Good morning everyone!
I think Mandy has stolen several lives from a cat of origins unknown. Mandy is our husky basset hound mix and our scavenger extraordinaire.
Over the years, she has eaten anything and everything from socks and handkerchiefs to medicated creams like Neosporin and been none the worse for wear, but yesterday she finally went too far.
When I got home yesterday, I went inside to my normally enthusiastic greeting from both dogs. Rounding the corner of the couch, my blood chilled (cue the screeching violin motif from Friday the 13th) when I saw:
That most terrifying of sights, a large box of golden raisins, chewed open, with the plastic bag that contained the raisins therein lying empty beside it.
To the untutored individual, this scene would be banal. However, I am blessed/cursed to know better than that.
Dogs can eat almost anything we can, but there are a few – very few – things we can’t share well. Chocolate is one of those. Dogs lack an enzyme needed to digest it properly. I know this because I sat up with Mandy one night after she had scored an entire family size bag of peanut butter M & M’s and since what goes up must come down, you can guess what an exciting night we both had!
Another is grapes. Grapes release toxins into the blood stream of a dog that can cause kidney damage, apparently do other things to the hemoglobin in the blood and cause death in the right circumstances. Raisins, of course, are dried grapes, which means that eating a box of raisins is eating grapes in quintuplet.
After a moment of panic, I threw both dogs and Kayla into the car, barreling at 80 miles an hour to the nearest after-hours pet emergency clinic, which was in Montgomery.
Mark met us there – he hadn’t been able to get home yet since traffic had been gridlocked.
How, you may ask, did we know that it was Mandy and not Darwin that ate the grapes? We didn’t, which is why we brought both dogs. Upon reaching the vet’s, we had to choose which dog to treat first. This guess mattered, because we were already well past the two-hour window that you normally have to empty a dog’s stomach of anything that shouldn’t be there. We made an educated guess that Mandy was the only one of the two to have enough bravado to enter the pantry and pull out her very own personal snack. Darwin would help eat something if it was readily accessible, but wouldn’t seek it out like that. And when Mandy goes to that kind of trouble to get a snack, she will not be sharing.
The decision made, we handed Mandy to the vet tech and off trotted my reprobate, tail wagging and looking like this was the outing of the century.
After the vet convinced the dog to empty her stomach, the vet tech came out to tell us that not only had we guessed right, but also they had been able to get almost all of it back up – because Mandy had eaten one of Kayla’s socks the day before, and it was slowing her digestion of a number of items, the grapes being one of them. (The sock made its reappearance, apparently, sometime after the grapes.) This may be the first time in recorded veterinary history that the consumption of one undesirable item by a dog saved its life after the consumption of a second, more toxic, undesirable item.
Because Mandy is probably around 12, they have kept her overnight pumping fluids through her, and Mark is going to pick her up this afternoon after he pays a Very Large Vet Bill that dwarfs our last Very Large Vet Bill. Darwin believed it was right thoughty of us to include him in all of the excitement, and has done surprisingly well at home without Mandy, but you can tell he misses her, as do we all.
And on that happy note, I hope each of you have a great weekend!
P.S. I skipped a couple of steps between the discovery of the grapes and entering the car. Accordingly, I’d like to thank my youngest sister for her help in getting a message to her friend, the vet, and her sympathetic support via text thereafter. I’d also like to thank her friend, the vet, who did her best to help given that she was two states away and not where she could talk. If I knew then what I know now, we would have provided immediate assistance to Mandy by giving her one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and then a second one fifteen minutes later. Hind sight is, alas, 20-20.