Throw in the dog for free


Two days ago, two and a half at this point, I came home from work to find Annie huddling in the back of her crate, a big wad of foil next to her. On the other side of the kitchen sat the cleaned up contents of the doggie-proof trash can.

The NOT-SO-doggie proof trash can, that is.

Either I had left the kitchen cabinet somewhat open, or the dogs have learned how to open the kitchen cabinets. Now, this is not difficult, nor an unreasonable, supposition from a dog that can open peanut butter jars with ridged lids by holding the jar with her front paws and twisting off the lid with her teeth on the ridges for leverage. Suffice it to say, the kitchen cabinet was open, the trash can pulled out, it's contents licked and eaten clean.

Which was unfortunate, as I had cleaned out the fridge that morning, throwing away old bread, fermented black beans, expired cottage cheese, and (unfortunately) a number of other items.

Neither Annie nor Bella received Greenies that evening for dessert.

Fast forward to this morning, when Annie woke me up at 5 AM with her click, click, click from the bedroom to the kitchen to outside back to the kitchen, click click click back down the hall and back into the bedroom, only to repeat the same steps in a pacing that wrenched me from sleep and set me on a close-to-breaking-point annoyance with the dog.

An annoyance that turned to anger when she vomited in the living room on the rug.

I jumped up, dragged her into the kitchen, then poked Kris awake and told him to clean up the mess. Since I'm a cat person, when these dogs are bad, they're completely his dogs. He gets to clean up the mess.


Not me.

Which he has done for the last five years without complaint. This morning was no exception.

Annie continued to make near vomiting noises all day: dry heaves with no satisfactory resolution at the end.

Around ten tonight (last night?), I complained to Kris in frustration. I spent the whole day listening to Annie pace inside to outside, down the hall, around the kitchen, all while making vomiting noises. I really wasn't going to be able to spend the night listening to her. "Do you want me to take her to the vet?" Kris asked. I thought about it for a bit. Yes, the emergency vet would probably get her to puke already, but they were so expensive. The last bill was about $350, when she ate two pounds of chocolate and we had to induce vomiting on (unsurprising) Annie. This one would probably be similar.

Would I spend $350 for a good night's sleep?

If it meant getting a migraine if I didn't, hell yes.

So, Bella, Kris, Annie and I piled into the car and went off to the emergency vet. We arrived just as a pit bull mix was going into the back, so there was no waiting in the front room.

We met with the vet, told her what was up, and answered her questions: had she vomited today (yes), did she have diarrhea (don't know), when did the reverse sneezing start (this morning), how about the gulping (huh?)? She though that, yeah, okay, the reverse sneezing usually meant she was trying to suck something out of her nose (yeah, we knew that, Bella does it all the time, this was Annie's first time), but the gulping could mean pancreatitis.


Because of her eating potentially rotten food two nights ago, the vet wanted to rule out pancreatitis with some blood work. She also wanted to sedate Annie and look down her throat, see if there was an obstruction causing the gulping.

Kris and I waited out in the lobby with Bella walking around EXCITED at the other dogs and the CATS which came through while we were waiting for Annie. After about thirty minutes, the vet came out with a paper towel in her hands. We looked over curiously.

The towel had little piles of green on it, and a few spots of blood. I wish I had had my camera, so that I could have taken a picture of the pile of foxtails on the napkin. You know. FOXTAILS. Demon dog Annie foxtails. The bloody ones were from her tonsils, where they were embedded, forcing the vet to yank them out. The other ones were stuck in various places in her mouth and throat. She hoped she got them all, but we really needed to watch where she went.

We thought about the situation, and concluded that Annie probably felt ill on Wednesday night or Thursday, and started eating grass in the back yard to induce vomiting. When she did so, she ate the fox tails, as we had tilled under all of the grass in the back yard last week. The only greens in the back were either foxtails or next to foxtails, and Annie, in her attempt to self-medicate, ate them.

We suck as dog owners some times.

Eventually, a half drunk, er, sedated Annie was brought out of the back room, staggering with her front legs as her back legs refused to cooperate and she walked leaning left, then right. She fell asleep on my lap after a little struggle, while Kris waited for th bill total.


"Crap," I said, "we're going to spend $2000 in the span of less than 12 hours."

AND, we're not even going to Australia.

Kris shrugged his shoulders. "Well, look at it this way," as we drove home at 1:30 in the morning, "if the plumbing was originally going to cost $2000, and we're getting it done for $1200 instead, we're still paying the $2000, but they're throwing the dog in for free."

There's always a bright side.