Lucy behaved beautifully during our grueling 24 hour trans-global trip to Vietnam. Honestly, I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. Safely in Saigon, not a moment’s struggle getting her through immigration, I’m relieved—
But, it was indeed an amazing journey, including the two medical emergencies on-board the 13 hour flight from Detroit to Tokyo. One passenger had an apparent heart attack and died five hours outside our Japanese destination. Medical personnel on-board were summoned and assisted in at least ten attempts to shock the man’s heart back into beating again. The victim of cardiac arrest was seated 3 rows in front of me. Neither airline officials nor flight attendants actually announced to passengers that the man had died. I only surmised as much given the number of times the doctor attempted to restart the heart—so many that the battery in the device died and cabin crew requested passenger donate batteries from their hand-held electronic devices. In addition to this, paramedics in Tokyo seemed in no hurry to remove the passenger from the plane. Surely, if his situation had indeed been dire and he had survived, the airline would have wanted to transport him to a hospital as soon as possible. Not only this, but no attempt was made to divert the flight and land sooner in an effort to intervene medically on the man’s behalf.
Less heart-wrenching (excuse the pun), but important none-the-less, is day to day living with Lucy in Vietnam—our primary struggle involves the fact that there is not a blade of grass within a 10 block radius of our apartment, except for a park that involves a 15 minute walk, but where dogs are not allowed on the lawn. I kid you not—this morning a security a guard reprimanded me, “Not dog on grass! Not dog on grass!” When I showed him the pink poop bag with which I intended to pick up any excrement, pink poop bag I had brought purposefully all the way from the US—biodegradable and environmentally friendly—he seemed not the least impressed and repeated his demand with all the more irritation, “Not dog on grass! Not dog on grass!” Lucy refuses to pee or poop on pavement. What’s an environmentally conscious, dog-lugging-to-the-far-east American to do?