The fentanyl patch affixed to Katey’s shaved pink rump ran out of juice in the dark of Sunday morning, less than 24 hours into her first day home. (Fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids ever invented; I learned all about it on “Burn Notice,” when Michael cons a heroin dealer into using it to boost the value of his inventory. Try and keep up, people.)
If you have never heard a dog you love crying, then let me assure you, it is an experience you never want. Ever. Craig and his mom endured the haunting sound of aches for which there are no words, from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m., as Katey searched for a way to get away from the pain, rising on three legs, only to lie down, then stand again, over and over. Finally, the vet on call increased the dose of another opiate she was discharged with, but by then her humans were beyond sleep.
Katey was her usual pettable self when I arrived, alerting her radar ears at the clink of cereal bowls and rustle of bread wrappers from the kitchen; she knows food when she hears it. Whatever lingers from the restless painful phantoms that visited before dawn is not more powerful, in her present moment, than chicken thighs in broth followed by cuddles.
Craig will recover, too, although he could be forgiven if it takes something stronger than chicken thighs.