Monday, May 09, 2022

Lucky floof

If you've been following my social media feeds you've probably been bombarded with pictures of the two latest additions to our family. Sully, a F1B Goldendoodle, who can best be described as a "galoot" and Wazowski, a Coton de Tulear, who is an imp-and-a-half. 

Here's a picture of the furry fuckwits looking adorable and innocent.

Sully and Wazowski being cute,
not evil.

Since we got the two of them last fall our lives have immeasurably improved. They're a delight to have around the house, even when we want to strangle them. Remember, for all their playfulness, energy and cuddliness, they're still puppies. For example, I have no idea why, after ignoring it for weeks Wazowski woke up one morning and decided that volumes 2 and 3 of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes needed to die, but he did his best, and now a very expensive and much-beloved hardcover is toast.

I'm not thrilled about it. I'm not saying I didn't momentarily consider shoving him an express envelope and sending him back to his breeder in Nova Scotia, but this is the price you pay with puppies. You love them and they love you. But they will also fuck up your shit because that's what they feel like doing at that moment.

They're coming out of most of their destructive phase now (I wrote this a couple of days ago. Since then Sully destroyed a pair of prescription sunglasses that were on a ledge over 5 feet off the floor). Sully is 7 months old, and Wazowsk is 8 months old. I think they're settling into being great dogs. 

That doesn't mean they're there yet.

Allow me to tell you a story of the past week involving the floofs.

Two of the lingering problems we have with them I don't think are going to be solved anytime soon. Sully is a jumper and has also discovered that she can access pretty much any flat surface in the house. The latter she won't do while we're home, but we have returned after work to find things in the hallway and utter the phrase "how the fuck?" before collecting picking it up. We now have to keep most flat surfaces meticulously clean and free of temptation.

Wazowski could have been named Roomba. I know some little dogs are garbage guts, but Wazowski operates at a whole other scale. That little dog has puked up some truly terrifying things in the six months we've had him. Again, we're doing better at this, but the two of them are a tag team now. Sully finds something on a counter, knocks it over, and then Wazowski finds out if he can eat it.

Last Monday I joked that it was a miracle he hadn't ended up at the vet yet. Then I knocked on wood.

Turns out knocking on wood doesn't actually work.

On Tuesday morning, Cathy and I were scrambling a bit to get out the door in the morning. Just one of those mornings where we weren't firing on all cylinders. It happens. And in our haste to get out the front door, we forgot to close all the doors in the house. We left one open. Normally, they have the run of the living room, kitchen and hallway. Plenty of room for them. Previously, if we've left a bedroom or bathroom door open, the worst we've suffered for our sin of negligence is dirty laundry in the hall, a chewed roll of toilet paper, a gnawed on shoe or perhaps some cardboard that got eaten.

When we came home at lunch, Sully greeted us at the door, but not Wazowski. Which was weird. Then I glanced down the hall and noticed a completely destroyed pill bottle. I scooped it up. There was nothing on the bottle to say what it had been. I looked back at Cathy and we both said the same thing at the same time.

"Oh fuck."

I went down the hall and entered the living room to find Wazowski there.

Now, let's flashback here a minute.

What we think happened is that we forgot to close the bathroom door. You have to understand the next few hours are pretty blurry. Normally not a problem. The worse Sully would find on the counter would be some toothpaste or deodorant. But the night before Cathy had a headache. And as we all do, went into the bathroom, popped out a couple of Advil, swallowed them and went on her way. But she didn't put the bottle away. Normally, not a big deal.

Except for Tuesday morning, we didn't close the bathroom door. And Sully decided to check out what might be found to chew on and found a plastic toy that makes noise. She took it out in the living room and chewed on it until the contents spilled out. Sully has the redemptive quality of being the least food motivated Goldendoodle in history. She probably tased one of the pills, decided it wasn't to her liking and spat it out.

As we've established, Wazowski is a garbage gut. He ate every single pill in the bottle. And there were dozens of pills in that bottle. We can't be sure how many. It wasn't a full bottle. But it was also far from empty.

If you're a dog owner, your hands are probably on your mouth right now and you're going "oh holy fuck". Which is what we were doing at that moment.

If you're not a dog owner, allow me to clarify for you....Advil is really fucking bad for dogs. There are two components that make it bad. One will accelerate the dog's heart rate for about 12 hours. That's treatable. The other is ibuprofen. Dogs can't metabolize this well and it can severely damage the liver and kidneys. Eat enough and it can put the dog in toxic shock.

A single pill contains 200 mg of ibuprofen. For a dog Sully's size, she probably could have to consume as many as eight pills before she would be in serious trouble. Wazowski currently weighs about 7 kg. One pill would be bad for him.

He ate all the fucking pills in the bottle.

So when I turned the corner and looked in the living room, Wazowski was sitting there, panting, eyes dilated surrounded by piles of vomit.

This is when the freaking out began. This is where things begin moving fast.

We tried to clean up the mess and quickly Googled how bad this was. We discovered that this was really, really bad. Phone calls were made. We spoke to an animal poison control in the US who gave us some advice, but as we couldn't say how much was consumed or when (sometime between 8 am and noon is not helpful), there were limits to what they could suggest.

We have a local vet, but they close at lunch. Also, we weren't sure they were open Tuesday. They keep odd hours. But at 12:55 I scooped up Wazowski, drove to the vet clinic and hoped for the best. Fortunately, they were just coming back from lunch, knew and loved Wazowski and quickly admitted him and said they would do their best.

At 2:25 I was sitting back at my desk at the office, trying to work when the vet calls. They'd given him activated charcoal and started an IV on him. But there were limits to what they could do. He needs 24 hour monitoring and they closed at 4 and didn't reopen until 8 the next morning. He couldn't stay there overnight. The best they could offer was to take him back the next morning and continue treatment.

I spoke to Cathy and we quickly decided to take a chance. We decided to fly him to Ottawa so he could be treated at Alta Vista Animal Hospital, where he could receive 24-hour care. We decided that there was no way we were going to look at each other and ask did we do everything possible to save the little idiot. The risk was we might never see him again.

More scrambling. Alta Vista agreed to take him. A pet taxi was arranged to transport him from the airport to the vet. Canadian North graciously agreed to cut us some serious slack on the deadline for dropping off pets for the late afternoon flight. At one point while running around I glanced at the spedometer of my car and noticed I was doing 70. You have to work to do that in Iqaluit. Then again, I really wasn't completely in my right mind at that point. 

Wazowski got on the plane and arrived at the vet in Ottawa by 9:30.

They had to give him two doses of sedatives to get his heart rate back to normal. They hooked him up to an IV and continued to flush out his system. Initial bloodwork came back and showed normal kidney function and slightly elevated liver function. But that was the baseline test. It can take 24 hours for the real damage to kick in. They'd have to wait for the next one on Wednesday afternoon to see if was going to be ok.

So we sat and waited. Sully got some serious love. Throughout all of this, Sully was incredibly chill. She didn't misbehave and was very cuddly. I think she knew her humans were freaking out and needed love. I was concerned without Wazowski around to burn off excess energy she might get destructive, but no, she was a happy, playful dog. She also showed no signs of having consumed any of the Advil. A huge, lucky break.

We were beginning to think maybe we caught another break. On Wednesday morning the vet told us she'd only call back if he took a turn for the worse. She was off at at 8 pm, if we didn't hear from her, assume he was stable. Cathy was very deliberately trying not to get her hopes up. I was trying to be positive because he had clearly vomited up a lot of the pills. Hopefully, it was enough, even if a little voice inside me was saying that they clearly had some impact or he wouldn't have been panting the way he had.

The vet didn't call back by 8 pm. When we called to check in, the assistant couldn't talk about the bloodwork, but said Wazowski was doing fine, but being a bit stubborn about where he would eat his food. He would only do it out of his kennel.

So when the vet called back on Thursday morning she said his latest bloodwork remained unchanged. Normal kidney function, slightly elevated liver function, but within norms. She said Wazowski would have been discharged Thursday afternoon, but recognized we needed to make arrangements to fly him back. Which we did at noon on Friday we picked up a very confused and tired puppy. His stomach was upset on Friday, but he's pretty much back to normal as of Saturday. He still had meds to help with his stomach until Tuesday and we have to do a follow-up with our local vet to make sure nothing else crops up. But Alta Vista thinks he's free and clear.

At no point should you ask us how much this all cost. No, we don't have pet insurance. But we're hugely fortunate to have good jobs and a decent cash reserve for emergencies. I will say that the cheapest part was flying him to Ottawa and back, weirdly enough. But also our local vet, Canadian North, EmBark Pet Transport, and Alta Vista are all rock stars. I am convinced he's not here without their efforts. We're profoundly grateful to them.

So, to sum up, Wazowski consumed and vomited enough toxic drugs to fuck up and kill a dog 10 times his size and has walked away unscathed.

He is the Keith Richards of Coton de Tulears.

Last Five

  1. Blacklisted (live) - Neko Case*
  2. She's thunderstorms - Arctic Monkeys
  3. Let's fall in love (live) - Diana Krall
  4. Midnight to Stevens - The Clash
  5. Sonny got caught in the moonlight - Robbie Robertson

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