I grabbed Angie’s leash, collar, and harness, stuffed them in my purse, and ditched the umbrella. Anything to save time. It was 3:20 and I’d said 3:00.
I stepped up to the long counter in the emergency room and the receptionist greeted me.
“I’m here to pick up my dog, Angie Green.” It’s not like she was away at boarding school for a year. This was just two nights of medical boarding while you went to a wedding. And now she’s coming home. Relax.
“What was the last name again?”
“Green, like the color.” Am I really that hard to understand? It’s just one syllable. Common name.
“Angie.” I relaxed the talon-like grip on my purse strap and sighed. No “Oh, yes, Angie! We love Angie.” Usually, they say something like that. Oh, well, they did say she was a sweetheart when I called earlier. I’m sure they were nice to her.
“Have a seat and I’ll let them know you’re here. It’ll just be a few minutes.”
I handed over Angie’s paraphernalia and sat down in the seating area. The gentleman to my left watched football on the TV suspended above the desk. I kept my eye on the door through which the tech would enter, bringing Angie, released from captivity. Poor girl. Had she felt abandoned?
Staring at the posters in the hallway grew old after a few minutes. I could check the score. Don’t recognize those uniforms. What?! The Redskins are ahead? No wonder the guy is so intent on the game.
Another man entered through the main door, leading a large dog who sported a red and blue bandana decorated with white stars. Tongue out, the dog grinned at us. His owner sat down at the opposite end of the long waiting room. “Sit. Good boy. Down. Yes, good boy.”
Flurry of activity. No Angie, just people coming and going behind the counter. The Redskins are still ahead. Wonder if I should bother learning some of the players’ names this year.
A client entered and exchanged a couple of words with one of the receptionists, then helped himself to two cans of soda from a fridge under the coffee machine close to Bandana Dog.
Bandana Dog stood up. Uh oh.
“Sit. Good boy. Down. Good boy. Yes. Relax.”
Bandana dog complied happily. His owner sat back and relaxed, too. No wonder.
I checked the score and the poster on the wall about supporting dogs rescued from Hurricane Harvey. Wonder if they’ll update the poster after Hurricane Florence. Where is Angie?
Wait. Was that a skittering of doggie claws in the hall?
The door opened and Angie burst out, sliding and skittering over the three-foot distance between us. She threw herself at me, then stood on her hind legs in a move that would have made her surgeon wince. It should have earned an “Off!” from me. Instead, I let her squeeze between my knees and I kissed her shiny black head.
I tried to listen to the tech as he recited what meds Angie had received. “Do you have any questions?”
“No, thanks so much.”
Angie sniffed Football Watching Man’s feet, did a jig, looked up at me, and sat.
She might not be perfect, and she might not have a bandana, but she does have a pink heart ringed with rhinestones on her collar that says, “Angie.”
She’s mine. My little gift from God.
“Come on, Angie. What a good girl she is. Let’s go home.”