Life Lessons In Surviving The Honeymoon When Disaster Strikes - Alastair Macartney

Life Lessons In Surviving The Honeymoon When Disaster Strikes

Life Lessons In Surviving The Honeymoon When Disaster Strikes

 

I got married.  It was an amazing day.  But, very quickly, it all went terribly wrong.

Signing the register at our wedding.

Signing the register at our wedding.

We got married, in our first wedding,  in a slightly unconventional way, wearing costumes.  I wore a huge afro while my bride wore a beautiful period dress – we were, sort of, dressed as hippies.  Our small group of friends joined us with a variety of outfits.  The theme was ‘Love Through The Ages’.  We had a ball, popping champagne next to the canal near Oxford City Centre before wandering around the town in our outfits, with a few strange gazes coming our way, bouncing in and out of the pubs.  It was fantastic.

Popping Champagne in Oxford.

Popping Champagne in Oxford. Photo by Jill Weness.

Afterwards, as tradition dictates, we headed off for an impromptu honeymoon in the Lake District, a picturesque region in North West England famous for its stunning lakes, forests and mountains.  It was here that things took a turn for the worse.

We rented a gorgeous cottage a few miles from town.  We could stroll to the local river with a beautiful waterfall, we barbecued in the garden and had a log fire.  It was great.  We planned some adventurous activities and some relaxing times.  Of course, we took our dogs with us and this it where it went wrong.

Our dogs got sick.  Really sick.  My wife, a Veterinarian, insisted we take them to local Vet Practice – that’s when I knew it was really bad.

The dogs had been poisoned.  We couldn’t work out what or how but most likely they’d scavenged around and eaten something they’d found.  Dodger, the cheeky 10-year-old terrier, was the worst.  He was immediately admitted, given drugs and an IV.  Scooter, the 7-year-old, wasn’t so bad.  But both were stumbling around like they were blind drunk.  Dodger couldn’t even stand up at all.

Eventually we got to take Scooter home and, when Dodger was fit to travel we made the 4-hour drive to the Royal Veterinary College – a specialist hospital.  If anyone could save him, they could.

Transporting Dodger (with a catheter still in his leg) and Scooter to the specialist hospital.

Transporting Dodger (with a catheter still in his leg) and Scooter to the specialist hospital.

As I write, Dodger is still in intensive care but he’s on the mend and should survive.  Scooter is nearly back to normal.  If you want more on the story, how you can prevent this happening to your pet and what to do if it does then please read my wife’s post.  I’m going to skip forward to the honeymoon lessons.

The honeymoon disaster wasn’t us falling out or having an argument.  It was the severe illness of our dogs – two animals that are hugely important in our lives.

So, how did we deal with this and what life lessons did we learn:

  1. Trust the Professional.  My wife, a professional Veterinarian, recognised the severity of the symptoms and immediately knew we needed expert help.  If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have taken the dogs in at this stage, thinking they were just slightly ill.  When a professional tells you something, sit up and listen – they know what they’re about.
  2. Act Fast.  The sooner you can address a problem the sooner you can take steps to eliminate it.  In this instance, getting appropriate medical attention quickly was vitally important and could have been the difference between life and death.
  3. Don’t Be Proud.  It doesn’t matter how much of an expert you are in a particular area, the chances are you don’t know everything.  Never be too proud to ask for help or advice.  We engaged almost a dozen veterinarians.  Many had decades of experience and a few were clear leaders in their fields.  Despite this, none of them could work out exactly what poison or toxin had been consumed and so how exactly to treat it.  Don’t be afraid to engage others – it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.
  4. Teamwork.  The biggest lesson for both of us was the teamwork we shared.  My wife and I were there for each other.  It was a distressing time when we should have been so happy, on our minimoon, yet we bonded more than ever.  During some long days and nights we worked together, picking the other person up when they were down, and battling through the trying times.  The teamwork got stronger each day enabling us to operate instinctively.

In all, this was far from what we planned.  But, it worked out for the best – my wife and I bonded immensely and our dogs are on the mend.

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1 Comment

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