The Day After

Yesterday, when our dog, Swirl, chewed up a bottle of Ibuprofen and ate all but one pill in the bottle (a total of twenty), we called our vet’s office. They told us to go buy a new bottle of hydrogen peroxide to make him throw up or go to the animal ER. We headed for the drugstore and then made a U-turn for the ER. We love this dog an uncommon amount so the thought of winging it with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and hoping he would throw up the twenty Ibuprofen in the parking lot of Walgreen’s seemed crazy and, for me, hysteria-making.

So we drove to the animal ER, my husband on the phone with the vet tech there the whole way. Swirl sat on the floor in the backseat while I put my hands over my face nearly all the way there. So slow. My husband drives so slow. But safe, very safe, and without tickets which is why he inches along. It wasn’t always that way.

Anyway, the vet tech finally came out to the parking lot to take Swirl in because, you know, Covid. This was after I stomped my feet in frustration at how long it was taking, our dog waiting, his belly full of Ibuprofen, while other dogs were getting their whatevers checked. I was, in the most visible and ridiculous way possible, beside myself.

The old man, however, was cool and calm. I hate when that happens.

The vet called him from inside the ER after she made Swirl throw up to tell us that they found: cotton strips (part of a Biden t-shirt we’d gotten the day before), bits of plastic (from the Ibuprofen bottle), parts of his harness (he’d chewed it a few days ago), and wood chips (from the dog park). Oh, and kibble, tinged orange (the color of the Ibuprofen pills).

It was mortifying. Doesn’t anyone keep an eye on this dog? He just has free rein to roam around the house and eat whatever? Imagined chastisings are the worst.

So, the vet gave Swirl charcoal and IV fluids and checked his kidney function. And all of this became the most important thing in life despite Covid and politics and the deluge of risk and harm raining down on the world, I am ashamed to say. So today, the day after the ER visit and after we’d gone back to the vet to have Swirl’s kidney function reassessed, I asked my husband if he would donate his kidney to Swirl.

“That’s crazy.”

“No, it’s not. Would you give Swirl your kidney?”

“It’s immoral.”

“How is it immoral?

“I would be in USA Today, not even the New York Times.”

“You would be in the National Enquirer.”

That, to me, would be small price to pay to save Swirl’s life. Luckily, it seems we are spared that decision.

All is well.

11 Comments on “The Day After

  1. My 14 year old lab cross, rehomed with us at age 10, has a bad habit of eating anything tissue. So se cut him off the toilet paper holders and the garbages. Then he graduated to anything fabric. so we try to make sure we pick up socks, underwear, dishclothes. So now he has started on shoes. It seems he needs to do this but it is a constant worry. He has his own stuffed toys, BTW, which he sucks on but never eats. Go figure. Good luck with Swirl – I love that name!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swirl is a retired sled dog. He was in a litter that all got bread names – Pump(ernickel), Rye, and Challah. Swirl is short, I guess, for Cinnamon Swirl. Your dog sounds a lot like Swirl – fabric is big here. It’s nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate to think what a vet would find in our pup’s stomach. I just found him finishing off a snail, crunching on the last of the shell scattered in a patch of slime on the carpet. (Doesn’t he know he can geet lungworm from those things?) Snails seem to attract him.
    Next week, he goes into the vet to be neutered. Nothing to eat after nine p.m. the night before.
    In our dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dogs will eat the darnedest things. Years ago when our family moved from the US back to Canada we left our family dog, a weimaraner, in a hotel room while we went out for dinner. We were afraid he might damage the furniture in the room so attached him by his leash to a door frame. When we returned he was running loose with the metal stump of the leash on his collar. He had eaten a 6-foot leather leash, which he then excreted all over the back seat of the car just as we crossed the border the next morning. The customs agents steered well clear!


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