Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Training wheels

It is absolutely true what they say about dogs being good training for kids. And anyone who says otherwise obviously doesn't have one.

Last night, Toby was acting a little more fidgety than usual when all of us were attempting to go to sleep. Normally he picks a spot at the foot of the bed, flops down and doesn't stir for hours. Instead, he roamed the bed, walking over us at random, seemingly trying to get comfortable.

"I hope Toby's alright," Jer said.

"Yeah, he's probably just hot or something."

Little did I know how wrong I was. I'm not sure if it was all the running around he's done over the past two days or whether it was the combination of that and some of the steak we gave him on Mother's Day. Whatever it was, Toby got sick multiple times throughout the night.

Although he has an abounding reserve of energy, it isn't unheard of for him to sleep 13 uninterrupted hours at a time. So when I heard him jumping off the bed at 1 a.m., I knew something was up.

Figuring he had to go outside, I got up to use the bathroom, as well. But when I opened the door, he didn't follow -- another extreme rarity. When I came back, he was curled up on the floor on a blanket -- also something he never does. He always whines to be picked back up and put on the bed.

At that point, I didn't think much of it, just picked him up and got back into bed.

A few hours later, I heard him jump off again. This time, I flew out of bed, turned on the lights and inspected the floor, thinking he had defied my attempt at letting him outside, instead deciding to go right in the house.

I found three piles of diarrhea of varying consistency and one very sick Toby cowering in the corner because he knew he'd been bad.

Although groggy and extremely frustrated, I cleaned everything up, one spot at a time, soothed Toby and put him back in bed.

A few hours later, I heard him jump off the bed for a third time. How I managed to even pick up on such a subtle noise or spring out of a dead sleep every time is beyond me. I guess I just knew he needed help. Not to mention quick action to get him outside.

This time we made it. I carried him the entire way and even walked him down into the grass. He got sick again and then started eating grass with gusto. And every dog owner knows that when dogs start eating grass, they're attempting to calm their stomach.

I let him have a little, but I stopped him much sooner than he would've liked. I don't know the guidelines on that sort of thing, but it seemed like it would just overwhelm his delicate system at the moment.

I was right. Less than 45 minutes later, we were out of bed again as he hacked up all the grass in a disgusting frothy mess.

Fortunately, that was the end of it. We slept in a little later than usual to make up for the horrible night, and Toby seems to be back to his usual exuberant self this morning.

I'm a little worse for wear, but I know I haven't seen anything yet.


Anonymous said...

www.myspace.com/erinn37 says...

It sounds like Toby is giving you some practice. Hopefully, Toby is feeling much better today.

julie said...

Aw, little buddy!! I hope he's feeling all better now.

Thank God he jumped off the bed though. Cleaning a mess off the floor isn't pleasant, but that same mess in your bed? Um, ew.

Rachel said...

Too true about pets being training for kids. We have a cat that likes to pee in the bed. Our other cat got locked in the bedroom with us one night and we were too lazy to let her out when she was frantic and scratching at the door. After she pooed on her bed, we let her out :) That has to be the only time I gagged at a smell, but I'm sure there's worse to come after I give birth to a mini version of my husband!

aisha said...

Our dog did that a few weeks ago-two nights in a row. We haven't let her eat anything except dog food since...

Tina said...

Oh, I have 2 beagles and this is a normal occurrence with them. They will eat almost anything and make themselves sick. Resolve pet cleaner is the best.

You can confirm with your vet on this (it's where I learned it), but don't feed or water him for several hours (6+ if you can manage). Then slowly introduce food back to him starting with about 1/4 cup boiled ground beef and rice. Work back to the original amount with the beef/rice. Then mix with his regular food. By two days he should be back to normal. If not, the take him to the vet.

Hope this helps.

Pauline said...

I applaud you for actually being able to clean all that up without so much as a gag. Your a better person than me ;-)

Hope Toby feels tip-top soon.

Tiffany said...

poor little Toby! :-(

jsi said...

Poor little buddy! You are right, it is not the canine-ness that will transfer in this parenthood but it is the communication with someone who doesn't exactly use words that will be so present.

You will do fine; you have the instincts and desire to understand, and you are helplessly and affectionately wrapped around that little paw with a love that won't let you go. It will be stronger and more tangible, but a feeling you will recognize....'cause you've been on that entrance ramp. Compelled by love to help and heal. The heart of a mommy.

And young babies never seem to get sick at 11:30 a.m. when a doctor can fit them into their afternoon schedule appointment book, no they seem to have this uncanny inner clock that knows that the best time for spiking a fever is 2:33 a.m.

And it will be up to you. And you'll be able to do it. And may need a nap later, but you will be there to help, hold and heal.

Hopefully this is the last you see of the diarhea dumps from your puppy. It can be so scary when they are so small.
Maybe keep him off the bed for a day or two more. Ick beyond ick, the only matter worse than cleaning up someone who has been sick is needing to do their laundry too.

Hope everyone is healthy this afternoon in your home, Florence Nightengale

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry toby was sick! Hopefully he will feel fine all day today.

One thing you may want to consider though next time. Pregnant women shouldn't clean up dog or cat feces. Its one of those things on the list (of a million) that they suggest you don't do while pregnant. I'm sure its no big deal, but just make sure you are cautious and avoid it when possible.

sarahcarroll22 said...

I once had a dog that stayed outside, but when she was spayed I wanted to keep her INSIDE so no other animals would stress her out. Well, that was a bad decision. She pooped EVERYWHERE - probably 20+ times in one night. I couldn't believe it.

Unfortunately, my lovely little dog has since passed on. She was actually my favorite.

Dogs are a joy, even when they're crapping on the vet's hand (happened today) or biting strangers. lol

Jennifer said...

Ok, I double checked for you and from what I saw the main concern is cat feces, dogs not as much of a problem. Although, you can still try and use the excuse on Jerry to avoid the pooper scooper! ;-)

rachel elizabeth said...

awwww. poor toby! that sort of thing breaks my heart. glad to hear he's feeling better!!! bet you can't wait to have a dog AND a baby now, huh? <3

Candi said...

Awww, poor baby. And poor you. Hey, at least after so long together a child can say, "Mommy! I feel sick!"

Ray said...

You did a good job Mommy! ;o) Poor Toby, I hope he really is back to his normal self again.

Take, care.

Anonymous said...

Apparently us pet owners are supposed to stop our dogs from the manic-like grass eating when sick. Seems strange to me as it is such a natural instinct for them but our vet said lock them inside until they feel better...

Chelsea said...

Make sure he has a lot of water!

Kay said...

Some white rice and boiled chicken will help him feel better. Bland food is best when their tummies are upset.

Amy said...

My dog used to do that quite often.
We found out it was due to a few things.

1- The fact that she would eat random things off the floor and then get stuck in her throat or just didn't agree with her stomach.

2- Her body had problems with the new food or treats we were giving her.

Hope Toby stays well and you get more sleep :).

Diane said...

Look at you!! You definitely have the mothering instinct.

Anonymous said...

Did you really write an entire post about your dog puking?

Yup. You're all ready to be a mom. :D
You know I tease out of love!


The Reflective Plainsman said...

It is amazing how well attuned we become to the well-being of those we get close to.

I just lost a furry friend on Monday, at close to 17 years old.

Would not be surprised to find out that they know when there is something wrong with us too, sometimes before we ourselves know it.

Glad the little guy is well!