Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Pet Bull Plans A Night Out.

This blog entry was originally composed 1/9/10 and posted elsewhere.

I'll be the first to admit that weeknights in the dead of winter are generally pretty boring around our house. You can't blame the dog for wanting a night out. But who would have ever guessed that she was plotting and conspiring to bring a little excitement to our dull existence.

Now in my defense; I feel compelled to explain that Veronica has never been a voracious chewer. Sure she's retarded enough to eat a stick, or a dirty tissue or a live, squirming bug (you get the idea); but never in her 3 and a half years on the planet has she ever shown more than a passing interest in her squeaky toys. Squeaky toys are meant to be squeaked, tossed in the air and pushed into the lap of the nearest person in the hopes of initiating a rousing game of tug/fetch/keep away. Never has she EATEN a squeaky toy. Until last Tuesday.

I came home from work; 6 pm, earlier than usual, quite exhausted (which is usual). For some unknown reason, I came in the house and was drawn with tunnel vision to the living room floor which was strewn with a myriad of V.'s squeaky toys and my gaze locked on her pink dinosaur. "WHERE is his head"?, I shrieked at my husband, brandishing it in his face like an accusation (Weren't you watching her??) Then ensued a conversation around: am I sure he ever had a head in the first place, how do I know that I didn't pick up his head without thinking about it and throw it away on a previous occasion, and when exactly was the head last seen.

Of course like any good fur mommy I knew without a doubt that Mr. dinosaur had a head last night when we played with him. Since V. goes to her Grammy's during the day, that means that the head disappeared sometime between hubby getting home at 3 pm and me walking in the door at 6 pm.

Being prone to anxiety, and an anticipator of worst case scenarios; I immediately worked myself up into a complete frenzy imaging a life threatening obstruction and informing my husband we may as well "start picking out our next dog". That got hubby mobilized into action. We searched the entire house. We looked high (in case the head got tossed into the Christmas tree; no we haven't taken it down yet) and low (I really need to vacuum under my couch more often). No head.

In an act of sheer desperation I picked up Mr. dinosaur to attempt to re-generate his head through the sheer power of my will; which is when I realized that the situation was actually MUCH more dire. Not only was Mr. dinosaur relieved of his head; but he had thoughtfully been gutted from stem to stern and his entrails devoured (read: the squeaker was missing).

By this point, my anxiety had bled onto my husband and we we're both whipped into a fine frenzy. Thankfully in a moment of lucidity it became perfectly obvious to us that since the head could only possibly have been eaten in the space of the last 3 hours; it was reasonable to make the dog throw up. Of course! Except for the fact that neither of us has ever made a dog throw up before. But how hard can it be, right? Just call the E-vet, get the right dosage of hydrogen peroxide, yadda, yadda. 2 to 3 tablespoons and then 15 minutes later another 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you don't get vomit by then, you probably won't; or so says the nice vet tech who answered the phone. But then he mentioned the possibility of aspirating. Yes, he said it was not common,. Yes he said it was "highly unlikely". However point of fact, you do not use the word aspirate when talking with someone who is on the verge of hysteria. Common @#$%ing sense people!!

So it was decided; as Veronica knew it would be. Off we went to the E-vet. At this point I wasn't aware that we were playing right into her hands...errmm...paws. I felt so bad for her, having to be dragged out on a cold night, going to that cold sterile place where strangers will drag her to a barren back room and poke at her mercilessly.
Uh huh.

We walk in the door to the E-vet, I'm sick to my stomach and shaking. My husband looks as if he is going to burst into tears. The first thing we hear is, "Ooh it's VERONICA"! OK...twilight zone? No, it turns out the gal behind the desk is moonlighting from her job at V.'s regular vet. "Oh I have to come see Veronica" she says; and much cooing ensues and introductions of Veronica to the other staff. Honestly I missed most of it; what with being a complete nervous wreck and all.

So they come to take Veronica away; and she seems to trot off with a spring in her step; unlike how I imagined her; which would have been whimpering and cowering behind me. After about 15 grueling minutes in which time I prayed to a God I don't fully believe in and chomped on nicorette like a horse (and for the first time in 5 years didn't curse my husband for still chewing the damn stuff despite that we both quite smoking 5 years ago); the vet tech finally emerges. V. is fine he assures us, "NO, she did not aspirate". She did throw up the squeaker...but sadly the head is still MIA.

"The doctor thinks she could pass the head", he tells us; but they want to do a "quick" x-ray. Out he goes and I still have no dog. So...wait, wait, wait, chew, chew, chew, pray, examine my spiritual leanings and the fate of my soul, conclude that topic is too overwhelming and best left to another time, inhale, exhale, sigh, twitch, pace, turn to my husband and hiss under my breath, "WTF are they DOING? HOW is this QUICK"?????

25 minutes later the vet comes prancing in with Veronica; practically gushing! "Oh she's a great dog! A GREAT dog! She got tons of attention from everyone in back! We just LOVE her"! At which point the haze of anxiety begins to lift and I am able to appraise the situation clearly. While I was sitting in an 8X8 room with my husband, playing "who's going to snap, crackle, pop first"; V. was holding court in the back room. I looked down at her where she was laying contentedly at my feet. I nudged her with my foot. "You planned this". I mumbled under my breath. V. looked at me with wide eyed innocence.

Then the doctor was talking; didn't see anything, probably pass it, watch for this, this and this; call us if that; go home with my blessing...and this special diet to follow over the next 2 days.

So V. got a night out, plenty of socialization and a diet of boiled chicken and rice, supplemented with unsalted chicken broth mixed with water (2 cups 4 times/day). Being a dog, the whole vomiting thing was not viewed as a big negative. From her perspective the whole situation was win-win.

4 days later she is completely fine. Eating (enthusiastically), pooping on schedule, and is as active as normal (which is to say not very) - but she has been snoozing quite comfortably on the couch under her blankies. All squeaky toys have been confiscated and will only be brought out for SUPERVISED play.

And they say dogs aren't capable of complicated thought processes...

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