Friday, October 29, 2004

Recycled -- Hubert

This post originally appeared on my other blog, but I realized you folks would almost certainly get a kick out it. I originally wrote it last January, before my job ended and I became a stay-at-home-dad.


We have two dogs (and three cats, but that’s a story for another day). Hubert, a three-year old Great Dane, and George, a 3.5-month old – something. He shows signs of Dane, Lab, and German Shepherd. Odds are he’ll be pretty big, though not as big as Hubert, who is skinny at 120lbs.

Hubert is a peculiar creature. All dogs have personalities of their own, but some have more than others. Hubert is one of those. There’s no need to go into all his traits. For now we need only recall that when he gets upset about something, he has a tendency to grab low-hanging food and eat it. And being a Great Dane, just keeping stuff on a counter or table isn’t enough if he is determined. Being left alone all day when it looked like Trish or myself was going to stay home is something that upsets him; and trust me, he knows by how we dress if we’re likely to stay home. In particular, he takes note of Trish’s shoes.

But I digress.Yesterday, I picked the munchkin up at day care and we got home. He headed up to let George out of his crate, and I let Hubert outside to take care of business.Then I noticed the onion. Or rather, the bits of dried onion skin on the floor.

There was a bag of red onions (big red onions) on the edge of the kitchen table, with the bag opening hanging over the side. This did not look good.While Jake proceeded to watch a little TV (PBS, natch), I hurried through the house looking for signs of onion. I couldn’t imagine Hubert, Mr. Finicky himself, eating an entire red onion, but there was no sign of a partially chewed and spat out onion anywhere. And George had been in the crate all day, so he couldn’t have done it. I tried calling Trish, but she wasn’t in her office or answering her cell phone.

I decided I’d better call the vet, a place that should be on our speed-dial.The vet people were a bit taken aback at the idea a dog would eat a red onion, but promised to look it up.

One of the many nice things about having a really big dog is that it takes a lot of whatever is bad for them to make them sick. But the onions in that bag were at least as big as my fist. At any rate, I was hoping that we would only have some really bad gas to deal with (our recently deceased Dane mix Chester once got into some moldy bread. Even the French would have voted in favor of the UN resolution to disarm the resulting gaseous WMD).

No such luck. Although no toxic dose was found for a dog of Hubert’s size, red onion could do unpleasant things to a dog’s liver and thus his blood. They recommended I try to induce vomiting, and if I couldn’t get that to work, to call the emergency vet for more advice. Oy. I tried calling Trish again, no luck. I made a last-ditch effort to find a partially chewed onion carcass in all the places Hubert normally liked to lie down. No dice. I began to sweat. I fielded a call from Trish’s father, a retired pathologist, but he had little advice except to remain upwind.

I gathered up the hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. You ever try to get something that legitimately wears a horse bridle instead of a collar to take hydrogen peroxide? Yeah, I didn’t think so.The phone rang. It was Trish. I asked her about a missing onion.

She laughed. I resisted an urge to strangle someone. She told me about how George had gotten himself an onion, carried it upstairs, and taken a nice big bite. And immediately spat it back out again and got as far from the offending vegetable as possible. I looked deeply into the trashcan, and found the onion.

“Is everything okay?” She asked.

“It is now,” I replied, and allowed myself to fall into post-adrenaline rush collapse.


Justa Dad said...

I had a lab that would eat whole pecans and rocks. Made back yard cleaning very interesting to say the least. And yes the dog is still alive and doing well.

Thomas J. Trawick said...

I had a pitbull that would eat through our fence. I don't mean chew and break off. No, there were holes in the fence but no wood chips on the ground. I mean we'd find chunks of wood in his poo. What a beast. Lol. If your interested in an easy way to crate train him the method below is quite effective.

Best of luck!