Everything was fine until my dogs got in on the celebration.
Yesterday while Daddy was taking me out to lunch Greta and Marlowe jumped up on his kitchen table–the chairs were pushed in–and snagged a sealed half-pound box of See’s candy, a birthday gift I clearly wasn’t careful enough with.
They are Papillons, weighing a diminutive 6.7 and 5.8 pounds.
Somehow got the box, now empty, from the table over to the couch where it sat, dismantled and empty. Marlowe didn’t look the least bit guilty. What he looked was wretched. Ears in a funny position, his body was hunkered, and shaking. Chocolate and dogs is a bad combo.
Forget going back to San Francisco. Forget my free birthday cupcake from Susie Cakes. Forget a leisurely hike at the Marin Headlands. We flew warp sped to Ariel’s vet, who whisked us right in. But Marlow couldn’t wait. Even as he was vomiting in the front seat I tried to tell myself, This is a good! Slimy chocolate in my car meant less of it inside of him.
“Half a pound is a lot of chocolate for a little dog,” said Dr. Nate. “How much of it do you think he threw up?”
How does one translate emesis –and here I have to stop and report that spell check doesn’t even recognize the technical term for vomiting–how does one translate the goo in my car….into a quantity of bordeaux creams, Scotch mallows, or vanilla creams?? I call Daddy and ask him to search the house and yard for more vomit and report back. He loves getting that call, I can tell you.
And I’ll also tell you, he didn’t find any.
His shoe did.
Puddled in front of his favorite chair.
Meanwhile, Marlowe is being poked and prodded. He looks less peaked since the emesis experience. “Good that you found him quickly,” says Dr. Nate. They are keeping Marlowe for the afternoon. There is more vomiting in his future, induced this time, and fluids–he’s dehydrated already–and charcoal to prevent absorption of toxin. “Even if we get him to throw everything up, his body will probably absorb 20%.”
They show me an estimate of charges. I’m just happy it’s in the three figures. A vet emergency with Greta a few years ago went well into four.
I fold the mat from the passenger seat as strategically as possible and get it on the rubber mat. Greta is thrilled not to be staying there.
Adrenaline is a weird thing. It gives you energy and focus for the necessary thing and when it’s gone it is GONE. I collapse at home. If I don’t get a birthday cake maybe I can have a birthday nap. Not sure I slept, maybe just “rested my eyes,” as Daddy says.
And when I wake up….I learn that Greta, too, had some chocolate! Lessons in humility and cleaning up. Back to the vet. My mind is doing this weird logic. Maybe it’s good that Marlowe didn’t get so much? But Greta is even smaller. And the vet closes soon, they won’t have much time to help her. But she clearly didn’t eat as much. And there’s another question….Can I possibly get the rug out from under the dining table so I can hose it off outside?
“To be abundantly cautious we would keep them overnight on an IV at an emergency hospital.” he explained that the actual toxicity from the chocolate can be delayed up to 12 hours–which would be midnight– but I could tell from his tone that would be overkill. I am, though, to watch for signs of neurological problems.
At six-twenty we all get in the car. Marlowe has a patch shaved from his right foreleg. Greta has little bits of black charcoal on her pretty hair. Even with Greta in the mix the bill is still in the three figures. I thought about hugging the vet. Decided no.
I also didn’t get him chocolate as a thank you.