Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This is Not a Plant

Meet Tasha, my beautiful, willful, crazy, athletic sheltie mix. She's 33 pounds of coiled spring. Part kangaroo, a huge dollop of goat, and perhaps a smidgen of border collie, she's brilliant and annoying all at the same time. She's faster than any dog I've ever seen, and can outrace even the greyhounds at the park. She loves agility, but we just do it for fun, and she has been the most difficult dog I've ever owned. 

I have spent thousands of hours working with her. Tasha doesn't speak dog. She screams in some language all her own, but she is my responsibility. When my husband wanted to give up, I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier to put in yet another training season for weeks at a time, and with the help of Renee, her agility trainer, I have finally learned to speak Tasha. 

So why am I blogging about my annoying dog? We returned from running errands Sunday morning to find a bag of plant food on the kitchen floor, the corner torn out. It didn't look like much was missing, but there was no way to tell. Even with two dogs in the house, we knew who had done it. Tasha is the only one physically able to reach the counter tops. We put her in a down-stay and made her watch as I cleaned it up and put the groceries away, but something was nagging me. What's in plant food anyway? Is it poisonous? 

I went to the internet. How did we get by without the internet? Anyway, it didn't take long to determine that Tasha was in trouble. A few minutes later, she vomited, twice. WE put in an emergency call to our vet. Jim loves our dogs and they think going to his clinic is almost as much fun as the dog park. He has taken fantastic care of them from puppyhood, but he is in practice by himself, and we didn't hear back. We couldn't wait. I called a ER clinic in the city. "Bring her in as soon as you can," was the reply. 

Long story, short, Tasha needed fluids to flush the chemicals from her body. She was dehydrated and nauseous. I've never heard a dog moan like Tasha did that day. The blood tests proved she had ingested some of the plant food, but no organ damage had yet appeared. She was going to be okay. Just a high level of phosphorus to flush out of her system. 

Here's the lesson folks: dogs will eat anything, especially if they think it's people food, and if they get into plant food. Take them to the veterinarian. 

Tasha is looking better. The hollows under her eyes have plumped up, and she is no longer moaning. I have to admit I was a little concerned she would glow in the dark like an analog watch face. (you have to find humor where you can) She is not 100% yet as my little bundle of energy is already asleep at 6:30 pm, but she has an appointment for a recheck with Jim on Saturday. He will make sure she recovers. 
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