and would give anything to slow down time,
it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
No one fears panic until they’re panicked. When you have a pet’s life on the line, panic is the only thing that you can feel. Especially when that pet is only one breath away from death, then not only is there panic, but the whole world slows down. Your brain decides do make you feel every moment as a knife stabbing you over and over. At the same time, everything feels like it’s speeded up, and you want everything to slow down so you can think about what to do.
In the middle of last summer I felt this type of panic when my beloved pooch, Rocco almost lost his battle with a heart arrhythmia while we were speeding down the highway. I was in my basement watching TV when my mom yelled down to me “We need to go, now!” She said it in a choked voice with a bit of a rasp, so I knew something was wrong. I ran upstairs and she told me that Rocco had thrown up all his food and collapsed in the back yard. That was when I went into panic mode. My dad scooped him up, we all got into the car, and flew out of the driveway and down the road to the vet. Since the vet was almost 15 minutes away we didn’t think he would make it. He was panting and gasping for breath as his heart slowly broke down. I felt like this would be the last time I’d see him and I burst into tears. That had to be the longest car ride of my life. When we finally got to the vet I saw my dad lift him back up and when he stood up and jumped out of the car I saw a glimmer of hope. This brought my panic down a bit, but not completely. I still cried because I feared that he wouldn’t be better ever again.
But, after a few days at the hospital and a ton of tests, the vets told us that medicine that was supposed to be helping his arrhythmia was slowing down his heart too much. So we cut off his medicine, and his heart rate returned to normal. I visited him a few times and could see he was getting better. When Rocco finally came home, the first thing he did was spring over to the basement door, which means “Let’s play.” That finally killed the remaining feeling of panic in my mind. I knew that he was my pooch once again.