How much do you suppose it would cost for 1,406 miles of intensive-care ambulance transport with a doctor on board? Say, from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Louisville, KY, and back again.
I don’t know, either, but it’s safe to assume you’d need to be a billionaire to afford it.
Still, that’s exactly what our poodle, Pearl and I did for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Since Brenda’s injury, vehicular travel is difficult. So I hatched a plan to put her on a plane before Thanksgiving and have her return after the bulk of holiday travelers were back home.
I had little choice but to drive, though, because Audrey’s birthday present wasn’t finished on time and Charlie’s birthday present had been promised and he knew it would be a little late. Furthermore, I had Sara Riley’s Christmas present finished and all of these needed to be delivered.
As of the Monday before Thanksgiving everything was set up: Brenda had her boarding passes, our petsitter and friend, Joan, was going to come to our house to care for Pearl three times a day, and I was driving up after our last appointment Wednesday.
That plan seemed fine until Tuesday, when we got updated blood test information on Pearl’s kidney failure, and watched her appetite fall off. Then, the plan changed.
The lab test results were much worse, concomitant with Pearl’s declining clinical condition.
If our precious little Pearl were going to die, we weren’t going to let her be all alone, even if she was at home in her own house. Furthermore, I couldn’t put our friend Joan in the position of having to deal with Pearl’s death, or having to take her to a doctor for emergency care.
Pearl was already on intravenous (IV) fluid therapy, with an electronic fluid pump accurately controlling her fluid administration minute-by-minute.
FidoRido Pet Car Seat in place, Pearl in her harness, IV pump in the back seat, middle seats folded down to make room for presents, Pearl and I hit the road Wednesday morning.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that this intensive-care gig was going to cost a lot in terms of time. The first leg of our trip, Gulf Coast to Hattiesburg, MS, usually takes an hour and a half. We were already up to 2½ hours because of stops for adjustments to the fluids pump, repositioning Pearl’s right front leg so fluids would flow, feeding Pearl, letting Pearl use the bathroom, you get the idea. We stopped a lot. A screeching IV pump alarm will not be ignored!
From the very first photo you can see how much help the FidoRido was. When hooked to an IV pump, a patient can’t be spinning around and around. FidoRido prevents that. In addition to the tether you see on Pearl’s left side, there is another on the right. She had plenty of range of motion, yet no allowance for tangling and tugging on her IV line.
In fact, the FidoRido was so handy for this function that I’m going to purchase another for our clinic to use for small patients receiving fluid therapy. Doing so will greatly reduce staff time required for straightening IV lines, while still leaving both dogs and cats completely comfortable. As you see from the second photo, Pearl had no difficulty lying down to sleep. IF USED IN THIS MANNER YOU MUST TIE DOWN THE FIDORIDO CAR SEAT TO PREVENT TOPPLING OVER.
Note: Neither FidoRido nor I recommend that pets travel in front seats. By having her next to me, however, I could make minor adjustments for Pearl without having to stop,
In addition, Nissan recognizes that SUVs sometimes require small passengers to be in the front seat, so if the weight of that passenger is low enough, the airbag sensor isn’t triggered to come on. Still, pets, like children, are safest when centered in a vehicle.
Leaving Hattiesburg, we got on I-59, which would take us to Birmingham, AL. We didn’t even make it to Meridian, MS, though, before I heard a helicopter fly over. The only thing was, it wasn’t a helicopter and it wasn’t “over” me, it was a blowout and it was under me. Smoke with shards of steel and rubber flying everywhere, we pulled over.
Thanks to FidoRido’s secure double connection to its passenger, I never had to worry about Pearl’s safety when opening the passenger’s-side door. Of course, the first and last orders of business on this stop were to allow Pearl bathroom breaks. The included FidoRido harness possesses a middle D-ring for leash attachment, so a pet’s leash can be securely in place before disconnecting her from the carrier.