Robert and I got a dog last January. His name is Arty, and he’s a corgi. As pet owners, we’ve put him through his fair share of traumas. He has short legs and a long body and can’t walk down stairs, so I have to carry him down three flights when we go outside. When he was about two and a half months old, he wiggled out of my arms on our way down the stairs and I dropped him on his head. I had to go to work that day, but Robert called my several times to update me on Arty’s status: all he wanted to do was sleep and cuddle in Robert’s arms. We’re pretty sure he had a concussion, because before I dropped him all he wanted to do was bite our hands and pee on the floor. He’s been sweet ever since.
When he was three months old, a pit bill chomped on his ear and wouldn’t let go. I shrieked and swore and pried the other dog’s jaws open with my fingers while the owner stood around like idiot yelling, I don’t know what to do. We spent four hours at the pet emergency room while Arty got his ear stitched up. He spent the next day in a druggy stupor and the next ten days in a cone of shame and to this day he submits to any dog he meets, even the ones that weigh less than ten pounds. Somebody told us after the fact that when you can’t get a dog to let go of something, and you really need it to, you should stick your finger in its butt.
When he was six months old, he started randomly vomiting up small amounts of yellow bile. We searched our apartment high and low to get to the bottom of what was making him sick, but we couldn’t figure it out. Months later, I learned that alstroemerias, which we buy by the bunch every week and break up into small bouquets throughout the apartment, are toxic to dogs. Arty had been eating the petals that fell on the ground as they died.
When he was one year old, he snatched a half-eaten McDonald’s hash-brown patty off the sidewalk and swallowed it whole. Within a few days, he was throwing up and pooping in his kennel every few hours. Our vet told us that he’d contracted a virus that was essentially a “puppy flu,” but not until after we’d paid about $500 for blood and stool tests, fluids, and meds. We fed him a bland diet for weeks, and snuck pieces Pepcid AC tablets into his food for over a month.
After the most recent incident, I have mild panic attacks every time Arty eats something that we didn’t specifically put in his dish. This happens at least once a week, because we can’t stop ourselves from dropping food, and apparently neither can our neighbors. Here is a partial list of things Arty has eaten that stress me out (excluding the hash-brown and the alstroemeria):
– chicken wings (4, on different occasions)
– half an avocado
– a stringy beige slurry that could have been pasta, or could have been vomit from another animal
– cigarette butts
– a slice of white bread, wet
– a crusty muffin
– the corner of a PB&J sandwich
– pistachio shells
– goose poop
– McDonald’s french fries
– one-third of a gnawed-on bully stick (he chewed the first two-thirds off, and swallowed the last third whole)
I’m hoping that all this crap has rendered him impervious to whatever virus lived in that hash-brown patty.
*Toxic to dogs.