This wonderfully awful dog gave us quite a scare last week. On Wednesday afternoon he vomited out of the blue. It was hours after he ate and he had no strenuous exercise that morning because we were at a funeral and he was crated. Greg was home and he and I shared a look across the room. No words were necessary to convey what we were both thinking......here we go again.
When we adopted our last Goldendoodle Jake, unknowingly we adopted a dog with a belly full of rug. The rug had unraveled and coiled around his intestines. Exactly a week after we brought him home, we rushed him to the emergency vet and paid a small fortune to have the contents removed, as well as part of his intestines.
So when a dog vomits in our house, it is never “just throwing up”. Unlike Jake, this seemed to be a one time event. His behavior was “normal”, as normal as can be for a high energy, badly behaved 8 month old puppy, until the next day. Thursday morning Greg and I were woken up at 2am and 4 am from his vomiting. Every two hours means our worries were well founded and he needed to be rushed to the vet.
Our vet is simply amazing. I cannot say enough about the staff and owner of Ridge Hill Animal Hospital in North Haven. They saved Daphne’s life two years ago when the odds were not in her favor, and here I stood before them again with a serious condition that would not cure itself. After an x-ray and ultrasound it was confirmed that there was indeed something in his stomach (not his intestines) and that something looked an awful lot like a sewing needle.
Seriously? A needle? This is my dog. An eater of needles.
This was clearly not how I wanted to spend my Friday or my money. However, something happened that day that changed my relationship with my dog. Until this day, I honestly did not like Crosby. I felt I had made a ginormous mistake in bringing him into our lives. He did not have the personality or the temperament I was looking for in a companion dog. We had no bond.
As I sat in the office waiting for the tech to come and lead him away to prepare him for surgery, he looked at me with his puppy-dog eyes and for the first time in 6 months, I felt a connection to this dog’s soul. He just looked at me as if he were saying “I know you will make me feel better” and I teared up a bit because I realized that deep down I do in fact, love this dog.
He is recovering and there has been a change in him. He now seeks affection and seems to have stopped nipping to get attention. He follows up from room to room and he genuinly wants to be with us. This is a dog that would sometimes pick the further room away from us to be in which always baffled me. Now he is underfoot and participating in family life rather than excluding himself from it. We have a trainer lined up to work with him on the issues he needs to overcome in order to truly be the family dog we desire. Once his incision has healed he will begin a two week intensive training process.
Since this mishap, there have been no tears of frustration with this dog. Perhaps this was a very costly lesson in love and acceptance and perseverance. Crosby will be with us a very long time. I hope this is the beginning of a recovery process not only for his health, but for our relationship as well.