Friday, March 12, 2010

Damn Dog!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I'm not really an "animal" person. Animals and I have never gotten along. From my very first interactions with animals - cats, dogs, hamsters things haven't gone well. Especially since the Bear Country USA incident.

Last night Patch, the Luna's big black lab, decided to that my purse my be an interesting source of adventure. The kids had received a very lovely basket of Pretzels and Popcorn and Movie Candy along with Balloons and the movie UP - so while we were unwrapping gifts - screaming about balloons and deciding what to do with ribbons and wrapping paper - the dog was busy devouring a pack of chocolate eggs and a package of gum. Now, I know that dogs can't have chocolate. But did you know that dogs can die from Xylitol? Yeah, I didn't. I mean, the cartoons show that when Marmaduke eats gum, he farts bubbles - they don't draw the family out in the back yard digging a giant hole sobbing uncontrollably.

Mind you - I don't fare well in emergency situations where I don't know the answer. So while the kids are screaming about presents, I'm yelling at the dog. I looked up dogs and chocolate online - and figured big lab, less than 2 oz of milk chocolate...diarrhea at the worst.

Then I looked up dogs and gum. Yeah - screw you sugar free gum, with your Xylitol and your dog poisoning. That's not something you want your dog to eat - unless you hate your dog. So I called the vet. After the phone rang 30 times (seriously) Dr. Hoffman answered. I explained the situation. He talked to me like I was 8. Which is fine, in Dog Care Years, I probably am 8. It involved getting Patch to drink Hydrogen Peroxide. He wretched twice but didn't puke. The vet said to wait an hour - if he hadn't thrown up - to call him back. Meanwhile, kids are still going nuts and also asking a thousand questions about their sick dog. "Why are you trying to get Patch to puke?" Stacie, Stacie? Stacie? Stacie? Aunt Stacie? Has he puked yet? Nope. So I call back Dr. Hoffman - he said, "Well, you can try one more thing...put 3/4 teaspoon of salt in the back of the dog's throat." Now mind you, I call Patch a Dumb Dog often - but he's not that dumb. He knows that I screamed bloody murder when he tried to snatch the 2nd package of eggs from my purse. He was already reluctant when I poured the Hydrogen Peroxide down his gullet - so he wasn't to keen on snuggling up to me when I came down with my salt trick. So I bribed him - I'm good at bribing...just ask the kids. I offered him a piece of kibble - he opened up for that, and in went the salt. Well - the salt worked instantly. Salt went in - chocolate, 12 pieces of gum and the piece of kibble landed nicely on the floor. In a gooey dog stomach kind of way.


The kids come down - apparently dog puke is super cool to look at - not so fun to clean up. I call Dr. Hoffman - I say, "Thank you so much, the salt thing worked." That's when he says this comforting nugget of knowledge... "Make sure you watch him for the next 3-4 days. Unless you can see that the salt came up with the puke. Because salt can be toxic for dogs too." Great...that's just great. What kind of symptoms should I be looking for? "Oh, he'll start to show signs of lethargy and may have a seizure." Hey, Doc, got anything else cool that I need to worry about during an already stressful week.

So that evening, as Patch was trying recover from his adventures with Aunt Stacie I was freaking out with every dog twitch, yawn and sigh. I finally just let the dog up on the couch so that if he actually did start to have a seizure I'd least know he was having one.

I don't know what I would done about it - but hey, comfort is found in the strangest of places. Isabel, true to tattling form, came directly down the stairs in the morning and said, "Aunt Stacie! Patch can NOT be on the couch, Mom Said!" - Yeah, well, I'll deal with your Mom freaking out about dog hair on the couch as opposed to having to sit you three little cherubs down to explain that Aunt Stacie killed your dog.

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