The Harlan Chronicles 8


Harlan gets $ickThirteen years had passed since Harlan and I first crossed paths. He was quite a bit slower now and didn’t have the reflexes to ‘bolt’ anymore. His vision was failing and the once black fur on his face had turned white. Harlan had mellowed with age and didn’t seem to mind a stranger’s touch. I knew it was just a matter of time before Harlan would go to the big dog park in the sky but he seemed healthy and happy for now.

Then Harlan became increasingly short of breath. The veterinarian diagnosed him with enlarged heart, Congestive Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation. He suggested consulting with a Canine Cardiologist and felt that an Echocardiogram and Thoracentesis should be done.

Ka Ching.

I may have coughed up a lot of money for the ‘Doggie-Shrink’ but I was older and wiser now. This was going to cost a lot more than that. I told the vet that at Harlan's age, I wanted him to receive “medical management” (drugs) only. Harlan stayed overnight at the animal hospital in an oxygen cage. He received Lasix, Digoxin and Vasotec intraveneously and bounced back quite nicely. Upon checking out the vet’s bill, I expected it to be high but a thirty-day supply of oral Lasix, Digoxin and Vasotec for $120.00? As grateful as I was to the vet for curing Harlan, I was equally miffed with him about the drug charge.

When I returned to work, I asked one of the ER Doctors to write the same prescriptions for “Harlan Spotswood”at my address.

I wasn’t sure if I would get hassled by the (people) pharmacy staff if they were made aware that prescriptions were for a dog and I didn't want to take any chances, so I lied.

When I submitted the prescriptions, the nice lady behind the counter asked for “Mr Spotswood’s age, date of birth and insurance”.

I quickly tried to calculate ‘dog years’, but just as fast, I gave up and said “He’s 80”.

Harlan’s date of birth? Hmmmm. How about Valentine’s Day? “February 14th…can you help me figure out the year?” I asked smiling. She was happy to.

Insurance? I told her he was not insured. She then asked about Medicaid. Think fast. “Oh, he is my uncle from Canada, we’ll take care of the cost” I said. “Your prescriptions will be ready in one hour” she said. Dodged a bullet.
Oh, and the total cost of the prescriptions? $15.00.

Part 9  Harlan's End

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