So, if there was ever a doubt about our devotion as pet parents, I think we solved that last Friday night.
To begin with, we were exhausted. It had been one of those super stressful, work coming out of your eyeballs, just plain survive kind of weeks. You know what I’m talking about. The kind that making it to Friday feels like a real accomplishment, so you give your dog a rawhide and crawl into bed at 8 p.m. without a smidge of “oh, man, I’m going to bed at 8” guilt. You watch Chopped reruns until 10 because you can’t really fall asleep at 8 even though you’re tired, but your brain is really only engaged enough to recognize that there are people on the television, and they’re moving kitchen knives at speeds that would otherwise be dangerous. For all intensive purposes, you are a vegetable.
And it is in this state that your puppy’s ears, both infected but being treated, begin to bother her. It’s 10 p.m., and you become aware that she is flapping them a lot, and scratching, and rubbing her head on the carpet, and pacing. Scouters doesn’t feel well.
We try to comfort her, give her the remaining half of her rawhide so that she can self-soothe via teething on it, but when the clock strikes midnight, we can’t take it anymore. I call the emergency vet and ask them what I can give her to ease the discomfort, and the vet tech (super nice for midnight. I’m sure I was only half-cognizant sounding) was quick with a reply. We reviewed Scout’s weight (45 pounds), age (1 year), how long we’ve been treating the ear infections (since Tuesday night), and what meds (something I couldn’t pronounce but she understood anyway). She told me that we could give Scout 2 adult Benadryl tablets once every 6-8 hours to help ease the discomfort. Great, I said.
I bounded upstairs, Scout and Zoey following me diligently (because there’s never activity at midnight in our house, so both of them had to be in on the action). I knelt down and shuffled through our medicine cabinet. No Benadryl. Really? I looked again. I emptied the cabinet. Nothing. Not a single pill.
Around this time, B wandered in from the guest room, where he’d attempted to conk out on the pull-out sofa around 11 when Scout was in full ear-rubbing mode. I reiterated what the vet tech had told me, and he started getting dressed.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“We’re out of Benadryl, right?”
“Then aren’t we going to get some?”
Of course we were. Midnight or not, Scout was in pain, we weren’t asleep, and somewhere out in the world there was a 24-hour CVS with our name on it.
The first stop we made was at the Wal-mart about 3 minutes away from our house. Apparently at some point there was a mad run on any type of medication you could need short of burn cream, because the shelves were bare. Really bare. Like empty bare. We asked an associate to help us find some Benadryl. She walked around the corner and pointed at the Bendaryl itch cream. We thanked her, looked at the empty shelves one last time, and left.
Next we Googled the nearest 24-hour CVS to our then-current location (what did we do before we bought smartphones?), and drove 20 minutes farther into town. Let me tell you, the only up side to driving into town at 1 a.m. is that traffic is awesome.
We got to the 24-hour CVS, rushed in, and couldn’t find any Benadryl. I thought I was going to cry. Remember: we’ve had the week from hell. We’re beyond the point of exhaustion at this point. And though we were dressed, neither of us was looking particularly smashing. Finally, B asked an associate (who has watched us walk around for probably five minutes), where we could find the Benadryl pills (we made the distinction this time). He walked around and pointed. “In that general area.” Seriously?! Are you kidding? We’ve been wandering “that general area” for a while now and obviously can’t find it! I can’t imagine what my face must have looked like that this point. I walked over and asked the pharmacist if he could help. He was, thankfully, very nice and explained that they don’t carry the brand name Benadryl (which would explain a lot), but he pointed out the CVS brand, which he said was the exact same thing.
While we checked out, the associate asked us if we’d found everything okay. I kid you not. We held it together till we got in the car.
We got home at 1:30 and gave Scout 2 pills that we wrapped in a piece of cheese. She was ecstatic, and asleep, snoring, by 2. Mission accomplished.
And what did I find the next morning when I looked at the junk I had scattered all over the bathroom floor while rummaging through the medicine cabinet?
Four boxes of generic-brand Benadryl. F-O-U-R.
Moral: Always check for generic.