Thursday, January 22, 2009

Christmas Memories, Call the Vet!

Our big surprise this past Christmas was chocolate flavored dog poop. There’s a mental image that’ll put some Ho Ho in your Holiday. As you may recall, my wife Trina & I own a golden retriever named Mika. And this time, Mika did a little foraging after everyone finished opening their presents. When nobody was looking, she cleaned out a tray filled with mixed nuts. Not good but tolerable. Then she downed an entire bowl of trail mix, including glazed bananas, raisins and other assorted fruit products. That’s probably bad. Emboldened, our precious pooch pounced again, devouring a whole bag of Hershey’s Kisses. That’s an explosive combination for anyone, man, dog, or even one of the Olsen twins. Did you know that googling “Olsen Twins” gets like four million hits?

When I was a kid we had a German Schnauzer named Heidi. She was a chow hound with a legendary appetite. And just like Mika, Heidi always went to work at Christmas time. Whenever we trimmed the tree, Heidi would start prospecting for precious metals. We always knew what she’d been up to. Eventually, long silver strands of tinsel would emerge from her backside, a semaphore signal of yuletide greetings we could’ve done without.

For pets, Christmas ‘tis the season for feasting’ on stuff they’re just not supposed to eat. We can’t put any ribbons on the gifts. That’s because our cat Barney will chew them up and swallow them. It’s like Lays Potato Chips. He can’t eat just one. Barney will gobble ribbons until he erupts, a Vesuvius-like blast of gaily-colored bits of gooey fluff. Speaking of erupting…

When we realized that Mika had eaten a boatload of snacks we went through all five stages of emotional response.

Denial: “No way my angel would eat that crap.”

Bargaining: “Mika, if you give it back we’ll let you drive the car home with the top down.”

Anger: Trina, this is all your fault!

Despair: “It’s hopeless, we’re horrible dog poisoners.”

And finally, Acceptance: “Hey, It could be worse. It’s not like she’s shaved her head and joined a cult.”

Five stages or not, OMG! Chocolate can be poisonous for dogs! Do we give her the heimlich? Maybe we should stick a finger down her throat? Ewww! Is there such a thing as a Doggy Stomach Pump? Trina, who always travels with a pet emergency book, does some quick research. She says Mika should be okay. But Mika may display some minor symptoms in the next 12 to 18 hours. So all Christmas day, we hover over our dog. “Maybe we should give her some ginger ale?”, I offer. Trina goes back to stage three and tells me what I can do with that idea. At bed time Mika is perfectly fine. I awake at 4:00am to the sound of heavy breathing. No, it’s not Trina. It’s Mika, disgorging her stash of ill-gotten goodies all over the rug. In the dark, I slosh across the floor, stumbling to the door with a heaving dog in tow. Outside, Mika triumphantly finishes the job. Happily, we return to our beds, disaster averted. The next morning, under the Christmas tree, we find one last holiday gift. It’s a great big pile of dog poop, festively decorated with foil candy wrappers. Thank God Barney only eats ribbon.

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1 comment:

Lydia said...

Oh my gosh--that's just perfect! And how right is it? Too right.