Most of us have at least one or two stories involving the holiday debaucheries of our pets. Heck, the internet has entire sites devoted to cats destroying Christmas trees. This post will be dedicated to the variety of inappropriate things our dogs have eaten in the last ten years. We joke that they are smarter than a lot of peoples’ kids, and some of these incidents still baffle us. They are hiding those thumbs somewhere under all that fur. Also, no harm came to either of them…more on this in a moment.
2007 (+/-) Our girls really enjoy bird watching, bird catching, and bird eating. I’ve always decorated my tree w/ a nature theme. While we were working our girls pulled up a ladder and removed the artificial bird nests from the tree. They ate the eggs, left quite a mess of twigs and branches all over the dining room, and looked VERY pleased with themselves when we got home. Fast forward to 2015 and I get a panicked phone call at work. “Are pine cones bad for dogs?? What about styrofoam??” This year they ate the owl. Did I mention both dogs are birding mixes? (Lab/heeler and Lab/Poiner) One finds it. The other gets it.
2009 – I had baked a tray of Betty Crocker double dark chocolate brownies for a party across the street. Having done this a number of times, I left them to cool on top of the stove…on the back burner…well out of reach. Returning home a bit later, the plate was empty. It’s as if I’d never made the brownies. Immediately, the panic set in. Dogs and chocolate…no bueno. I’m not proud. I call the emergency vet. She asks what kind of brownies I’d made. I reply “Betty Crocker”. She (very patiently) asks what type of chocolate was in the ingredients. I scan. “Dark bakers chocolate.” She says, “Oh dear. That’s about as bad as it can get.” She instructs me to watch for changes in their pupils, twitching, and to monitor their pulse, which I do EVERY 15 MINUTES. ALL NIGHT! It turns out that we have two dogs that don’t have ANY chocolate sensitivity. Luck us because…..
2012 – We moved into a lovely little house in the country. Our new home is much closer to our favorite bulk foods store where they make the most decadent chocolate infused peanut butter. Knowing he’d LOVE it, I bought some for the fella. I took it home, wrapped it in numerous plastic bags, put it in a box, wrapped it in paper, and put on a bow. I even buried it under the rest of the gifts…just in case. Several days later, gift now an afterthought, I come home from work to two very guilty looking old girls. Bow and paper to the side, box torn open, plastic chewed off, lid removed (thumbs) and entire tub licked clean. There was no evidence aside from the trail of gift carnage from the tree to the dog bed. Chocolate peanut butter…gone. I didn’t even call the vet this time. They were quite content in their indulgence.
2014 – Much anxiety. Doggy surgery day was rapidly approaching. Elder girl had destroyed her ACL and we were working hard to keep her calm and comfy. The nieces had visited, snuggling and coddling the patient, and their coloring books and crayons had been left on the coffee table. I came home from work a few nights later to a mess. There was dog puke in every room of the house, and 47 of the 64 crayons were missing. Again, I called the vet. He laughed. Loudly. Crayons, being non-toxic to children, are also non-toxic to dogs. They do make for some delightfully colorful poo. For a while we laughed that it looked like we had a herd of unicorns in our back yard, or that our dogs poop better art than some you see in galleries.
Although they have caused me much panic, and created quite a bit of mischief, at nine and ten years old I only hope it continues. I’m lucky to have quite the family – but for some folks their fur family is all they have this time of year. So rub their bellies. Pat their heads. Give them a few extra treats. They bring us SO much unconditional love and joy.