Erin's Everyday Thoughts

Friday, August 17, 2007

Adventures in Dog-Sitting

As I’ve mentioned before, when taking a walk, Phoebe the dog likes to eat things. Chicken bones in particular are her favorite, but she’ll pick up anything that looks or smells interesting, if I’m not fast enough to keep her from getting to it. She regularly eats napkins and tissues. Last week, she actually tried, unsuccessfully, to pick up an entire full kitchen-size trash bag and bring it along.

This morning, she must have picked up something that was not good for her. We took a usual walk between about 7:00 and 7:30, and I jumped in the shower as soon as we got home. It was when I was toweling off after the shower that I heard Phoebe running into things. She has a tendency to make a ruckus, but this sounded more intense. She slammed into the bathroom door, then she slammed into what sounded like the wall. I thought—what in the world?

When I opened the bathroom door to let her in, she took a nosedive for the bathmat and buried her snout into it. But her snout … oh no. Her snout was twice its usual size!

Please see the pictures above. The first is a picture of a flat-coated retriever, and looks roughly like what Phoebe usually looks like. The second is a picture of a Labrador retriever. Note the twice-as-wide snout. This morning, Phoebe looked like a Labrador retriever.

While I hurried to complete a highly abbreviated getting-ready-for-the-morning routine, Phoebe continued to run and slam into things. She burrowed behind my bed and into a stack of pillows. She ran downstairs and (I later discovered) burrowed a cushion right off of one of our chairs.

It seemed like this was probably an allergic reaction of some sort, but I obviously didn’t know for sure. So I called Phoebe’s vet … closed. I called my brother (Phoebe’s owner) to see if he had an after-hour vet. I called an after-hour vet and spoke with a specialist who said I would probably be okay waiting until 9:00 to bring Phoebe to her regular vet (that’s when they open). And so, after a quick e-mail to my boss at work, we piled into my car (Phoebe in crate, me in driver’s seat) and drove to the vet.

That is where I left Phoebe. Of course by this time, she was much less agitated and less swollen. (Isn’t that how it always works?) I’m not sure if they believed that her mouth had been twice its usual size. But they are going to do a thorough exam. And hopefully the next time I see Phoebe the Dog, she will look just like herself again. Maybe she’ll even learn a lesson about picking up trash on walks. But I doubt it.


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