Saturday, March 17, 2012

Teddy: The Dog Who'll Eat Anything

We had a sizable crisis with our new(er) dog Teddy … remember him? The fuzzy one that is red and white?  He’s gotten big since we got him last May.  He’s much bigger than Daizy, and boy oh boy, he is so smart it’s uncanny.  Definitely too smart for his own good.  Definitely.

Yesterday after school, Elizabeth brought her friend Emily home to hang out for the afternoon.  The kids are always starving after school, so Leslie got fresh fried chicken from Safeway. It’s very tasty, if you’re into meat, and the girls had a big plate of it upstairs.   Teddy knew the chicken was up there because he has that super power of his … his nose.  In hindsight, I remember he made several trips up the stairs throughout the course of the afternoon to sort of check on things.  He wasn’t interested in playing with the girls. He was interested in the chicken!

At about 7:45 p.m. it was time to touch base on when Emily would be leaving and what was going on the rest of the evening.  I asked the girls to bring the laundry baskets downstairs, and to bring their dishes down, too. They were goofing around and were very happy. They brought the baskets down.  I had made them a veggie platter with dip for dinner (because they ate all that chicken earlier and weren’t terribly hungry), and even with Teddy eating a bunch of carrots, it was hearty. When they were down here, I asked Elizabeth to take the garbage out, so out bounced both girls.  It was pouring rain outside. 

Suddenly I realized Teddy was nowhere in sight.  I always know where both dogs are at any time in the day.  It’s just something that happens sort of naturally, particularly when you’re worried about the rain and the fact that the dogs despise getting wet, which might mean sneaking a poop in the house, when they think they can get away with it.  We have to stay on them when it’s pouring and remind them to “go poo poo outside,” which they do faithfully … most of the time.

At first I thought, maybe Teddy snuck out the open gate, which he’d done only once before.  In that instance, we had him before he really realized he was free.  Out into the rain the girls went yelling,“Teddy! Teddy!” He wasn’t outside.

Then it dawned on me that he was upstairs, and Elizabeth went running to see what was going on.  He surely was there … and he had a chicken wing in his mouth.  The rest of what was on the plate --- bones, skin, and crud – was gone.  Not good news.  A dog can eat raw chicken bones because they are flexible and can be digested. However, cooked chicken bones are brittle and cannot be digested.  They will break and perforate or puncture the lining of Teddy’s stomach or intestines.  When I was six years old we had a medium size poodle named Jackie and she got into chicken bones and ended up in the hospital having surgery!  Yikes!

At this particular juncture, we do not have a couple of thousand dollars tucked away for “stupid dog tricks”.  Holy crap, I thought, there has to be a self-help way to get out of this mess.

I looked up “How do induce vomiting in my dog” on line and the consensus was that administering hydrogen perixode would do the trick. What I read stated that one cap full for little dogs and up to two tablespoons for larger dogs, like a Lab or Golden, should have your dog barfing within five minutes.  I grabbed the turkey baster for the job, proving that there are more than two uses for that particular tool, and Leslie grabbed Teddy.  Before he knew what hit him, as speed is the key to giving your animal medicine you know he will hate, I had pumped a cap or so full of peroxide down his throat. Judging from the sounds he made, it must’ve tasted pretty bad. 

A few minutes went by and Teddy only did some coughing.  So, we did it again.  This time he knew it was coming, so it was a little harder to get it down his throat, but we did, and quickly, too.  It worked.

Within minutes Teddy had barfed up all the chicken bones, chicken scraps, and carrots he’d eaten previously.  And he kept on barfing until there was nothing left in his stomach, which was a relief, because all it takes is one bone to put your dog in an early grave. 

We made sure he took some water, and gave him a bit of bread to soak whatever tummy acid might be left over. Then, exhausted from the ordeal, he fell into a deep sleep on the couch.

I’m happy to report that Teddy is his usual happy and bouncy self. There was a funny moment at the dog park this afternoon, however, when he was jumping around and playing with other dogs, so happy, and I thought, “Wow, he could’ve had an entirely different day.”

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