Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Barley's Dark Days

With two days left in February, it might be a little early to celebrate, but it seems we have made it through Barley's dark days without incident.

The face of a happy dog.
Barley's face and constantly wagging tail seem to reveal a happy dog, but for some reason in February something dark lurks beneath the surface.

On February 21, 2011, less than two months after I brought Barley home, she ate sugar-free gum.  In the amount of time it took me to dry my hair, she had swallowed half of a package of Orbit--wrappers and all.  Luckily, I had just seen a story on Good Morning America about a puppy that had died after eating sugar-free gum.  Apparently, the sweetener xylitol can mess up a dog's blood sugar and causes hypoglycemia, which can cause seizures and all kinds of other scary things for your pet.  Just a few pieces can be fatal.  So, as soon as I saw that she had gotten into it, we rushed to our vet.  Almost $300 later, the vet had induced vomiting, monitored blood sugar all day, and given her fluids, and a few days later we had follow up blood work to make sure there was no liver damage.

Exactly one year and one day later, Barley poisoned herself again.  This time by eating Aleve in the short time it took me to shower.  The vet didn't open for another 30 minutes, and I wasn't sure how quickly we had to act--with the gum I knew it had to be fast, and I figured medication was probably similar.  I'd since learned how to induce vomiting myself--a little hydrogen peroxide in her belly and the little pills were in puddles in the backyard.  The vet told me to give Barley a 10mg Pepcid AC tablet every 12 hours for the next week, just in case the pills had irritated her stomach lining.  Luckily, she came out of that one no worse for the wear, either.

This year, I was determined that we'd make it through Barley's dark days with no incidents.  Usually, when I shower in the morning, she curls back up in bed with a toy and waits for her breakfast.  There were a few days this month when she refused to hop in bed, so I shut her in the crate since she was clearly plotting something naughty.  I was not going to give her the freedom to get into things that could hurt her.  (I've also done a pretty good job of dog-proofing my apartment after two years of adventures with Barley.)

It looks like we're in the clear.  Barley ate something this afternoon--I was scooping the litter box and came out of the bathroom just in time to catch her in the spare bedroom (her spot for chewing things she shouldn't) swallowing something.  Luckily, all of the chocolate, medications, and other known poisons were hidden (and I quit buying gum after the Great Gum Incident of 2011), so I'm fairly confident whatever it was won't kill her.  A little later, I caught her eating a dead flower that had fallen off of one of my plants, so maybe it was just one of those.

Keep your fingers crossed that my crazy girl survives our third year together without any poison attempts!  I want to continue seeing this goofy dog every day for a long, long time.


  1. Haha Marley is exactly the same as you know from the christmas pudding incident! It's a nightmare isn't it, they always seem to find something no matter how careful you are! Still Marley has always lived to tell the tale of everything he has hasn't eaten!!!

    1. It is a nightmare! But I guess at least they give us more motivation to keep the house clean! Let's keep our fingers crossed their both of their luck continues for a long, long time!

  2. Haha, yay Bar Bar!!! You should have one of those calendars that says ___ days without an accident. :-)

    1. That sounds like a brilliant idea! Haha. You can make me one next time you're feeling crafty.