Saturday, August 09, 2008

How we almost killed our dog the first week we had her

Besides her penchant for using my bedroom carpet as her own personal bathroom area, Barley seems to be settling in pretty well here. I'm a little worried she's never going to learn to walk considering the kids fight over who gets to carry her, 99 percent of the day, so her legs are rarely used.

The biting and nipping are quickly losing their charm, but on the plus side, she's already mastered the command to sit. Obviously, she's brilliant. (Must come from my side of the family.)

But Blaine and I both noticed the past few days that she acted as though she didn't feel well. And every time we would take her outside to use the restroom, or play, she was eating an inordinate amount of grass.

First we thought it might be that she was having trouble simply getting accustomed to dry dog food ... then I worried she might have been Neutro-intolerant. She was happy, and playful ... but then one of us would take her outside, she'd eat a bunch of grass, and ralph a few minutes later. Usually as soon as we brought her back in the house. Lovely.

The kids even asked, "Are puppies supposed to throw up this much? Because Fosters and Lager sure didn't!"

This morning, Blaine came back inside and informed us he knew why she had been acting weird, and eating so much grass. Apparently the vomiting episode this morning finally dislodged what had been bothering her --- a large mass of shiny silver fabric. Almost .... disco-y, Blaine said. What on earth had she eaten???

We couldn't figure it out for quite a while. None of the kids have any clothes like that, nor are any of my bath towels or bath rugs (her favorite items to chew) silver. We looked around, and looked around, and finally Brayden figured it out.

Barley sleeps at the bottom of the stairs. That's also where she stays if we are going out and she'll be home alone. We put up baby gates to keep her from climbing the stairs or going into the rest of the house ..... and to make sure she wasn't too lonely, the kids put a giant stuffed dog in the space .... with a ginormous shiny silver fabric bow around its neck. Or at least there *used* to be a ginormous shiny silver fabric bow around its neck. The only thing around its neck now is the knot, because that's the only part Barley didn't eat.

So, apparently we're out of the running for "Pet Owners of the Year" after only one week. Hmmmm, wonder what's next? Leaving rat poison out for her to nibble on? Accidentally putting bleach in her water? Or worse, leaving her alone with Blackie, who hisses at her every time the two of them encounter one another.


Jeri from Hawaii said...


As the "mom" of dogs that have gotten into more than their fair share of things they shouldn't (once even requiring a call to the poison control center - when the operator asked how old my "child" was I had to admit he was a 14 month old dog!) I will share with you words of wisdom from my vet - "this too shall pass!" Disgusting as it it, the offending articles normally come out sooner or later - from one end or the other.

Cindy in Yukon said...

I have a friend who's Bull Mastiff ate an entire 3 lb. jumbo bag of Hershey's Kisses one Christmas. You know the, red, and silver wrappers. The next morning Mollie "deposited" a number of shiny and sparkling in the sun poops all over the yard in multiple colors! They were worried about the amount of chocolate she ate, but the vet said since it was milk chocolate it didn't contain large enough amounts of actual chocolate to hurt her.

Anonymous said...


My BFF had to go away for the night a week after her new puppy came home. I volunteered to puppy sit for the night. He ate a tub of Body Butter (the EXPENSIVE kind), my watch, a cube of post it notes, and half a tshirt. Scary thing is, I did try to keep an eye on him the whole time. That damn dog was (and still is) fast, and sneaky. He's since eaten loads of various crap and survived just fine. Good thing dogs are so tough, huh? They love to eat and get into whatever they can!

Turtle :-)

Anonymous said...

Poor you. That must have been scary! You know, just like kids, no matter how much you watch them, they have minds of their own and will do *something* that we never expect. My friend's yellow lab has an appetite for all things strange. She's eaten prescription samples...cardboard/foil wrappers and all. Boxes of cereal...not just the cereal, but the cardboard as well. Socks (almost required surgery for a blocked intestine). Carpet and carpet pad (lovely hole...conveniently able to be covered with a chair). And my favorite?...a box of 30 tampons. Seriously. Her yard was littered with little white tampons for days as they finally made their exit one way or another. I'm surprised she didn't get seriously ill from them absorbing all the moisture in her intestines!!! Or maybe toxic shock syndrome.

You're doing a fine job. Kind of reminds you of toddler years, doesn't it?

Enjoy your puppy. She's adorable!!!!!

Claire in Indiana

Patty House, Jasonville, IN said...

Our puppy prefers to poop and pee on the carpet. He will pee outside, but getting him to poop is a whole 'nother story! My mil puppy-sat for us Friday night and apparently, he just needs about 30 minutes of walking around (and no cats to chase after like he has at our house).

Anonymous said...


Yes this stage will pass. I got a new puppy one yr ago and asked the vet what she suggested using as a tool to train Izze, she said freeze dried liver treats. Let me tell ya, that puppy would turn cartwheels for them. But the cool thing is to get a kong and stuff some inside of it and she chews on it instead of furniture... etc. We bought several and Izze has never chewed anyting that she shouldn't.
So if you haven't tried that maybe give it a thought. Good luck with the training.

Lanette said...

It could have been worse...Barley could have been our dog, Asher, who took it upon himself last week to eat 85--yes, I said 85--of my son's multivitamins with flouride and iron. I had just picked up the prescription for 90 tablets and there were only 5 left when I found him chomping away at the jar and its contents. He weighs only 15 pounds..(the dog..not my son)so this was a little *much* for him, don't ya think? We had to call poison control and everything. He is fine now--I am still feeling a little cooky from the whole episode, though! My nerves!

Mama Bear said...

Goldens eat everything they are not supposed to. I can't tell you how many half socks we have found in our yard.

My daughter is a pediatric nurse. I make most of her scrubs. I searched all over for one of the pieces of fabric I cut out to no avail. Yes, three days later, I found it - in a pile in our yard.

You want to make sure she can't swallow anything larger and create a real blockage. A friend of our had to take her dog in for surgery to remove a blockage - her golden had swallowed a whole pair of her panties! She was horrified when the vet showed her what the problem was.

If you want to save yourself some headaches (and vet bills) and get the potty training done in a week (or less!), try crate training. We've used it with all our dogs. It's not putting your puppy in jail - but providing them with their very own bedroom. When you aren't playing with her, crate her, and she will stop tinkling in the house. And when you go out, crate her - she'll feel safe and comfy, and won't eat any more bow ties.

Our 6 month old golden is crated at night and any time he is left alone at home. However, even when everyone is around, he will take toys and go off into his crate to play. I swear by crating!

Tina S said...

Our puppy (13 week old, 31 lb mastiff/pit) has taken to eating the rocks outside that make a path that lead to our deck. You know those little decorative lawn "river rocks". My son Bryce and I were laying down with her one afternoon and heard her stomach making these weird sounds, actually like rocks rubbing together. Lo and behold the next morning she had yakked rocks up and later pooped about another 6 out. She only did it one other time after that. I guess she got the cause and effect of it.
Our old dog once went in the laundry basket and swallowed a pair of underwear whole. (Yakked those up too). That would have been interesting to explain to a vet if they had to pull it out of his stomach.
I can't wait for puppy phase to be over. They are so cute, but my boys are sick of being chew toys as well. Have you tried a water gun? It worked for us until the boys just started shooting water in her mouth to drink and now the dog thinks it is fun. AGHH!

Renee said...

First you try to kill my dog and now your dog?????

Melissa said...

We used to have a dog that would eat all the tinsel off the Christmas tree, then leave a bunch of glittering silver piles in the back yard for the next few days.

Pam Doughty said...

See? You are not alone... we ALL have puppy stories! I had one dog who ate the wax off my wedding candle (back in the 80's, it was popular to have your wedding invitation integrated into a "wedding candle" memento). Rusty ate all the decorative wax, the invitation, etc... and it took him days to poop it all out. And for the rest of the time we were stationed in Goldsboro, I'd see those darn wax pellets whenever I walked him! I came in one time to find a pile of dirt in the living room... he'd eaten the entire plant AND the pot that was there, just leaving the potting soil. He ate the covers to some Led Zepplin and Mothers Finest albums, he ate a couple of plastic fighter plane models, he pulled up the carpet and ate the padding... and he survived and lived til he was something like 13.
Crating and Kongs are the two best things ever invented... if you don't have either, get them ASAP. They will change your life!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie,
You know Sandy and Chance, well they ate a whole bag of ant poison one morning...just remember about a tablespoon of hydrogen perioxide will make dogs vomit in about 10 minutes. No harm done! Of course Sandy and Chance wanted more than 1 tablespoon, they thought it was something great to drink! P.S. This advice did come from the vet, not just me. Enjoy. I just laugh, because we've already been through those stages of puppy growing that you're now going through. As someone else said "this too shall pass."
Tell everyone hi for us!

Lauren said...

Hmm, I'll remember to avoid stuffed pets with ribbons. Our field English Setter "Teague" is officially here, asleep in his crate at my feet. I'm in first day mode, which means he has been out successfully so many times today that we have had no inside accidents. But I know my attention will drift after a day or two...

Glad the ribbon made it out without surgery. Some day I'll list all the things we've removed from dogs and cats in surgery at my practice. How they ever survive their own mouths is amazing (wow, and true of some people too...).

mom to Fergus

Bob I said...

I'm a strong belever in crating too. When my sife 1st did it I thought it waa cruel but soon learn the dog loved it. he is 10 now but all we have to say is "go to your house" when we are in motels and at our guinea pig shows and she goes right in.

beanieb said...

WOW! And I thought I had the only bad dog! Mine is a puker though- comes from my side of the family. It's especially fun when you are getting ready for work and she yaks up her dog food mixed with the cat litter and potting soil from your plant- on your white carpet just inches away from the laminate!! She also LOVES napkins and toilet paper. Have fun! I'd say this too shall pass, but my dog is almost 5- sigh!

Anonymous said...

I know EXACTLY where you're coming from!

When my husband and I decided to adopt our siberian husky...right when we were in the middle of moving. Literally...we were on PetFinder and happened to find the dog we've been wanting, so we stopped moving so we could drive an extra 8 hours to get him.

We took him to our old apartment after we got home. We were packing things up in our old apartment and wasn't watching when he found (and ate) a washcloth. Needless to say, we figured it out pretty quick when he vomited pieces of washcloth throughout the kitchen floor of our new apartment. And it went everywhere. Yuck. least you're dealing with vomit! Think about it, it could be worse! A LOT WORSE!!

Anonymous said...

These stories remind me of my cat. She eats everything! She must throw up at least once every other day.

She once ate a 2-foot long shoestring. The ensuing vet stay, x-rays, and enema cost $300.

I agree about crating. We tried to get our dog to sleep with us, but she kept getting up and going to her crate. Now she uses it every night. It's like her little den.

Also, if you get the National Geographic channel, you have to watch the Dog Whisperer. It's incredible how his common sense tips fix so many problems. He's not hard to look at and his accent is dreamy.


Anonymous said...

My sisters boxer eats her underwear and then poops them out! Now when we get her panties from Victoria's Secret we call them Bailey treats.