Around 4 am. Pearl is in my face and making these desperate sounding noises. I knew she had to go. Going out for a walk in a strange city around 4 AM is a little scary! I just kept walking in circles around our little alley until she went and went again and again each one progressively more liquid. I was so glad we went outside! If blood and guts freak you out, you should probably skip to the end of this post or to the next one. Back to bed again, until Pearl woke me up around 7. At this point I’ve starting thinking that maybe a visit to a veterinarian will be necessary, but figure I’ll wait a bit and see if she improves. Miss Pearl has had a lot of changes of climate, diet and water and she might just need to adjust. No such luck! By 9 she has gone a few more times and now it is completely liquid.
What did we do before Google? I searched nearby veterinarios and then started reading reviews. I found one with a ton of good reviews and some of them mentioned that the vet spoke English — perfect! Except whoever answered the phone did not. After a lot of struggling on both sides, I determined that the first available appointment was the following morning at 11 am and booked it. I was now I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. Isn’t there a saying about hubris and downfalls? I believe there is and if not there should be. On our next walk Pearl was just shitting blood, poor baby. Back to Google. I found another vet not too far away and there google entry said they had emergency services. Another phone call, another struggled with explaining in Italian what was wrong with my dog. This time I managed to get an appointment for the afternoon. I thought it was at at 3 o’clock although when I arrive just before three I found out that they were closed until 3:30 and that’s when my appointment was. Even though it was closer than others it was still quite far away and I didn’t want to get lost so we had taken a taxi there. The taxi driver came into the vets with me to ask about how long it would be so he could return to pick me up. It wasn’t in a great part of town and they definitely were not TAXI stands around so I was very happy that he was willing to do this. So Pearl and I walked up and down the street and then we sat in the lobby of the vet’s and then we walked up and down the streets a little more and finally it was 3:30. I rang the little bell again in the bed assistant or receptionist or whatever he was came out and said “5 o 10 minuti in più”. I was pretty sure that’s what he said and that it meant 5 or 10 more minutes. A few minutes later another man comes rushing through the front door, goes in through the inner door and then comes rushing back out and shakes my hand and introduces himself as Marco lo Tuso. We go back into the clinic and Pearl gets weighed. She’s lost half a pound, but that might be partly from all of the walking we’ve been doing. Marco tells me he speaks some English because he has a client from the north of England. This is difficult to understand as it is said almost completely in Italian, so I used my favourite expression — ripeti per favore until I finally understood. Thank god I had thought to bring Pearl’s health documents to the visit. They may not have been needed to get into Italy, but they came in very handy now. They had all of her basic info. I just had to tell him about the vomito e diarheo. Once again google translate came in handy at times. I had brought a feces sample and he took a blood test, both of which were negative. He gave her a shot of antibiotics just in case and sent us on our way with some stomach pills and prescription food for sensitive stomachs. He told me to call if she did not get better, but that he suspected her problems were do to all the changes she’d encountered over the past week especially the change in water. For now my spoiled puppy is drinking only bottled mineral water.
I was determined to have a slow day today. There was nothing much that I could do to help with the funeral preparations from Palermo and I was still coughing and blowing my nose. Miss Pearl was under the weather, although just like when you bring your sick child to the doctor, the visit alone seemed to have miraculous healing powers. I thought we would just take a few short walks around the neighbourhood and finally have dinner at the ristorante Bistro Bistrot next door. Well, kind of next door. Their back door was actually across the alley from my front door. The customers always looked happy and there was a window in the kitchen where I had watched the chefs and smelled delicious aromas.
A few blocks away from the apartment there was an excavation of a 200-300 AD Palace. Underneath the portico are mosaics 2,000 + years old. I tried to take a photo, but it was too dark to see them. You can actually still make out some of the scene which is just amazing!
Maybe this is part of the reason I’m so tired:)