Friday, January 11, 2013


The downside to having to use Blogger as a host for the blog is the problems that Blogger sometimes throws at me. I can't upload photos from my computer. I've sent a complaint into cyberspace where it will be soundly ignored. There are other options to upload photos, namely putting them in a Picassa web album and then ushering them into Blogger from there, but the process to upload into Picassa is insane and takes so long I can't be bothered - first I have to resize every photo because if I leave them the original size it takes forever to upload and sometimes Picassa freaks out and can't load them at all. That means, if I want it to work and work quickly, I have to resize every photo I want to upload and do it all individually. If you have ANY idea how many photos I take you'll know this is a huge time suck. Also, if you are uploading to Picassa you have to do it *one*at*a*time. You can't be finding and queuing up the next photo while it's thinking about the one it's working on. You have to wait for the first photo to finish and then carry on to the next. Infuriating.

So, in place of photos you get a story.

When I lived in Pictou we'd walk behind the town where there was an abundance of wildlife the dogs could sniff out. I have no idea what they ate while out there but I'm sure I don't want to know the details. I do know what Leeloo rolled in and the deer poop they'd eat but otherwise the other goodies they ate were often a mystery. One of the things that concerned me was Boy's cyclical illnesses. It would always start with him not wanting to eat, some diarrhea and a couple days later he'd be fine. I dewormed him with various medications and asked the vet about it but there didn't seem to be anything that preceded the illness that I could pinpoint. It just happened every 8 or 10 weeks and then he'd be fine. I put it down to something he was encountering in the woods but since I couldn't stop him from coming into contact with every twig and bush, there was nothing I could do.

Since moving to the property here Raimi has never had a single episode of illness. We've been here almost 6 months now and it didn't occur to me that he hadn't been sick because we were busy and I just never thought about it.

That was until 2 weeks ago. One morning we woke up and I knew that face. The Sad Boy face. He didn't want to eat but did in the end to prevent the girls from stealing his breakfast. I could tell he was not feeling good at all, he hunkered down in his chair and every time I caught his eye his face would wrinkle up in self pity. I was a bit worried about him but when I got home from work he was himself again. I sighed internally, thinking that we were back on this weird cycle and there was still no indication to pinpoint the issue.

About 5 days later he was sick again. Dammit Raimi. What IS it? Again he ate, although reluctantly, and then was fine later in the day. Now, lest you think I'm a terrible dog owner and am just letting him suffer, I had been running through my head all the things he'd been eating in the woods and was going to be talking to the vet about possible bugs in various animal poop. He eats all kinds of things in the woods - bark, branches, dirt, cat pooh ... and I wondered if it was the cat pooh. He'd certainly encountered that behind Pictou - the Feral Cat Capitol of the World - and I thought perhaps it was that delicacy. I don't have deer here, that has as much as been confirmed by the total lack of poop and tracks in the snow and any other animals packed up and moved out once they saw who moved in.

So this morning I woke up and Raimi was not on the bed. Sort of unusual for him and I just knew he was sick again.  I got up and there he was, on his chair, looking most sad. I let everyone else out and spent a moment with him, talking him through his clearly upset tummy and asking him what was wrong. I made their breakfast and fed the girls and rather than stress him out by leaving his dish down I set it up on the stove out of the way.

Then I heard it, the start of the dog barf. I shuffled him outside and thought he was just going to throw up the usual bile and left over dog food. Instead he surprised me by vomiting a very sorry looking sock along with bits of a treat he'd been fed yesterday.

I recognized that sock. I'd seen it before. In the back yard. It has already spent some time in someone else's tummy although I'm not sure if it was Cora's or Leeloo's. I was taking the dogs for a walk a few weeks ago and spotted this lumpy mass on the grass of the dog yard, thought it was a dead animal but it turned out to be one of my ankle socks - thoroughly digested. I kicked it out of the way and thought when I next clean up the poop in the yard, I'll scoop that up too. Well, as it happens, it snowed shortly thereafter and I wasn't able to clean up the yard and there the sock stayed.

Until, for whatever reason, Raimi decided to eat it. Perhaps it smelled like dog food (since it had been in a dog tummy and I'm sure it came out the front door instead of the back door) or perhaps while he was sniffing it one of the other dogs came to see what he had and he ate it so they couldn't have it. In any case, that is where the sock ended up and stayed for what estimate is just over 2 weeks. I suspect every now and again his tummy tried to either move the sock through or send it back the way it came, but wasn't having any luck with either. All he needed was to feel ill enough to throw up and thus, this morning, success.

Leeloo has eaten countless socks in her youth. I couldn't believe how many I found in tidy little bundles in the spring after the snow melted. They'd come out one way or the other and been buried with snow. She was a habitual and very sneaky sock eater and I never knew she'd eaten one until it came out.  Cora didn't inherit this most annoying gene, mostly because I grew to be very careful where I left socks, but also because she likes to just play with things and has rarely eaten what she shouldn't.

Boy has never eaten a sock in his life. In fact, come to think of it, he was a remarkably good puppy. He didn't often wreck things and his usual downfall was candy, so to see a sock come out of this dog was a big surprise. I am really hoping that this is the reason he was having his Sad Boy moments. I guess we'll see!

I don't often worry when the dogs eat something simple like a sock (or underwear) because mine have a habit of getting things out one way or the other and also because you don't often see them eat something they shouldn't. They are very sneaky about it, particularly if they know it's something they are not supposed to eat! These days the thing I spend most of my time trying to stop them from eating is the branches and bark in the woods - they like to eat partially decomposed wood. Tasty. I still don't know what made Raimi sick before we moved here but since there are no deer here, and therefor no poop to eat ... I suspect that is the culprit. Let's hope so.


RiderWriter said...

I am really glad you posted this. We came home one day a few months ago and when the dog (English Springer) didn't show up to greet us at the door, we knew she was up to no good. She made a belated appearance and looked extremely guilty. What had she done? Chewed up a sock that she found in her brother's trash can.

This dog (aged almost 10) had NEVER touched fabric before, much less a sock, but apparently the sock had been used to clean up "something" that smelled delicious to her and she couldn't resist (Bro claims no knowledge of what substance was and I didn't want to press it, ugh). So we found this half-masticated sock. Whew, I think, she didn't swallow any.

Fast forward three days. Dog acting/eating/pooping normal. She goes in car with me for short trip to store. I come out and find a big wad of half-digested sock and remains of breakfast on the floor of car. GROSS! But yay, I think, it's out. End of episode.

Nope. Two weeks later, repeat the first paragraph. I scream at Son, saying, "You never told me there was another sock and why did you leave it where she could find it!" He says, with a straight face, "You never asked." ARGH!!! Anyway, yes, she chewed up the other disgusting sock, which Son put in a different trash can but of course she tracked down. This time I assumed some of the sock made its way into her tum. I watched her closely... nothing happened, for a whole week. Then I got a call at work from Hubby telling me that she'd refused b'fast (NEVER happens) and horked up the sock. Okay, now we're REALLY done, right?

No, again. A week and a half after THAT dog is acting miserable. Drooping around. Still eating, but not herself. Sure enough, up comes yet another piece of sock. So then I freaked out. What if there was still some in there, and it was truly impacted, and she needed surgery, blah blah blah. Off to the vet we went. $200 and a couple x-rays later, vet says there *might* be another small piece but probably not. She prescribed light meals for a couple days and a sharp eye.

Nothing has come out of either end since then. Dog has been fine, knock on wood. She only stayed on the "light meal plan" for a day and a half as she was badgering her dad, who works from home, non-stop for more food (she was only getting rice) and he couldn't stand it.

I am amazed that your dogs have eaten so many socks with such insouciance, and I hope Raimi will be fine from now on!

The Boss Bitch said...

Honestly I have no idea how many socks Leeloo has had pass through her. It's a lot. She always horked them up or pooped them out. At 3 months old she ate 6 feet of a nylon leash that she had access to for about a minute - I guess I should have known. I think Boy ate the sock because it smelled like dog food, one of the girls came to see what he had and, like most dogs, he scarfed it possessively. I knew how big it was to begin with so I am sure it's all out but sheesh ... you can never turn your back!