Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's Not Easy

This has not been the best week in my relationship with Barley. I've mentioned that she's been having a hard time adjusting to our new house, but I thought she was starting to settle in more. She stopped crying when I put her in the crate to go to work. She'd started to initiate play again. I stopped worrying.

And I failed her.

I mentioned that all of my pantry items are temporarily in the basement while I finish the last little bit of my kitchen overhaul and that Barley was interested in those bags. I wasn't too concerned about it because every time she'd try to go down to the basement, I'd go retrieve her and with the exception of the taco seasoning when I was moving laundry to the dryer and was a couple extra steps behind her, if she'd stolen something, I was waiting at the end of the staircase to take it from her.

On Tuesday, Soth wanted to go play in the basement so I let him down there while I ate a late lunch and watched some of the Pirates game. Barley was a little restless, so I thought if we went upstairs and snuggled in bed she'd settle down. Soth was still in the basement, so I left the door open and Bar and I headed upstairs.

She snuggled up close and I propped up the iPad so we could still watch the game. The Pirates were behind by a lot and all of the sudden my eyes were closed.

When I woke up, Barley wasn't in bed with me. Often, she sleeps under the bed or in her bed in the closet, so I just assumed she was napping on her own. I changed clothes and started to get ready to go for a walk and called Barley a few times. I didn't hear her tail thumping under the bed or any jingle of her tags. 

I ran downstairs--still no Barley, but there was a a shredded box that used to contain baker's chocolate. Pretty soon, Barley came bouncing up the basement steps and I panicked.

Baker's chocolate is one of the very worst chocolates a dog could eat, so I knew that I had to induce vomiting immediately. Of course, my hydrogen peroxide wasn't in any of the bathroom bins that still need to be unloaded. My mom had thrown out some expired stuff from the bathroom cabinet, so I wondered if that was one of the purged items. I knew I didn't have time to keep looking, so I put Barley in her crate and ran to Dollar General to get more.

Nothing makes me feel guiltier than having to induce vomiting. I walked Barley around the yard, waiting for it to hit her. She started walking like she was a drunk and sat down. I could see on her face that she had no idea what was happening to her. In a few minutes, chocolate was covering my backyard, but Barley was back to walking normally.

We sat down on the back steps (several years ago, I learned that you never go back inside right away) and I hugged her and cried and apologized. She just wagged her tail. Then one of the neighbor dogs a few houses down appeared in its yard and Barley bounced down the stairs to look at it.

We've been down this road before--it's been years since we've had a situation as serious as this one, but I always keep a few cans of sensitive stomach food on hand so that Barley can have a few meals that are easier on her tummy. I picked up some Pepcid AC for her after work on Wednesday because I did know that was one of the expired items that got thrown out when we moved and our vet has recommended it other times she's eaten things that might irritate her stomach lining. 

She's back to her normal, bouncy mischievous self, but I'm still kicking myself for not watching her more closely. To make matters worse, I had considered throwing that baker's chocolate out when we moved, but when I saw it didn't expire until 2017, I decided to keep it even though I can't remember the last time I baked something that wasn't for dogs to eat.


After I made sure Barley was settled, I went down to the basement and moved all of the "pantry" bags off of the floor and onto shelves where they can stay until I get the last little bit of the kitchen finished.

From now on, if one of us is in the basement, we're all in the basement. Soth might not be happy that he has more limited access to his favorite place in the house, but until Barley feels completely at home in our house, it's all for one and one for all.


I'm very thankful that things turned out ok this time--and for our wonderful vet who has prepared me for situations like this, especially since they always happen after the clinic is closed. Please send some good vibes out into the universe for my Barley girl. I think this move has been even harder on her than I had anticipated and I'm hoping that she'll feel a little more comfortable every day, so having a few more people sending those good vibes her way can't hurt. 

16 comments:

  1. Awe poor Barley! I'm sorry that she's still feeling unsettled in the new house! I'm really glad that you got to her and was able to get her to vomit! At least she's okay! I hope she settles down soon!

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    1. I'm glad I got to her in time, too! Luckily, I was snoozing for less than an hour and she'd been with me for part of that time, so she hadn't had it in her system for too long--and everything I've seen said that you want to get them to vomit it back up within a 2-hour time frame to have the best shot of keeping them from having any problems, so we were well within that time frame. I just hate that she's feeling so unsettled.

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  2. I'm glad she's OK! Mr. N has never shown an interest in chocolate but all the chocolate in our house is super dark so I try to be extra careful. Sending good vibes for Barley to be adjusted quickly!

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    1. I wish Mr. N would teach Barley that chocolate is interesting. She loves it--she's eaten turtle brownies and her share of mini chocolate bars that she found in my brother's room, but it's never been a significant enough amount for me to worry to much based on her size, so this was pretty scary! I'd thought I'd put up the worst of the things already, but somehow I missed this.

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    2. and by "is interesting" I mean "isn't."

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  3. Oh no. Stuff happens sometimes and at least you were able to deal with it. Sending good wishes your way.

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    1. Thank you! It just always hurts a little more when it's something that is so preventable, but I learned from it and hopefully we'll do better in the future.

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  4. Poor Bar! Don't be too hard on yourself though. Sometimes things happen and at least you took measures to prevent it from happening again!

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    1. I think she's just trying to tell me she prefers apartment life and wants to go live with Aunt L.

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  5. I'm so glad for you that you knew exactly what to do, and it turned out OK. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to think of every bad thing that might happen, we just can't prevent them all. It's all part of having pets I think. I sometimes wonder how nice it must be for those people that have pets who don't ever misbehave or get into anything!

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    1. I can't even imagine what a life with pets that don't get into anything would look like! Luckily (I guess?), Barley has made sure I'm extra prepared for knowing how to handle these situations.

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  6. I too am so glad that you were ready and knew what to do. By being an informed pet parent, you saved Barley. You can't prevent everything. Our black lab somehow ate a poisonous mushroom last summer despite our best efforts to prevent it. And we almost lost him. Almost, but he made it. I'm so glad that Barley is on the mend!

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    1. I'm glad your pup is ok, too! No matter how many things I think of doing to thwart Barley's scavenging, she never fails to find things I didn't think of!

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  7. That is horribly scary, I'm so glad you knew what to do and were able to react quickly!

    Have you considered a calming collar or some other type of calming aid to help ease her anxiety with the move?

    Jan at Wag N Woof, just did a review on calming collars.

    http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/alleviating-pet-anxiety-with-calming-collars/

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    1. We've never had any luck with natural calming aids--but we're definitely looking into the cooling collar Jan mentioned! Before we moved, I tried a thundershirt for Barley because she has extreme anxiety with thunder and fireworks, too--and when we tried it on a perfectly fine sunny day, it pushed Barley so far over her threshold that she wouldn't even take treats from me and refused to even take one step in any direction. So, it was promptly returned before I further traumatized her by trying it on during a thunderstorm ;)

      Luckily, she's responding well to going back to the relaxation exercises we started doing when I first brought her home--but they take time and patience and patience is not my strong suit.

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  8. Oh no! Scary. It's the worst when our dogs get sick. Good job knowing how to handle it. I'm glad she was back to herself before too long.

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