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"A Journey Home"

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Chapter 11

Jam Jams

It was almost one pm by the time Ed and Kaye made their way into town. Kaye had used the free time to make good on part of her debt to Barb. The fruit of her efforts was placed in a large baggie on the Jeep's front seat between Ed and her . He made yet another attempt to open the plastic bag holding the newly baked cookies. He had been teasing Kaye about the two dozen jam jams all the way into town. For his efforts, pretend or not Ed had gotten another slap on the hand.

“One Kaye. I just want one. It's not like she's going to count them anyway, you gave her three dozen, and she asked for two.”

“No Ed, My God, you're worse than a kid, they're for Barb, now, stop it.” She pushed his hand away. “Now leave them alone.” Kaye slapped his hand again. It was nice to have the old Ed back, Kaye thought. It only took a winter storm, a beat up Border Collie, and a fight to do it, but here he was, the Edward Smith of old. Kaye picked up the cookies from between them and held them on her lap.

“Well, it's just not fair is what I'm thinking, all I want is one stinking cookie,” Ed said.

He was watching the roads, which were a little slippery but was enjoying the banter between Kaye and himself. Ed took a peek to see if Kaye was looking. She wasn't, so he took one hand slowly off the steering wheel and slid his hand slowly across the seat and made a last effort to nab one. His index finger was making an attempt to burrow between the zip-lock of the plastic bag.

Kaye had caught the movement out of the corner of her eye. She knew she would have to get out the big guns. She had reached in the passenger's side door pocket of the Jeep after his last attempt. It might have been left over aggression from last night's quarrel, it might have been a lot of things she would never be sure. Whatever it was, one quick movement of her hand, Ed's conquest for a jam-jam was over. His hand got smacked hard with the edge of a thick plastic John Deer windshield ice scraper. Kaye grimaced after hearing it make contact, she began to chuckle. It had stuck far better than she could have hoped. It had made a delicious sound when it made contact with at least three of Ed's knuckles. It was feeling you get when you knew you caught the ball on the end of the bat, giving your team that winning home run.

“Damn, it Kaye! now that hurt like hell!” Ed yelped. He began to shake his hand in the air as if it had just caught on fire. Ed looked at Kaye and knew she was trying not to laugh out loud. It was nice to see her smile again too. It had been a long fall for both of them, and he was happy to be with her today, playing again liked they had when times were better.

“Well, I don't think its all that funny.” He began to open and close the fingers on his right hand. “I think you might have broken something in there, I may need an x-ray.”

She didn't mean to whack his knuckles quite that hard or did she. She tried to hold back a giggle she covered her mouth with the back of her hand to hide the laughter that may erupt at any moment, then turned in her seat. Her shoulders began moving, she snorted, which only made it worse. Kaye pretended to look out her passenger window, made two attempts to talk then as she gained her control again she cleared her throat.

“You're such a baby, serves you right, trying to steel Barb's cookies. Shame on you Edward Scott.” Kaye said scolding him in a tone that Ed's mother might have used when he was four.

She looked over at Ed then saw the red that was beginning to circle the white mark on Ed's knuckles where the edge of the scraper had made contact. She tried for as long as she could holding it back then burst out in laughter. Ed made no further attempt to take what was not his. He seemed to have lost his appetite for jam-jams anyway. The signal light came on, and he turned the Jeep into the Animal Clinic parking lot.

They both got out of the Jeep, Kaye clutching the bag of cookies in her arms close to her chest. As the two walked toward the Clinic entrance, Kaye noticed a patch of ice where Ed was walking there was a nice pile of fluffy snow that had been stacked after clearing the clinic's walkway that morning. She made the calculations and then hip checked her husband that sent him off the walkway and into the snow bank.

Kaye giggled then let out a scream when she heard Ed making the usual threats of retaliation. She hurried to the doorway in the event of a snow- ball at anytime might be thrown and hit her in the back of the head. She turned around and watched her husband brush the snow from the seat of his pants.

“Aw EDDIE, did you fall down and go boom. Don't worry, we can have Dr. Barb look at your poor back while we're here, and have your hand looked at too.” Kaye said.

Ed said very little to her as he continued towards her beating the snow of his pants with his cap. She tried to taking his hand as they entered, he pulled it back away from hers.

“Don't touch me, that's my sore hand,” He said. He looked down at Kaye smiling as they entered the clinic. “You do know, of course, this thing isn't over don't you? You're going to get it for that one.” Ed said.

Kaye looked up at her husband and made fun of him “You're so big and strong and oh so scary Mr. Smith,” Kaye said Showing her best-terrified look.

“Let me get the door for you,” Kaye said and held it for him as they walked through, Ed did not take his eyes off his wife, just in case.

“I mean it, Kaye, when you're not looking,” Ed made an uppercut motion with his fist. “You're gonna get yours,” He said as he backed through the doorway. Kaye just smiled. She was not very worried he had said that too many times already. The risk was minimal, plus she still had control of the ice scraper, so she just smiled back and stuck out her tongue.

Barb was not in the waiting area when Ed and Kaye entered the clinic. Kaye placed the large bag of cookies on the counter, held up the must not touch finger at Ed, he just waved it off.

Kaye was anxious to see the collie hoping to see an improvement. Ed was looking at some of the pamphlets for heart worm medicines for dogs. He always had enjoyed even as a boy looking at charts that showed the bone and muscles of horses. There was another of a cat and one of a dog. Kaye watched as he looked at the charts admiring her husband's curiosity. They were waiting for about two minutes, then took a seat on the sofa that Kaye had slept on the previous night. They had just nicely been seated when Barb entered the room from the surgery.

“Hi, how are you, nice to see you again, Ed it's been a while How are the roads? They were slippery this morning on my way over here,” Barb said.

“Not as bad now, they have been sanded, so that's a help,” Ed said. Barb looked on the counter and saw the first payment to her from Kaye.

“Oh my God, your Jam-Jam's, yummy! Barb picked the cookies up and opened them.

“Would you two like a coffee? I just made a fresh pot,” Barb asked she held the open bag in Ed's direction.

“I bet Ed would like one,” Barb said.

Ed reached into the bag slowly and looked over at Kaye and stuck out his tongue. He took out a cookie exposing the small bruise and welt mark that formed where it had been hit by the ice scraper, curtsey of Kaye.

“What happened there,” Barb asked. Ed looked over at Kaye.

“Oh, he did that this morning wasn't fast enough I guess. He really needs to be more careful where he puts his hands.” Kaye said.

Barb poured a coffee for Ed. She had an idea that it might have been over the cookies and smiled up at Ed.

“You really need to be more careful Ed, stop putting your hands in harm's way,” Barb said.

“I have learned my lesson Barb, that won't happen again, believe me,” he said.

They sat for a bit chatting about the roads what kind of winter it might be. Barb and Ed talked about calving time that was approaching strategies, and inoculations. After they had finished their coffee, Kaye her Tea, Barb got up and took the mugs to the sink, then came back.

“Now if you two will follow me, our boy is in here,” Barb said to them both. They followed Barb through a short hallway that lead to the back of the clinic. As Barb opened the door, they saw Billy still laying on his side in the cage. “I don't think he has moved much since I placed him in here last night. He's still a little groggy,” Barb said.

Kaye peeked through the wire of the cage. “Can I pet him?” she asked. Barb nodded and opened the door for her. Billy didn't lift his head or move his tail, he just stared ahead as he lay there. A wide area had been shaved from the base of the neck up almost to his left ear the bandage that Barb had placed over his sutures, his feet were wrapped, he looked very sad indeed. Blood stains were still throughout the white of his coat, and his hair was badly matted and dull. Kaye spoke to him softly, he moved his ears a little the end of his tail swished when she called him by name. Billy licked his lips a bit then closed his eyes, enjoying the affection. Low soft whimpers escaped from him.

“He won't drink, and I was scared to feed him without being here to see how he handles the food. So Far. I have only managed to get him to lick some water off my fingers, but that's about all. But I don't want him eating a big meal right away,“ Barb said

“I have heard of that. I think it's called refeeding syndrome,” Ed said.

“That's right Ed, aren't you full of surprises,” Bard said.

Kaye didn't take her eyes off Billy just ran her hands over the dog's side. She had read a little about refeeding syndrome. It is a symptom affecting animals as well as people that have been starved. It's a slow process to reintroduce food back into an animal or a person's diet. If the animal suddenly is overfed, it could have serious consequences. A sudden load of carbohydrates in a large meal could create shifts in potassium and phosphorus levels in the body cells.

“You will need to watch for diarrhea or vomiting,” Barb said. In Billy's case, he didn't want anything. Water or food, Kaye backed up and looked at Ed and then at Barb.

“He's giving up. What do we do?” Kaye asked; looking at Barb. Ed didn't wait for a response from Barb.

“No Kaye, he's just resting up. We're going to take him home, put him in a room away from Benny and Dodger and try a little dog chow maybe a little fish oil. Get him to drink as much water as we can, and we stay with him and just be there for him," Ed said.

“That's all you can do really, and a little fish oil is a good idea, Ed,” Barb replied.

I have some Omega 3 supplement samples, I will give you and few samples of puppy chow. Turn it into a paste and mix everything together, see if he might be tempted to eat a little from your fingers. But it's really up to him now,” Barb said.

Ed nodded at Barb in agreement. Ed took over, he moved his arms into the cage patting him softly spoke Billy's name lifting the dog up and out of the cage and walked with him to the door. Kaye moved in front of him, opened the doors for Ed and followed him out into the parking lot.

Ed laid the dog on the back seat of the jeep and wrapped Billy up in the blanket Kaye had used when she had brought the dog to the clinic the day before. Ed looked at Kaye as he closed the car door.

“My God Kaye, that poor thing is just a rack of bones, now for God sake don't get your hopes too high, promise me that? I will do everything I can to help you, but it is what it is,” Ed said.

Kaye nodded and smiled at him. “I love you so much Edward Scott” and kissed his cheek. Ed looked at her and gave her a smirk.

“Nice try lady, but that's not a payback for the knuckles or the snow bank,” Ed said.

Barb stood and watched them banter thinking, what a nice couple they were.

“I hate to interrupt you two lovebirds, but you need to get him home and healthy. Please call me and keep me up to date. I would like to know if he rally's,” Barb said. Her hands were wrapping her lab coat around herself trying to keep warm in the crisp December air. Ed thanked Barb for everything. Barb gave Kaye a bag containing the puppy chow, penicillin. Kaye took the bag and hugged her friend.

“Will do,” Kaye said. She started to open the door of the Jeep then stopped and turned to Barb.

“Oh before I forget, can I get his collar, it had the owners number was on it I think,” Kaye asked.

Barb was a little surprised by the question. “Oh my God Kaye, I tossed the collar out last night it was covered in blood. You said you didn't want it back, and the garbage was picked up an hour before you got here. I never took his tag off it or looked for numbers, and I should have, I'm sorry.”

“Oh no, what was I thinking. That's my fault. I had too much on my mind I guess. I should have just taken it with me when you asked. There has to be someone looking for him. I will look into it when I get him settled in at home,” Kaye said.

Billy laid in the back seat, he felt safe in this car, mostly because of Kaye. The Man was perhaps to be trusted, he had the scent of cattle and farm on him to relax him. But he thought about his old friend. He tried to remember his home, his bed the cook stove. He tried to remember sheep and the enjoyment of herding. He thought about his bed and the smells, but he couldn't remember them, it all somehow seemed to have all faded, and the need to get back wasn't as urgent right now. He was warm content and felt safe. Billy sighed a long sigh, closed his eyes fell asleep with the sounds of his new friends talking. The sound of the road noise the car made him sleepy. Even as a pup, he could not go more than a few miles without curling up on Tom's truck seat without sleeping. He began to dream, there were sheep and a whistle, his legs twitched in response. His eyes opened then closed again, he fell asleep once more on his way to his foster home.

Written by aidan
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