I know you all love a great story about my pain-in-the-butt German Shepherd, Colt.
In the past I’ve regaled you with tales of him eating the siding off the house, pooping himself whenever the Amazon guy delivers a package, and how he ruined my Roomba vacuum cleaner (see The Day I Lost Bradley Cooper), but I swear, nothing beats the adventure we just had this last week.
Warning: if you’re squeamish about bathroom talk, I’d skip this Tale of the Tail.
Some background: for Christmas, my daughter wanted one of those heating pads you can toss in the microwave, the ones with buckwheat or rice in them. (File that in your brain for the future, it’s important to this story.) I got her a cute one that looks like a smiling avocado because who doesn’t love a smiling avocado, right? On more than one occasion, I’ve warned her that our psycho dog might love this heating pad because he loves vegetables, stuffed animals, and anything he’s not supposed to eat. (Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable?) I realize the heating pad was not a real avocado, but this dog is just dumb enough to mistake it for one, just like he was dumb enough to mistake our siding for a side of beef. Anyway, every time I mention not leaving this heating pad where he can get it, I’m met with an eye roll and an “I KNOW”.
Long story short, she left it where he could get it. I know, you didn’t see that one coming, did you?
So he gets the heating pad and we all scramble into position to get it away from him because you can’t just take something he’s eating away from him. Believe me, I have scars and an up-to-date tetanus shot from making that mistake in the past. Hubby gets a treat to distract him, I kick the heating pad away, and the negligent child slams the door so he can’t get back into the room before we clean it up.
I’m not a happy camper at this point in time as I’m yelling at her to look up the ingredients and get the GD vacuum. Turns out there was lavender in the heating pad and my daughter is a terrible vacuumer. Two things I didn’t want to know because lavender can be toxic for dogs AND who wants a kid who can’t vacuum?
But that’s not where this ends.
While we’re in the process of trying to clean up the mess in my daughter’s room, Hubby discovers that the dog has stored the heating pad filling in his mouth like he’s a freaking squirrel. Or is it chipmunk? Regardless, he’s now in the living room chowing down on what appears to be seeds, mushing it into the carpet with his snout as he simultaneously snorts it up his nose like a coke addict. The only way to get it away from him is to use the tools on the vacuum to attempt to suck it up faster than he can eat them. Now I’m racing my dog in the Vacuum Cleaner games and I hate to admit, it appears it was a tie. For every ten seeds I sucked up, he ate ten more.
We eventually got the rest of the seeds up.
He gave us a dirty look and proceeded to trot into the kitchen to take a dump on the floor as a giant FU. We waited the rest of the night to see what would happen, but he appeared completely fine all night and all the next day. I even commented on one of his FU presents, “Look hon! The seeds come out the same way they went in, just like corn!” We laughed and laughed and I swear the dog gave us the finger.
Little did we know, none of us would be laughing a few hours later.
That’s when he started dropping the seeds out of his butt. Yes, you read that correctly. Like he was seeding a wheatfield. Like he was Hansel and he was trying to find his way back home. Like he was literally dropping seed by seed as he walked.
I followed behind him with the dustpan and broom for a while until it got completely exhausting and I just slapped a diaper on him, emptying it every few hours. I couldn’t believe how many seeds came out of this dog…handful after handful. After I removed the diaper, I found them all over the yard, pile after pile after pile. There looked like more seeds in the yard than possibly could have been in the heating pad to begin with. What did they do, multiply in his colon?
But wait…there’s more!
And then, he stopped dropping the seeds and I breathed a sigh of relief. But not for long. Because then I watched him race around the yard, squatting and trying to poop all afternoon on Sunday. In the process of racing around, he caught his back paw on something and broke off a nail because he will NOT let me cut his nails and the one time I attempted it I ended up with stitches. An immediate gush of blood resulted. A gush that could not be staunched no matter how much flour I sprinkled on his foot or gauze I wrapped it with. Within ten minutes, the kitchen looked like a crime scene created by a homicidal pigeon with all the blood and the seeds.
“Stay still!” I was screaming at him. Because the more he ran around, the more he bled. The more he bled, the more of a mess he made. I tried to clean up the mess repeatedly, but finally threw in the literal towel and sat on the kitchen floor in tears. He sat next to me and bled all over the towel.
By Monday he had FINALLY stopped bleeding (there were a few socks involved), but hadn’t pooped yet. And what was worse is he didn’t ask for breakfast. Now, this was alarming. You could set your watch to this dog’s demand for meals.
In my panic, I Googled.
I had been avoiding Google all weekend because we’ve been through this before with this lunatic. He has eaten everything that isn’t nailed down (like a jar of honey…including the jar. That was the day he used my couch cushions as a tourniquet for his tongue.) So initially I hadn’t been worried and I knew Googling would just make me want to grind up Xanax to sprinkle in my coffee. But this guy not asking for food? There was something wrong. (I’d just like to point out that at no point did he refuse to eat. I’m pretty sure he’ll be on his death bed accepting kibble as long as you put it in his mouth for him.)
I determined, with my excellent detective skills, that he was constipated from the dry seeds. So I gave him pumpkin which is a natural laxative for dogs. (Maybe people too…try it next pumpkin spice season.) That made him lose his lunch in the other direction. And then he gobbled up his regurgitated lunch while I ran around the backyard screaming and spraying the vomit with a hose so he couldn’t eat it while the other dog tried to jump in front of the spray because she thought we were playing a game. Good times.
I needed to get this dog to poop.
I went to Pet Smart to see if they had any doggie enemas, but alas, there were none. Then I looked up how to make your own home enema and bought a new turkey baster for that purpose. Hubby took it away from me when he saw me putting on the gloves I use to clean the bathroom. His exact words were, “Are you out of your f’ing mind?” And then something about projectile diarrhea. He stormed out of the room when I asked him to get me a set of goggles and to be my assistant. Needless to say, I didn’t go through with my plan.
By Tuesday the dog was so miserable I knew I had no choice but to take him to the vet. Remember that Googling? Yeah, well it told me he could be worse than constipated. He could have something called megacolon and the only treatment is surgery which costs upward of $10,000. Now, I’m an animal lover as much as the next person, but that is an insane amount of money to pay for an eleven-year-old dog to have surgery to remove something from his colon, just so he can leave the vet’s office and go nibble on my staircase or something. Call me cold-hearted, but I thought this was probably the end for dumb Colt. Plus, I don’t think Hubby would spend $10,000 on surgery for ME, let alone the dog who ate his brand-new Cowboy’s cap.
I spent all day nauseated by the thought that I would have to make the choice to put the dog down over a freaking heating pad.
Crossing my fingers that maybe they could just give him an enema, I dragged his sorry ass to the vet. I told her my story and she frowned as she palpated his belly. I swore I saw the words X-ray on her lips (my brain mentally calculating how much THAT would cost), but then she donned a pair of gloves and said, “Let’s just take a look up there, shall we?”
I looked at Colt’s face as her hand went up his butt and immediately thought, “Oh $hit.” Now Colt loves me to death and he’s generally a good guy, but go anywhere near either end of his digestive tract and you’re likely to meet his teeth. I was terrified that he was going to turn around and snap this lady in half so I crouched down on the floor next to him, trying to calm him. It’s a testament to how uncomfortable he really was because he did nothing more than whimper for the five minutes that the doctor dug around.
“All done,” she said and stepped away.
My mouth dropped.
On the floor was no less than three pounds of buckwheat seed.
Like enough to fill a deep cereal bowl. The kind you use a ladle to eat out of while you sit in front of the TV and watch Saturday morning cartoons.
“How on God’s green earth is that possible?” I found myself shrieking. The amount of seed on the floor would have created a melon-sized lump in his colon. Not to mention, he had already dropped several pounds of seed as it was.
The vet just shrugged and said, “He’s a medical marvel.” She crouched down to clean up the mess and then said, “You know, you really should clip his nails.”
Me and the medical marvel went home to hose off his butt, bolt down everything in the house, and NOT trim his nails. Come visit me next harvest season when we have buckwheat growing in our yard.