It was warm and sunny; a perfect Tel Aviv spring day last Saturday. George and I went to the beach where he was unleashed and allowed to run free for two hours
As we walked on our 12 kilometer walk, I listened to Radio Swiss Classic and George played with other dogs, took an unauthorized dip in the cold Mediterranean and feasted on pitta, kebab, steak bones and what have you left behind by the night crowd before the cleaning squads had arrived.
After two hours, George and I headed home. At the first stop light, I noticed a fishing line hanging from his mouth. I thought it was just stuck in his teeth so I opened his mouth and saw it was not attached to his teeth. I gave a pull and nothing happened. George felt no pain at all; he was wagging his tail and licking my hand.
I was worried sick however. I drove to the vet, Dr Yuval, whose clinic is open and fully staffed on Saturdays. Dr Yael, the duty veterinarian, made several efforts to extract the line and when that failed, she took an X-ray. “It’s not good. He needs urgent surgery. I will call Dr Yuval to come in to operate. It will take time. He is up north”.
Dr Yuval was tending to his vineyard in Zichron, which is an hours drive from the clinic. Within 40 minutes, Yuval ran in, and George was put under the knife to extract the fishing hook from the muscle where his esophagus meets his intestine. The surgery took a long time. And I watched it on a monitor, feeling that I just cannot let him go though this without me being as close as I can.
I was terribly upset before during and after this incident. I also felt guilty for unleashing George and trying to pull out the fishing line.I told myself that I wish that this was happening to me and not to George.
“Go home and come back at 9 pm (in 7 hours)”, I was told.
As directed I returned to the clinic, shaking like a leaf. George pulled himself to his feet, although he was certainly not wagging his tail. That’s for sure.
After a course of antibiotics, tender loving care, half a chicken a day and a few pain killers, George has fully recovered, playing Frisbee, having great sex with his favourite pillow and begging me to replace his dog food with yet another roasted chicken.
Thanks to Dr Yuval and Dr Yael.