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.