Luke

Luke

By Dr. Ed Mapes
Stonebridge Animal Hospital
McKinney, Tx.

I had just finished putting the final sutures into Luke – the last of many he needed that morning. The patient was now in the recovery cage, waking up from what turned out to be a long procedure.

Luke, the rambunctious three-year old Boxer that always reminded me of Luke Skywalker, had gotten out of his yard by leaping over a fence three days previously, and there’d been no progress in the hunt for him since. The Bennett family had called our hospital, asking if anyone had contacted us about their beloved dog. They had contacted the police department, Humane Society, and several area dog pounds with no word about Luke. There were posters attached to most structures in our town that stood upright, including the bulletin board and reception desk at our hospital.

Very early that day, Luke had returned home and pawed at the door like always when he wanted in. Alice Bennet ran to the door when she heard the familiar sound – it had to be Luke! What met her eyes when the door swung open though, was terrifying. Luke stood upon a gathering pool of blood on the porch with gaping wounds on his face, head, front legs, chest, and the right knee.

Alice piled him into the Ford Bronco and sped to the hospital, arriving just as the receptionist, Gayle, opened the front door that morning. Mrs. Bennett, now splotched with blood herself, brought Luke in as Gayle held the door open and called, “Dr. Mapes!!!”

Luke seemed happy enough, but was clearly weakened by his adventures and the blood loss. We took him straight to the treatment room, drew some blood for testing, placed an IV catheter, began IV fluids, gave medication for shock and infection, and got ready for immediate surgery. In the OR, I clamped bleeding vessels on his forehead and chest right away, and then began the task of piecing together twelve separate gashes.

Aside from one close call – his left eye that narrowly escaped being sliced – there were no life-threatening wounds. The lacerations seemed to have been inflicted by very sharp objects that cut cleanly without jagged edges, leaving no traces of dirt or debris. We considered who or what could have caused this much carnage with an object – like a surgical scalpel – that produced such precise cuts. Though he’d have a lot of healing to do and some wicked scars to show off to his buddies, Luke was going to be okay.

I was on the phone minutes after surgery describing Luke’s post-op care with a nervous Mr. Bennett – who was in Seattle on business at the time – when one of the other phone lines rang. Moments later Gayle informed me over the intercom that another emergency was on the way in.

Mrs. Pomeroy had called, advising that she was bringing her Yellow Lab Abbey right in. A scant few minutes later, Abbey strutted up the walk followed by her clearly-agitated owner, who burst into the hospital and announced, “MY ABBEY’S BEEN RAPED”!

Agnes Pomeroy was normally the most genteel of ladies – always composed, impeccably coifed, speaking with perfect diction. Her hair was usually in a tight bun, and her clothing prim and perfectly arranged. One could see her as the matron at a young lady’s finishing school. On this occasion though, she spit out words like a sailor on shore leave. “Some brown son-of-a- _ _ _ _ _ just broke through my screen door. He broke into my home and forced himself on Abbey, right there in the living room”!

“I finally broke them up with a broom to his _ _ _. But oh, he wasn’t done yet. That ruffian ran across the room and made his escape by jumping right through our glass picture window! I know he received lacerations though because there’s blood all over my porch. I hope he cut his balls right off!”
I watched the outburst in disbelief; not only for the situation we’d been placed into but more for witnessing this well-hidden side of Mrs. Agnes Pomeroy. I found myself wondering if that was the first time this demure woman had ever used the word “balls”.

Abby seemed, on the other hand, none the worse for wear. She was always a happy dog – bright eyes eager for attention and tail that wagged when anyone approached – but today there was a certain “glow” about her.

Little did Mrs. Pomeroy know: the felon that broke into her home, raped her dearest Abbey, shattered her expensive window, and then had the audacity to bleed all over her porch was at that moment recovering contentedly in a room very nearby.

To this very day I swear that Luke had the silliest grin on his face when he woke up from that anesthesia.

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