This is Your Dog on Drugs

 Just a quick post before I proceed with the five-stars, because I keep vague-blogging about Lucy being a little dopehead last week-end and felt like I should clarify.

Anne asked what kind of dog Lucy is - she's half chihuahua with poodle and yorkshire terrier, so we call her a Chipookie. We see all of her breeds on occasion: she gets crazy-eye chihuahua face sometimes, she sheds very little, and she shakes a toy like it's a rat that insulted her mother. 

Eve had been asking for a dog since she was small. I was a little apprehensive because I love dogs, but I've never owned one, and I am an easily overwhelmed woman. Matt had dogs growing up but wasn't jumping at the bit. Angus was indifferent. I started telling her that we could talk about it when she was ready to take responsibility for the dog, walk it and pick up its poo. Unlike most kids who would like, she would think about it and say "I can wait".

I've always loved big dogs, but we live in a neighbourhood with houses that are very close together and small yards, and our neighbours have a chocolate lab who is adorable but does seem big in their house and yard. Then they got a second dog, Riley.

The day they brought her home I could not freaking BELIEVE how cute she was. We puppy-sat a few times, and then I said to Eve that we could get a dog if it was like that, and we emailed the person who owned the parent dogs to see if she was planning another litter. 

When we babysat a baby dog and a baby baby

(Yes, technically we shopped, didn't adopt. I am all for rescuing a dog if that's your jam, but I was nervous about what I could handle. And we didn't pay for the dog, just her first shots.)

We brought Lucy home on Eve's 12th birthday. And now we had a dog.

It was weird. It was wonderful. It was February. And really fucking cold. House training was a bit of an issue. We just kind of got used to cleaning stuff up, which was not that bad because it was all tiny. Walking was only to the end of the driveway, until one day when she suddenly vaulted the snowbank and started to pull me down towards people talking in the next driveway, which I had to call a halt to because I was bralass and Thelma and Louise were frozen and not up for company. 

For a few weeks I took a break from whatever I was doing after lunch and watched tv while cuddling a sleeping puppy. That was pretty awesome. 

She won everybody over in short order. 

Matt was determined that we would crate her when we left the house and at night.

That worked for a few weeks. Then she got wise to me and, well, she was fast and small. And Matt went away and as if I wasn't going to let the puppy sleep in bed with me. Then he got home and went up to bed early and half an hour I thought 'oh shit', ran upstairs and he was in bed and she was asleep on his butt. So that was that.

So, fast forward a few years and we have a dog, and everything is cool. And then I take her for a walk after dark soon after New Year's Eve, and after I get back she starts acting really weird. The way her head was shaking made me think she had brain damage and I was terrified. We went to the emergency vet and they took her away and then the vet came back to talk to us and said she wasn't a mandated reporter, but this was 98% likely marijuana toxicity so did we keep pot in the house?

I texted Angus "look, I won't be mad, but.." and he said nope, no way. We got her settled and started the drive home and Matt said "look, I won't be mad, but...." and I said IT WASN'T ME (this was years ago, it wasn't legal yet and there was no way there was any in the house. A few years later someone gave me a joint at a Halloween party and I stuck it in my bra and then got home and threw all my stuff in the wash and then had to search the laundry room frantically so my bra joint didn't kill my dog). 

The next day we went back and the vet tech told us that this happened pretty frequently to people after walking the dogs, because people drop the little roaches and they smell delicious to animals. She also told us about a couple who brought their dog in and when they were questioned the dad said "well we shared a cookie that was in the freezer and I don't feel great either", and then their son was in a lot of trouble. 

So it was a scary night and an astronomical vet bill. We did some reading and agreed that if it happened again we should probably try to ride it out at home.

It was some kind of Murphy's Law thing that whenever Matt traveled when the kids were little (which was a lot), one or both of them would get sick or injured the second he was out of Canadian airspace. I thought I was clear of all that once the kids grew up and left home.

I still had a dog.

Same deal. Walk, then strange behaviour. I settled her on her blanket on the couch, and she promptly barfed, which was gross but I thought it might be a good thing. I put another blanket down and put her down. She was obviously distressed - she kept startling as if something was flying at her, and couldn't put her head down. I called Matt just to check that he was good with me sticking to our previous plan, but I was feeling really freaked out being the person who had to make the actual call. 

I had a really good group on my local Facebook chat offering counsel and encouragement. We all did some reading and most of it indicated that a small amount of marijuana was very rarely fatal, and that the night would be unpleasant but not tragic. The major problem was that most of what I had to do was wait and see, and I am very, very poor at waiting and seeing. I kept trying to force-feed her chicken broth, because one article had said if she couldn't swallow then it was time for the vet. Then I gave myself a shake and realized that she was swallowing fine, she probably didn't want any food or liquid because she was nauseated, and not having water for a few hours wasn't going to kill her. 

So I waited. I sat on the other end of the couch with a book and checked on her every few minutes. After a couple of hours she finally put her head down and curled up as if she was comfortable enough to start sleeping it off.

After another hour, I picked her up and set her down outside the back door to see if she might pee right there. She actually went down the stairs and looked around a little. She didn't pee, but when she came back in she ate a small treat and licked some water off my hand. After that I was confident I wasn't going to kill her.

I was awake until four a.m., although she was asleep and probably fine by two or so. We both slept pretty late, and when I got up to let her out and feed her she was back to normal, which was much sooner than the 18-24 hours the internet had prepared me for. 

Is it weird that after these little episodes I am totally fine with people making jokes about my stoner doggy? That I make them myself? Enh, my family deals with things with bad humour, it's not strange that my friends do the same thing. 

Can you believe I've never had to nurse my kids through a bad hangover or trip, and I've had to do it with my dog TWICE? I was so anxious I nearly popped an edible myself. 

Don't do drugs!


Nicole said…
Sweet Lucy!
I hate that people drop their roaches. I haven't had this issue with either dog, but sometimes there would be some bones of some sort that people would drop near the 7-11. I assumed they had late night munchies. And Barkley would eat discarded tissues off the sidewalk. Do you have any idea how many disgusting people just drop used tissues? In my neighbourhood, it's a staggering amount.
Ernie said…
Thelma and Louise, bah ha ha. Poor little stoner dog. I'm new to dog ownership (well, techinically I don't own a dog - but Lad does and then lives with us and it isn't my favorite arrangement) and this never occurred to me. I'm laughing that you are not good at waiting and seeing. Finnegan eats his own squeaker toys and has landed in the ER multiple times because of it. I beg Lad to stop buying him cheap toys. I love the story of how you got Lucy and Lucy sleeping on Matt's butt is hilarious.
NGS said…
I've often wondered how people go from "no dogs in bed" to "dogs take over the bed," but I feel like this is as good an explanation as any.

Your poor baby girl. She must be so confused as to what's going on. We had a yellow lab when I was growing up. Her name was Salt and she was the Bestest Girl, but also the Hungriest Girl. She would eat anything. She got into the trash bag that had the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving one year and had a grand old time eating rancid meat and bones and she was stumbling around and drooling and we thought she was really sick. Took her to the vet to be told that she was drunk. Good old drunk Salt. Don't let your pets do any mind altering substances is the real message, I guess.
First of all, when I read this, "I am an easily overwhelmed woman." I just nodded and nodded. You are my people.

Secondly, I had NO IDEA that people drop roaches and/or that dogs might EAT them and/or that they could get stoned! Yeeeeeek! That is awful! Poor Lucy and poor you -- I am terrible at "wait and see"ing also. It's so hard, and my anxious brain is jumping ahead to all the myriad possible outcomes saying, "If you did X now, you could possibly stave off Y!" "You are waiting too long to Z! That means that A is totally going to happen!" So fun. I'm really glad you rode it out and that Lucy is okay. She is QUITE adorable, by the way. Love her ears. And that photo of her and Eve sleeping cheek to cheek makes me all teary! So precious.
StephLove said…
Poor Lucy to have it happen twice!
Tudor said…
In our neighbourhood it's gummies - for some reason there's pretty much always a gummy on the sidewalk and, of course, it might be a perfectly innocent child's gummy ... or NOT! Fortunately my dog (Cara) isn't super food-motivated, but my friend has a big yellow lab who can smell any gummy 100 metres away, and is insanely food motivated and quick, so Cara and I spend a lot of time watching my friend with her hand down her lab's throat trying to recover gummies.
Busy Bee Suz said…
I think Lucy's Platform should be: Don't Litter Your Drugs!
Goodness. She is so darn sweet, and I love her story. Well, not the stoned part because that is downright scary!
You had me giggling so many times in this post and always I did the awwww sound quite a bit. Lucy is a lucky girl to be in your funny family.

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