Thursday, September 29, 2016

Plot Twist

Well, that was unexpected.

Oh, buddy. We had such a good day. You only had one accident in the house. You peed and pooped on command. You didn't complain about the removal of your all-you-can-eat buffet. Probably for that reason, you responded really well to the training we did with kibble rewards. I watched you like a hawk and almost never let you out of my sight. We killed Training Day 1.

Except for that one oversight.

E had just come home from school. You had just come out of your crate and had peed in your spot like a champ, so I let you off the leash to play in the backyard to celebrate. We threw the ball a little, we ran around a little, and then E and I sat down to eat popsicles while you played in the bushes. We watched you the whole time. You were only in there for about 3 minutes. But it turns out you weren't playing. 

Fast forward to an hour later. I put your dinner down for you, and you gave it a pass. Highly suspicious, given the fact that you hadn't eaten (apart from reward kibble) for 8 hours. I shook your food around, but you just ignored it. Your muzzle was all wet, but I didn't see you drinking water. Your paws were soaked, but you hadn't stepped in water. I stood there, warning bells starting to tinkle but still utterly confused...and then you vomited. Three times in rapid succession. Mostly mushrooms. 

Over the next half hour you drooled profusely, dry heaved and had explosive diarrhea. By the time I called the vet they had just closed, so we wrapped you in a blanket and drove to the emergency vet. You were in rough shape. You were lethargic and shaking and drooling like a faucet. I felt terrible. 
After a little research it looked like the mushrooms you ate were probably not the liver toxic ones, just mildly hallucinogenic muscarinic ones which cause a lot of drooling and vomiting/diarrhea, and maybe severe breathing problems and convulsions. Did I mention I felt terrible? 

They kept you overnight. They gave you IV fluids, anti-nausea meds, activated charcoal and tested you for all kinds of stuff. By 10:30pm they said you were drooling less and coming around a bit. At 6:20 this morning you were "back to being a puppy". 

I don't know who was more excited when were finally reunited. Sure, I didn't lick your face as much as you did mine, but my happy dance was every bit as enthusiastic. 

I can only hope that you're a quick study and that you'll leave mushrooms alone from now on. But just in case, we're going on lockdown. For the foreseeable future it's you and me kiddo, literally joined at the hip. It's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I really don't trust you. But I sure am glad you're okay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To: Gryffindor

You are 9 ½ weeks. Training starts today.

So far you have been a delightful little boy, with the exception of your deplorable bathroom etiquette. You are devastatingly handsome, as everyone has told you, which I suspect will get you out of more than one of life’s scrapes. You are calm and gentle, as puppies go, and you’re very, very good at hugs, kisses and cuddles. Yes, I think we picked just the perfect puppy when we found you, and I think we’ll be together for a very long time.


Buddy. You have got to figure out this potty training situation. Not to mention the leash walking fiasco. And the shoe-chewing conundrum. And the catch-me-if-you-can nonsense. But mostly, right now, I need to stop having to clean up your pee and poop from my floors eleventyseven times a day. I need that real bad.

So I will follow the trainer’s advice to the letter; only putting your food bowl down at breakfast and at dinner, taking you out to the same spot and refusing to let you have any fun until you’ve done your business, praising you up the wazoo and giving treats when you do answer the call of nature, and not letting you wander unchecked through the house, looking for virgin spaces devoid of pee smell. Life is going to get a little more prison-esque for you starting today, Griffy old pal.

But I promise, if you put your mind to it and do your very best, this phase of our lives together will not last long. Soon enough you’ll have full run of the place, you’ll be spared the indignity of being carried to “your spot” and kept under intense scrutiny while you powder your nose. Best of all, one day you and I will share a chuckle about those early days when you were so cute but so dumb, as we snuggle on the couch or hang out at the park chasing ducks. It’s going to be great. Really great.

So please, dearest boy, for love of everything holy, please get your shit together. And keep it outside.

Love: Mom