This past Sunday, Stella Marie put her mouth around a bee.
She loves to catch flying things. She doesn't kill them or eat them. She chases, she catches, she stuns and leaves 'em alone.
The bee did the only thing it knew how to do when caught in a situation that doesn't seem like 'playing': it stung her and waited for it all to be over.
Now, we didn't realize this right away. My brother, nicknamed OJ (pronounced ooo-jay; i think that came about when our nieces were little and couldn't say John, the went with the sounds instead. at least, the sounds they could make...and it stuck), and I both, wrongly, assumed Stella hadn't been stung or she'd be reacting the way any of us would when stung: OUCH! DAMN! UGH! OH! SHIT! i got stung, damn it burns, oh shit this hurts. We thought she would squeal or rub her paw against her face, try to rub her muzzle. She did nothing but spit the thing out, like she would a fly or any other flying-thing she chases, she catches, stuns and then leaves alone.
Well, she's fine, we figured.
On the walk home from the park, and for about 20 minutes after arriving, we watched Stella quickly break down in all the worst ways.
She became maniacally itchy. Thought: it was instant fleas from the grassy park.
My solution: flea comb.
She was suddenly hot. Thought: it was from all the running in the park.
My solution: cool bath, rinse her off.
The itching got worse. She throws up twice in the bath. She runs outside and now, suddenly, she's reacting in the ways we were looking for earlier and as it's slowly dawning us 'ohmygod, she's actually been stung', Stella turned around to look at us and we were looking at a totally different dog's face.
Her entire head was lumpy. Her lips were swollen out to the sides. Her eyes were puffy. She was barely recognizable as she stumbled into the house, she even seemed to glare at us, and then laid down on her bed and passed out. I thought I was going to pass out right along side her.
Having my brother here was an incredible help. It was like having an extension brain, working alongside me. My brother is a dog whisperer and he's a very good dude to have nearby because he's also incredibly calm. I, well, maybe not so much.
We called around for an ER vet and zoomed Stella over there, rushed her into the doctor's arms and spent the next few hours pondering what. happens. next.
Luckily, all is well again. She did have a terrible reaction to the bee sting. She went into anaphylactic shock. It was insanely scary. It exhausted all three of us.
The next morning, we had very little get up and go. Stella was still on benadryl and supposed to take it easy. The three of us sat on the couch. Somehow, OJ and I got caught up in you tube, watching the best performance videos from all those different talent shows on T.V. while copious tears streamed down our cheeks. Every once in awhile, one of us would look over at the other and laugh at ourselves. We knew we were bawling like babies, but felt so grown-up, crying with joy from discovering the beauty that exists in those rare second chances.