Watch Where You Step…

I come from a family of 8 kids, 35 nieces and nephews, and now… er… well… I think it’s 20 great-nieces and nephews (only my mom really knows — she’s a gift-givng genius at Christmas) — and all of whom are under five years of age. So, a little diaper change on an infant? No problem. I’ve got you covered. Hands down. Actually, hands down AND legs down, if you’re pinning a little one down to get that sucker securely fastened! But what do you do when the little one that needs your help is your dog? And you usually don’t know it needs your help until it’s too late? Yep. Diarhea and the dog. Nice combo. Roll up the carpets, folks, and watch where you step.

We ran out of our regular food (Go! Natural) — the pups have been eating the same brand since we got them three years ago — and had to supplement with another brand (Orijen) while it was on back-order. Brand swap for humans? Not a real problem. Brand swap for dogs? Havoc. The problem was that Chloe liked the new food so much she ate an entire bowl while we weren’t watching. (Binge-eating and a female dog… Chris is clearly putting too much pressure on her to keep her weight down… and you wonder why we don’t adopt?) Typically she and Samson are grazers — they take a few kibbles and munch throughout the day. But in this case? Chloe figured she had made a discovery of delight she was going to make sure Samson never saw. Bad choice. Bad result.

Within hours — and this was Sunday —  Chloe was farting to beat the band. That, in and of itself, was enough to put Chris and I over the edge. Dog farts are the worst. And, I’ll admit, there was a bit of cruel humor in how much her own farts scared her and how she’d try to run away from them. But then, I’m a horrible parent. (It came back to bite me when she got scared on her wee wee pad, ran and jumped on the bed, and then had a really, really bad diahrea accident. Karma is a bitch. So is Chloe.)

I felt so bad for her — Chris was traveling that evening for business, and I had to go to work the next day. The thought of putting her in her crate was horrible and inhumane — to me AND Samson. God knows he didn’t want his littermate destroying his sanctuary. But I had to go to work, so put her in her crate, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. That lasted about three hours, and then I was just so worried, I couldn’t focus at work. I headed home to let her out and work from home the rest of the afternoon (love an understanding employer). Chloe and Samson were thrilled to have me home, but as I was setting up my computer, I felt Chloe cowering between my feet. She’s so sweet, that when she gets scared or nervous, she comes to me and plants herself with her rump facing forward, snout facing backward, between my legs. It’s her hiding place/sanctuary. It’s also a signal that should not be ignored. Yep. Diahrea. I ran her to the pad just in time (this time) and then immediately hopped online to search for advice. I found this great site: Just Answer. You just type in your question and one of their vets/animal techs will answer it within minutes. The vets/animal techs have full resumes available online, so you can decide if you trust them or want to contact them directly. And you can decide how much you are willing to spend for the information they are sharing — or not– and then pay them directly. All right from your laptop or PC. I paid $15 for some advice that completely solved Chloe’s diahrea: Children’s Pepto Bismal mixed with yogurt every four hours until her stools began to harden. Then, immediately discontinue. Turns out that changing dog food suddenly can really upset a dog’s stomach. Best $15 I ever spent (hmmm, well, that 2-for-1 $15 margerita special at Cafe Lurcat in Minneapolis might have been the best…) and came complete with immediate gratification and satisfaction for both me AND Chloe.  I highly recommend it.

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