Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Pepper Predicament - Part 2: We Have a Pepper Down

Most anyone who has or has had a dog knows that they love to get into things they shouldn't. Miss Maxine first got into the kitchen garbage within a week of adopting her (which is why we quickly changed to a lidded can) and ate some Arby's wrappers. She once stole some very expensive cheese - this stuff costs about $20/lb - while we were still in the room. She ate 90% of a bacon-wrapped filet before we caught her, has eaten June bugs (ewwwww), and has tried to eat several bees (but hasn't been successful). Sgt Pepper is much the same. In the 6 months we've had him, he has chewed up 3 pairs of shoes, chewed on Hubby's baseball glove, has gotten into the living room trash at least once (I think it was twice), and now the kitchen garbage twice. And those are just a handful of things he's gotten to, I'm sure.

So knowing this, and having experienced similar happenings in the past, when Pepper got into the trash, we expected some kind of... reaction. To put it bluntly, we figured he would puke and/or shit because of the things he had ingested. Especially with the beef trimmings being so fatty, we were sure some doggy diarrhea was in our future. So we waited. He might've had some digestive issues from the first time in the trash, I don't really remember. But the second time, there was nothing. It happened on a Monday evening, and all Monday night he was fine.

When he was a little slow on Tuesday morning, we figured maybe it was catching up with him. I woke Hubby up at about 6:30 to come see him moving slowly and awkwardly, concerned he had eaten something toxic. But he went outside nice enough, did his business (which was normal), and came back inside. No real problem.

Until we tried to feed him. He took a few bites and then went to bed. Now, that may not seem like a big deal. Maybe he was still full from his all-you-can-eat garbage buffet, right? Well, you haven't met this dog. Dogs are motivated by different things. Some are motivated by praise, and simply making you happy is enough to get them going. Some love treats and toys. Pepper is food-motivated. He is never more animated than when he's about to get fed. And once you drop that bowl, all bets are off. Your fingers better be out of there, lest he consume them in his haste.

I followed him back to his crate and watched him. I knew he needed his heart meds, which were mixed in with his food, so I brought it out to him and spoon fed him. I fed him his whole breakfast. He hadn't lost his appetite at all! He was just too lethargic to stand there and eat. Same thing happened with dinner. All day he was a little slow, a little off, but we figured things just had to run their course.

Wednesday morning he was doing better. He went up and down the steps by himself, ate some breakfast from his bowl, etc. Things were looking up! So Hubby and I planned to go to the State Fair that night after work and things were business as usual.

Until we were about to leave. We always try to take the pups out before we go anywhere because Pepper has such a hard time holding it. So out we went... except something was wrong. Pepper was walking like he was drunk, stumbling around and uneasy on his feet. Eventually he went to lift his leg to pee and down he went. He just fell over! Right then I decided the fair could wait; we were taking Pepper to the emergency vet NOW.

To be continued...  

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