Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

What’s your work schedule today and tomorrow?

I’m off today and tomorrow I work 6:30-8:30 am and again 4:15-11:30 pm.

Can you talk now?

Yeah I can. I’ll call in a sec.

I paused Andy Williams’ rendition of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” on Pandora and unplugged my ear buds. I re-entered the string of texts and touched my finger to the little phone icon on my screen.

The phone rang a couple of times and I heard my mother on the other end. She said she was in the middle of something and asked me to talk while she double checked someone else’s work. I heard her mumbling about something being wrong as I informed her I was packing my stuff to move back home and struggling to mentally plan an outfit for a Christmas party at work. She suggested my purple skirt and a sparkly top. Then, she was silent for a moment.

“Don’t be mad.”

Oh. That’s how this is going to go.

“Okay? About what?”

“You know how Lana likes to eat stuff, like your purse?” And my money, gift cards, shoes, bean bag, garbage….

“Yes?”

“She ate something, but we don’t know what.”

That’s really not newsworthy. “Okay?”

“And she wasn’t feeling well.”

“Still?” This had been going on for at least a week. My parents had been keeping me up to date on her progress, much to my relief informing me that she was still eating and pooping and all that jazz. One of the dogs had been vomiting in the middle of the night, but with Desi being old and Lana feeling sick, there was no telling which one.

My mother said that yes, Lana was still feeling sick. That she’d been throwing up a lot and had stopped eating (though she still pooped and enjoyed her walks). Apparently, they took her to the vet and he had given her fluids and canned food and a shot to make the nausea subside. He’d done blood tests (no toxins or pancreatic cancer found) and x-rays, which were inconclusive.

Within hours she was back to feeling ill. They called the vet again the next morning and brought her in. He decided to do surgery.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

My mind froze. Had she already had the operation? Without me there?! Yes, I learned she had the surgery the night before, and that my mother didn’t want to tell me about it until they had a more solid idea of the result.

The vet found something in her small intestines. They said it was round, chewed up, and about three inches in diameter. Ouch. He saved the object so my parents could observe it, but they haven’t picked her up yet. They said they’ll ask the vet if they can take it home for me to try and figure out what it is. (One guess is that the object was a toy from doggie daycare, or an ornament off the Christmas tree. Last year she ate a glass ornament and gave me a heart attack, so my parents decided no more glass. Now it appears the plastic/wood ornaments may have done more harm. Who’d have thought?!)

The doctor said the next 24 hours would be critical, but seeing as Lana toughed it out with a large, solid object in her intestines, we were hoping for the best. She’s my tough little tomboy, after all.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

She got staples (allegedly stronger than stitches, though two of them came out), and then managed to re-open her wound after they were removed. Now she’s bandaged like a mummy and on antibiotics to prevent infection from licking.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

Will Lana keep eating non-edible things? Yes. She’s my stupid baby. She will have no idea her gluttony caused her pain. And, as she is still a puppy-ish young adult, she will continue to get into trouble. But I’ve always known this about her. She’s smart, and that’s a danger of smart dogs. Will I have to try harder to child-proof my house? Apparently. Will I have to keep a small Christmas tree up on a table until she can control herself? You betcha. I have lessons to learn from this, and if you’re smart, you’ll learn from me, too.

Let’s look at this objectively…
1. I’m now quite sure we need pet insurance. My dog is a mess. An accident on legs. Not an accident waiting to happen, just a perpetual accident. Now it’s just a matter of researching the best provider for us.
2. Even with intestinal blockage, Lana was pooping up until her surgery day. She looked lethargic and sickly sometimes, but perked up for walks. The main symptoms, according to my parents, were vomiting and loss of appetite. I am fairly sure I would have thought If she’s pooping, there’s nothing in there. Which is exactly why I’m telling you all this story. Because apparently, hearty dogs can look not nearly as sick as they actually are.
3. The vet said Lana wouldn’t need her cone, and she re-opened her wound. Maybe most dogs wouldn’t have still needed the cone, but I should have known better. Lana is Lana, after all. Better to be safe than sorry.
4. Honestly, this should probably be a lesson in child-proofing your house. Closing your dog in a play pen. Crating your dog. However, I’m going to be that sickeningly optimistic mother who assumes her dog accidentally swallowed something rather than choosing to eat it.
5. She’s cost between 2,500 and 3,000 dollars this month. Once again an argument for pet insurance, but also a reminder for readers: dogs cost more than their adoption fee. There’s food, shots and pills, toys and bowls, grooming, and worst of all, random expenses like this. If you can barely afford the adoption fee of a dog (see, the people who complain that rescues charge a fee), then I assure you, you cannot afford a dog.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

Vet Bills, Squirrels, and Gratitude

Wow Kayla, way to take a vacation from the blog. Scratch that, from all responsibilities. Even though avoiding responsibilities just makes me stress.

Anyway, I’m going to compromise. I’m going to update you all on Lana’s widdles and say thank you to someone who did something super awesome, and I’ll talk about a couple of award nominations later. Sound like a good plan?

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First of all, Lana’s still wearing her panties. And I’m resisting jokes like “don’t get your panties in a wad”, but really I’m not sure why. It’s not like she’d get it and make fun of my corniness. Alas, I try to maintain some level of maturity.

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I took Lana (and a sample of her pee, which was not fun to catch) to my parents’ veterinarian, Doctor Qureishi. He was very nice and thorough, though perhaps I should have mentioned I was a poor college student. I feel like generic meds would have been nice, but I probably should have actually asked if there were any. Oops.

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He explained Lana does have a mild UTI. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure that’s the cause of the leaking. It is possible she has weak muscles that allow the bladder to escape, and that constant dribbling caused the UTI rather than vice versa. That sounds like the worst case scenario. That would mean meds for the rest of her life. So, we’re keeping an eye on the leakage to see if it stops with the daily antibiotics.

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In the meantime, Lana and I are working on losing some weight. She weighed in at 54 pounds at the vet’s office! That’s essentially a healthy weight, but because of her long back and tall, skinny legs she will be extra susceptible to back and hip problems later in life, so weighing a little less is definitely better.

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Unfortunately with the recent tropical storm it’s been hard to get out and walk. Far too much wet for that. So Miss Lana’s been stuck inside watching “her buddy” the squirrel. And talking to him. Seriously. It’s like owning a Husky. She makes me laugh until I cry.

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And believe it or not the little guy talks back. I’m betting they’ll be buddies by the end of summer. Image

There’s one more thing I wanted to do in this update: thank a new(ish?) reader!

For every person who follows my blog, I get an e-mail (or if you follow on Facebook, I get a notification). And every single time I think Oh my gosh, someone cares! As an aspiring writer/rescuer, this is a bigger compliment than most of you may know. So to everyone who follows us, whether they’ve been there from day 1 or they are new, I thank you with all my heart. It means so much.

And when I got an e-mail that Human Rescues Dog chose one of my posts in her list of “Friday 5: Posts That Make Me Happy”, it made me seriously happy! I follow her on Facebook (I’ll link to her page on the DBBL Facebook page for you) and I can tell you she has lots of stuff! A weekly list that features other bloggers called “Friday 5”, posts about training, health, etc. and of course some very cute dogs of her own. I mean it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like she has a Lab and a Golden. Love!

So thank you! And in my next post, I’ll talk about some award nominations, and I’ll definitely have some more wonderful people to thank then.  =)

Widdle

Lana and I have moved back in with my parents, and Brody has moved on to a new foster. Super conflicting emotions.

So I’ve been busy packing, cleaning, unpacking, rearranging, missing Brody, and cleaning some more. A bit too busy to post on here, until now. Which is convenient, because now something’s up.

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This is not that something. This is merely to break up an ugly wall of text.

I’ve been spotting a bit of widdle lately.

Have you ever made up a word because no other one in existence seemed quite right? I have.

“Widdle” is a combination of the words wee and piddle. It means just a wee bit of piddle, but nobody else knows used to know it, so it doesn’t have that whole ‘icky urine’ connotation.

And I’ve been finding a bit of widdle lately.

A little puddle (a liddle?) on the tile. A splotch on the bed. A few rogue drops when Lana shakes. It was obviously widdle, and I was obviously concerned.

And Lana is obviously humiliated.

And Lana is obviously humiliated.

At least she doesn't wear granny panties...

At least she doesn’t wear granny panties…

So we made an appointment at my parents’ vet. I will keep everyone up to date. Plus, as soon as I finish the final steps of moving, I’ll have all the time in the world to update. DBBL will be up and running at full speed in no time. And that special surprise I’m working on is still… being worked on. I mean, nothing concrete yet, but I haven’t forgotten it.