Riding in Cars with Dogs

Our family has had very exciting news in the last month which I had originally planned to write about in the next couple of posts: the first being that we just moved into our awesome new house and the second being that we are expecting again and will have another baby in early August. But I’ve decided to push these posts back a week since Blue has decided to remind me that having nice things is temporary and he is as much baby as we will ever need.

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My three musketeers

Blue is crate trained for good reason. He can’t be left on his own for any large amount of time inside the house. He has proven time and time again that regardless of how long my back is turned he WILL find a way to both destroy the room you left him in and ingest a large amount of inedible items in the shortest amount of time. The first time I tried leaving him alone in the living room while Olive was napping, I went to grab a load of laundry from the dryer. I returned to find he had jumped on top of the dining room table, knocked over my vase and chewed up my bouquet of roses, grabbed an entire pack of sewing needles on the bookshelf and distributed them like booby traps on our shag rug. When I walked back into the room, my jaw dropped and I spilled the laundry basket. Blue was sitting on the couch, chewing up a stuffed whale. There were water and needles everywhere, and a single red rose hanging out of his left jowl.

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Sometimes Olive gets crated too.

Regardless of the fact that we have tried to minimize the amount of time he is left unattended, he inevitably gets into things and we find them later in his “leavings.” Mainly, baby socks. The guts of stuffed animals. Bits of dog toys. There was the rather humorous incident (at least in my mind because I didn’t have to help) when we found out that Blue had eaten a whole dish rag. Matt had to help him pull it out of his rear because Blue couldn’t quite pass it by himself. I won’t get into graphic detail here, but you get the idea.

As funny as these incidents are there are always the scary ones too. Blue has made himself sick on more than one occasion because he has bitten or eaten more than he can chew.

There was the time he ate a bunch of plants that didn’t agree with him AND tried to eat a bee. That ended in two days of non-stop vomiting and dry heaving, followed by his puppy dog cheek swelling up to the size of a soft ball. Matt had to drive him to the vet, where he filled the entire back seat of my Yaris with urine because he lost control of his bladder. We found out from that trip that Blue can take an adult sized dose of Benadryl and it takes several days of cleaning to get his pee smell our of a hot car.

My poor Yaris. It has ended up being Blue’s main means of transport and usually Matt is his driver. About twice a month, my husband will make the trek out to Ocean Beach dog beach and then there’s always the dog park, Pet Smart, and a couple times a year he sees the vet (who he loves, which is weird to me). My husband receives plenty of double-takes and eyes-widening, jaw-dropping stares from pedestrians and other drivers alike when he drives Blue places.  This is probably because 1) My husband is really four inches too tall to be driving the Yaris. 2) The Yaris gets great gas mileage but let’s face it, its a bit of a clown car 3) Like any good dog, Blue prefers to ride in style with either his massive head resting on Matt’s shoulder or his entire head out the window, jowls flapping in the wind. That being said, the inside of the car is covered in dog hair, sand and several layers of dog drool and perpetually smells like stale wet dog. Regardless of the destination or the smell, Blue loves riding in the car with his Thunder Buddy (that would be Matt).

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Imagine those jowls flapping in the wind.

The only time Blue rides in the car with me are the dreaded emergency trips to the vet, mainly because I refuse to try to deal with both the dog and the toddler in the car. Luckily, that has only happened a couple times in the last two years but I dread them like the flu. There is nothing more stressful than an emergency trip (to either the ER or the vet) with a sick dog/child/husband.

Which brings me to today. Now that Blue is slowly reaching dog adulthood, we’ve been experimenting with letting him have more time in the house without supervision. For the present, this only happens at night when we go to bed. Rather than crating him for the night, we’ve been leaving him sawing wood (that is exactly what his snoring sounds like) and tucked in with a blanket on the couch. When we get up in the morning, he’s usually migrated back to the crate. I caught him with a bag of english muffins in his mouth and he’s figured out how to open the back door to the garage, but otherwise we haven’t had any major incidents.

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Blue and I like to snuggle before bed.

This morning, much to my chagrin, Blue ate about thirty bone marrow treats (usually we don’t give him more than a couple a day). Its my own fault, I accidentally left the bag on the kitchen table last night. I was expecting at worst, an upset stomach. But then later this morning when I decided to bring Blue in to spend some time with us before I ran some errands, I made the mistake of leaving him in the living room while I went to brush my teeth. I rushed back in the room when I heard the sound of plastic cracking. Blue was sitting in pre-puppy pounce position (front paws to the ground, ears perked and head cocked with butt in the air and tail wagging) with a chewed up plastic packaging in front of him.

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Who me?

This was the package:

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Is it just me or does this box look like it was the victim of a drive-by shooting?

Luckily, I was fairly confident the package was already empty, there was still the concern he may have swallowed a button battery if it hadn’t been. My protocol for these situations is to crate the dog with a death wish and monitor him for a couple hours first (even though the protective dog mommy in me wants to rush him to the vet, the pragmatist in me also knows that this will automatically be a $350 vet bill for x-rays and antacids).

Of course, at the end of 2.5 hours he starts vomiting in his crate and then in various places in the living room and again when I brought him outside. Now the part of me that tends towards panic starts to take over, but I also remind myself that he’s consumed a large amount of doggy treats earlier this morning and refused breakfast. Which probably means he had an upset tummy BEFORE he chewed up the plastic package that probably did NOT contain a battery. I monitored him outside for a couple more hours during which time I carefully dissected his sick (when did he eat carrots and half a diaper wipe?). I eventually came to the conclusion that we were most likely in the clear and got out the vomit towel (well that’s what its going to be from now on, I’m certainly not bathing with it anymore). While following the trail of you-know-what and cleaning and disinfecting, I began to wonder why we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new house, just so Blue could vomit all over it. Finally, fixing my sick baby some steamed white rice with a little chicken broth mixed in (which he devoured) and later an apple which he stole from Olive, I deemed we would NOT be making a very expensive trip to the vet.

I do not enjoy these hurry up and wait situations and frankly, don’t want to think about dealing with this when Matt is out to sea and unreachable. But I’ll do it anyways because that’s what I signed up for when we adopted him. And I can’t imagine a world without our Romper Stomper in it. I would miss our snuggle sessions at the end of the day, when the sound of his snoring and puppy breath lulls me to sleep on the couch before bed. Even though he drives me absolutely crazy for two-thirds of the day, I would miss that big goofy drooly face too much if something ever happened to him. So today I’m thankful for every day that has our “pile of paws” in it and for empty plastic packages that don’t have any batteries after all.

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Our pile of paws

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