Monday, April 28, 2014

The Pukey Little Puppy


"We cannot be parents."

I guess that sounds a bit abrupt. Allow me to rephrase -- we are so not ready to be parents. This Sunday we went up north to Tyler's grandma's cabin in Pine for a birthday celebration (Tyler's mom's "twenty-ninth" birthday ;) ) and decided to take Zora along. She was due for her first long car ride and it would be good for her to have some real space to run around in. There might be a few elk droppings here and there, but we'd watch her and it would be totally no big deal.

Cut to us driving in the car. Zora does her signature move (spin in three circles and pass out), but after about forty minutes, she starts to realize that this is not a typical car ride to go see her sister Cinder or any of the other myriad of dogs she's been introduced to. She decides to trust us and lay down, all the way until we get to the really curvy part of the drive. Usually on our short drives, she'll sit up when she can tell we're making a turn, so this time she does the same thing; the only trouble is that this time instead of about six turns in the span of thirty minutes, we wound around about sixteen times in three.

Tyler: What was that? Did she cough or something?
Me: No, I think she just did that "yawn slash whine" thing she does.

One minute later...

Me: Nope--she definitely just puked.

We pull over before she manages to eat any more of it, and as we open the car door, I am overcome with a sense of relief/disgust as the puppy vomit splat!s inches from my feet onto the unlucky highway turnoff. At least most of it is on the road and not in our car.

All is well for the rest of the drive and we wind down to the cabin (this time Zora has learned to remain laying down), excited for a day of puppy-watching bird-watching and eating way too many Babybels and slices of key lime pie.

But there are elk droppings everywhere. I am telling you, no amount of watching Zora was going to reasonably prevent her from sniffing and/or eating little Whopper-candy-sized poop. Luckily there is already a poop-free part of the yard normally sectioned off for Tyler's parents' Samoyed Denali, so Zora is able to divide her time between it, the inside of the cabin, and one short job down the road where elk droppings are fewer and farther between. Once we get past the vomit and poop fiasco, Zora does really well overall and even sleeps during the entirety of the return trip. The real 'parenting' issues begin when we get home.



Zora eats and drinks her water, but I notice as she plays outside that her left eye is especially teary, with a little stream of eye boogers headed halfway for her nose. Upon closer inspection, I see that she can barely keep it open and all around the bottom rim, the whites of her eye are blood red. Commence total freakout. Did she scratch it? Did she get a cactus needle in it? Is this the first sign of parvo via elk droppings? Does she have rabies now? Is she possessed?

I do not recommend Pet WebMD to anyone.

Tyler: Well, if it's just red that's not a big deal I guess... is it sunken or swollen?
Me: Can it be both?
Tyler: If it is, you don't want to see these results...

I call my aunt for advice and she tells me to call the emergency vet number and ask if they recommend Benadryl or maybe a warm compress. More than likely she just irritated it a little and needs to sleep it off and let the eye heal. The vet number essentially tells me the same thing. The woman asks me if my puppy is in pain or scratching at it and I sheepishly answer, "Well, no. She's just sleeping now..." I hang up and snuggle Zora on the couch until just before midnight and then put her in her kennel from there. By morning, her eye looks totally fine and I psych myself into thinking that it's all because I made those phone calls.

At lunch today I decide to give Tyler a call to check on her. I ask how she's doing.

Tyler: She's been puking all morning.
Me: Wait, what?! What do you mean? Did she just puke her breakfast because she ate it too fast? Because she's been doing that lately and--
Tyler: No, she hasn't eaten yet. But I guess she ate a lot of grass?

He's busy, so I tell him to just let me know if anything changes, but I can't wait and I end up calling back again half an hour later to check. After reassuring me that she's fine, eaten and fed, he says,

Tyler: We cannot be parents. We are going to be the worst helicopter parents ever.

Based on the past 48 hours, that's sounding like an accurate assessment. Oops.


I might need to start a countdown until she finally gets her last shots -- one more week? Poor Zora is going to be exhausted after her first week of walks every day. She won't know what hit her.

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