No, I’m not calling my dog stupid. Odd sometimes, but certainly not stupid. That said, dogs will be dogs, meaning; because they’re dogs they sometimes do things that humans don’t consider …. well, very bright. Like bark at weathervanes and eat things they can’t digest.
I can’t do much about the curiosity over the weathervane. It moves when the wind blows and probably emits a sound that’s only noticeable to a dog’s keen sense of hearing. So my herding dog finds the movement and possibly the sound intriguing and he stands around staring at it and barking. I’m sure the novelty will wear off … in a couple of years.
I can’t do much about eating indigestible things either. When the dogs are on my watch I’m on them like a hawk. Maybe even more. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about my husband’s supervisory skills. Basically, when you put the dogs and my husband together you have the responsibility equivalency of a group of toddlers, which is to say nobody’s minding the store. The red dog has had some nasty diarrhea since late last Friday night. He’s acting and feeling normal in all other respects, but it became pretty apparent that something was askew when he started wanting out every few hours. Of course, this didn’t start until after midnight, so I wasn’t aware of the issue until then.
Saturday morning I boiled a chicken breast and cooked a pot of white rice as I silently thanked doG that I always keep these “staples” in m cupboard just in case. His appetite was good and he wolfed his breakfast down. Unfortunately, about five hours later it started exiting in a yellowish, foul-smelling liquid form. Curiously, he was none the worse for wear and was his usual playful self. Not too alarmed, I repeated the bland diet at dinner time, only to be awakened by him yipping to go out an hour after we went to bed. By Sunday morning I was a bit more concerned, but he seemed fine in every way except that his stools didn’t improve. He didn’t seem to go more, but he didn’t seem to go less, either. Sunday night it was clear I was going to be up marching to the door every hour, so I slept on the couch and the dog curled up nearby. He got me up several times, but settled in after every trip out. He certainly didn’t seem ill, he just had some kind of digestive malfunction.
By Monday morning I was on the phone with the vet. Enough was enough. They couldn’t find anything really wrong with him. No temp. No pain. No dehydration. All in all, he seems 100% like himself. He’s just not pooping normal poops. I have to digress here for a minute. I don’t have children, but I’ve spent enough time with parents who do to know that whenever a child is out of sorts, the subject of poop becomes paramount. Parents will talk about their child’s potty habits in mixed company, over dinner and just about anywhere they can find a sympathetic ear. Why? Because poop tells us a great deal about our state of health. And it’s the same with animals. Talk to any person who has horses and I’m sure they’ll have a few poop stories in their closet.
Some dog breeds are pretty well known for their ability to ingest indigestible things and live to tell about it. Labs come to mind here. I have a neighbor whose first Black Lab ate a large section of garden hose, a wood stove glove and countless other inanimate objects that had to be removed surgically. Needless to say, there was an owner learning curve at fault there. We don’t have that excuse. My husband and I have raised well over a dozen dogs in the last thirty years. We “get” having to supervise a dog’s proclivity to eat things that aren’t meant to be eaten. Or so I thought.
It’s pretty obvious that in spite of my hyper-vigilance, my dog somehow managed to eat corn. Corn on the cob. Though it’s no consolation now, I should probably mention that I’ve always been borderline neurotic when corn season starts. Corn cobs are a major source of canine impaction and my dogs are inherently fond of the stuff. And they don’t limit their taste to the corn alone; they like everything from the husks and the silk to the actual cob itself. Problem is, any and all of that can cause an impaction. So I’m very careful about the whole corn on the cob eating process. As much as I enjoy fresh corn I’m never able to relax until I’ve bagged up the dead (eaten) cobs and hauled them out to the (dog-proof) trash.
My husband doesn’t share my protective nature. He understands there are some risks with owning a dog, but to say he’s a bit lax in his supervisory skills is putting it mildly. So I have no idea how a dead corn cob became available to Hazer, but I know that it involved my husband. He’s in charge of dinner clean-up. You’d think he’d notice there were only three dead cobs when there should have been four. And how the dog managed to eat a cob in less than a minute with no visible remnants is a mystery. So while I have no idea what actually happened, the evidence points to corn (and perhaps a cob) being the problem. And my husband. Let’s not forget him.
No pun intended, but I don’t know what the outcome will be. Like the weathervane, the solution might be time. Hey, I can hope, can’t I?