"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Case of the Missing Peach Pit

It began rather innocently, on a busy Wednesday morning. As usual I was running late, as is the habit of someone who loves sleeping in just a little too much, and therefore was sadly unobservant of the happenings around me. My husband had left for work before I did, and I was scrambling to get everything done and be out the door with a reasonable chance of getting to work on time.

My last task was feeding the bunnies in the office, and I was gone for only a few minutes. When I emerged, I saw with terrible fright, that the bathroom door was open. The bathroom door cannot be open. No, not the bathroom door, nor any door in our house can be left open and unsupervised, not with Maddie about.

Maddie is my Great Dane, and she has the most devious, mischievous streak when it comes to pinching things she shouldn't and gobbling them up to our great distress. This habit had already resulted in her very near death and a massive surgery that left us, for lack of a better word, broke. And as dogs are not especially astute at observing the rules of cause and effect, she never pieced together that eating a rag had resulted in her misery, and instead blamed it on the hero that saved her life, our vet.

So, when I saw the open bathroom door, my stomach plummeted down into my toes and I lurched forward around the corner to see a very apologetic and wide eyed dog, already aware that she'd been naughty and was in massive trouble. I looked down at the garbage and knew immediately something was missing. I just had no idea what it was. I'd been in such a hurry all morning, running about, I hadn't stopped and really looked at my surroundings. I knew that something was missing, and that it had been brownish, but I had no idea what she'd eaten.

I phoned my husband, already livid that he'd failed to close the door and demanded to know what he'd thrown in the garbage.

"I have no idea."

"Well, think! Because whatever it is, Maddie's eaten it!" My voice was shrill and full of accusation as I grilled him about everything he'd thrown away for the last thirty six hours. At last we came to the conclusion that it must have been a peach pit.

As Maddie seemed in good spirits and the vet's office didn't open until nine, I raced off to work. I would get all the mandatory, immediate work off my desk by the time the vet's office opened and then, if need be, rush home and deliver Maddie to the vet's waiting arms. Of course, I couldn't keep myself from googling about it once I was at my desk, and the results were terrifying. They spoke of bowel obstructions, cyanide poisoning, choking. My heart thumped in my chest as I thought about the possibilities.

At last, nine o'clock arrived and I called the office to beg their advice. They were surprisingly calm. Maddie had swallowed the peach pit whole, so cyanide poisoning was highly unlikely. She was a large dog, so bowel obstruction was highly unlikely. But as she'd had a previous bowel obstruction already, they told me to watch her closely and feed her canned pumpkin.

"It's full of fiber and will help her pass the pit more quickly." They instructed.

I finished what was necessary and begged off for the day. I picked up canned pumpkin on the way home and spent the rest of the day at Maddie's side, watching her, rubbing her tummy and feeding her pumpkin. It turned her bowel movements bright orange, and she was ecstatic that mom was home and feeding her a delicious treat all day, but alas, no pit. However, the bright orange bowel movements showed that she was having solid movements after the pit, so nothing was blocked, and she seemed in great spirits, so I cautiously returned to work the next day.

I have not found the pit. I'm beginning to think there never was one. She might have eaten something else entirely, something more digestible, I'm not sure. Perhaps she ate nothing and was merely guilty of being about to eat something, although I doubt that. But whatever the case, so far she seems completely fine, which is a relief.

Although I realize my panic is often an over reaction, and my attachment to my dog is a little over much, I can't help it. I almost lost her once, I wasn't going to underestimate a problem ever again. And at the very least, I now know how to turn her shit orange. So, there's that.

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