. The vet has just given her something to make her throw up all of the bread, the lake, the grass, the breakfast and anything else she’s eaten in the last twelve hours. She looked very sorry for herself. She’s now got to stay overnight on a drip and we will spend the night hoping we don’t get a call to say things have gone south, all the while agonising about where to magic a grand from to pay the vet bill. Thank god for insurance.
Fingers and paws crossed for good news in the morning. What a day.