Roly's $93 bender
Tonight I was on the daybed with #2 dachshund, Lilah, when Roly (#1 dachsie), who had just come in from outside, wanted to get up with us, so I picked him up and he promptly went under the covers, began to sniff Lilah and whimper. She snarled at him, which is highly unusual, and Rick and I looked at each other in bafflement, but they settled down so we dismissed it. When 9:00, their normal treat time came around, and Roly did not even respond to the invitation: “Treat time!”—I knew something was seriously amiss at that point—usually, by 8:50, Roly is twitching with excitement over the upcoming rituals. I put him down on the floor and he was totally disoriented—turning in circles, and staggering. He went outside, and was listing to one side, his hind legs dragging a bit. Obviously,I was starting to get freaked out! When they came in, I tossed them their treats as per usual, but when I threw Roly his, it was like he was blind and he let them hit him on the head without even trying to catch them. By this time, the terror was mounting.
I conferred with Rick and even though Roly seemed to be improving and less disoriented after a couple of minutes, we decided it was time to call the emergency vet. At first, the technician I spoke with advised me to just observe him and take him to his regular vet tomorrow but to go ahead and bring him in if he had another episode tonight. But as we talked, (he was flopped down at my feet) I noticed that his belly was distended, so she told me to bring him in right away, thinking he may have gotten into some poison somehow. When I went to tell Rick we needed to go, I noticed Roly sitting by the back door but he had leaked a puddle—TOTALLY unlike him. Then he went outside and lifted his leg again. So we snapped into action, crated a frantic Lilah, and headed out. Much to our chagrin, the major road that goes right to the clinic was being worked on, and was down to one lane, and the traffic was backed up—ACK! Rick decided to go an alternate route and only lost a few minutes, but it didn’t help our nerves any. Meanwhile, I have Roly in my arms, bottom wrapped in a towel in case of further leaking and his tummy is gurgling up a storm. What in the world could be wrong? I’m doing my best not to panic. A stroke? A brain tumor? Poisoning? What is happening to my precious boy?
We got there and found that it’s a gorgeous new facility, with really nice people, and started filling out the paperwork, etc. (On the way in, Roly had to relieve himself AGAIN on the fire hydrant.) After I finished, I took him out again and he had to pee AGAIN! I brought him back in and sat there with him in my arms and started inspecting him closely. His eyes were red and kind of droopy. I decided to smell his breath to see if I smelled anything strange, like poison. And that’s when it hit me—he smelled like he’d been drinking. But…there’s nothing he could have been drinking…WAIT A MINUTE! I had totally, utterly forgotten that I had put about ¾ of a can of beer in a shallow container with half a pack of baker’s yeast, and sunk it into the garden soil to lure the slugs, who’ve been eating my basil. ROLY WAS DRUNK!!! I shrieked when I realized what it was. The vet tech and another vet who was standing there said that he’d be fine except that the baker’s yeast could cause a serious gas problem, so she recommended that a vet see him to check him over and be sure he was okay. After a few minutes in the waiting room, a nice young doc came in and said his vet school roommate used to give her dog beer all the time (hmmm…) and that it wouldn’t hurt Roly permanently, but that the yeast would be a problem. So he gave him a Gas-X, recommended subcutaneous fluids (remember, Roly was urinating a LOT) so he wouldn’t get dehydrated. I asked him if we could skip the fluids if I could get him to drink water and he said that was fine but that if he didn’t drink on his own, to bring him back. (He drank some watered down kefir when he got home, so we’re out of the woods there.)
Anyway, by the time we got out of there, it had cost $93. I’m just so very grateful that he is fine (other than a lot of gas!). And sure enough, As soon as we got home, I checked the container that had had the beer and yeast in it, and it was licked dry and had even been moved out of the hole I’d dug for it. (Rick says he figures Roly picked it up to go find the bartender for another round!)
I’m trying not to beat myself up for not realizing he would drink the beer when he was out by himself. It truly never even crossed my mind. When I had opened the yeast and more poured out of the package than I really needed, I just went ahead and left it there, even though a little voice was telling me to dump it out and use much less. “Why bother?” I had thought. It’s out of date and what can it hurt?” Now I know what it can hurt. One more time, Julia: ALWAYS listen to the still, small voice!So that is the story of Roly’s expensive bender. No cheap drunk, he. Oh, yeah--we think Lilah snarled at him because she didn’t want a drunk pawing her.
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