A Crisis Or Two

It’s been one hell of a week, I have to say. On Tuesday around dinner time, I was getting the meal prepared and I realized that Atlas was just lying on the kitchen floor, looking really sleepy, instead of jumping around and begging for pieces of whatever I was making. But he’d had a long walk earlier, and as I said to Ken, “Maybe he’s finally over his growth spurt”, because right now, at 6 months old, he weighs 63 pounds. Ken agreed, but after dinner he was still pretty dopey (Atlas, not Ken), and at 9 o’clock when I had to WAKE him for his before-bed snack, he barely reacted. He finally got up and went downstairs with Ken, but when they came back up, there was a problem:

Ken: He seems a little wobbly.
Me: He’s weaving back and forth. What’s up, buddy?
Atlas: I don’t feel so good, Ma. I—

With that, he started to fall over sideways. We immediately called our vet clinic and got connected to the on-call vet, who said we needed to bring him in right away. The vet clinic is half an hour from our house, and we flew there, only stopping once when he suddenly threw up, all over the back seat, all over himself, and all over me. Luckily, we carry around copious amounts of wet wipes, thanks to covid, and we got cleaned up as best we could. Dr. Hunter, one of the many wonderful vets at our clinic, determined right away that it was some kind of neurotoxin and started filling him full of charcoal to absorb anything he hadn’t already puked up, then ran some blood tests, which came back normal. But he was still out of it, glassy-eyed and could barely stand, so she said, “I want to keep him here overnight. Don’t worry—I’ll sleep in a cot next to his crate and make sure he doesn’t start having seizures. I’ll call you if he gets worse; otherwise, I’ll contact you in the morning to let you know how he is.”

As much as I wanted to bundle him up and take him home, I knew it was for the best, so we left him there whimpering a little, telling him that everything was going to be OK.

None of us could sleep. I lay there waiting for the worst and thinking of him crying in his crate, his first night away from us since before he could remember. Finally, at 6:30 am, the phone rang. Dr. Hunter sounded very upbeat and chipper. “He had a good night,” she said. “He fell asleep almost right away, and now he’s up and seems very steady, pretty much back to his usual self. He ate a hearty breakfast and he’s keeping it down. You can come and get him at 9:30. One thing—he won’t pee.”

Which was understandable, because he won’t go anywhere except in our yard. Even when we take him for a walk, he waits until we get home then makes a mad dash for the grass by the back door. So when we got to the vet clinic, he was super-excited to see us, but there was no way I was driving him half an hour home with a full bladder. After being vomited on, I didn’t think I could take a urine shower. So I brought him over to the grass verge.

Me: You have to go pee here.
Atlas: This grass is weird.
Me: We’re not getting in the truck until you pee.
Atlas: Let me sniff around for a sec—oh, there we go. Ahhhh.

He peed for literally two minutes, having had a litre and a half of fluid through an IV overnight. By the time we got him in the truck, he was exhausted, and fell asleep on my lap.

We still have no idea what he got into—being a puppy, albeit a giant one, he still eats things off the ground or in the yard indiscriminately, so we’re watching him like a hawk. Long story short, he seems fine now, but it brought back terrible memories of what had happened to Titus not that long ago, especially since the initial symptoms were so similar. As I write this, he’s mooching around the kitchen, trying to convince Ken that he should have a second breakfast, so crisis averted.

Here’s another crisis that’s a little more like what you normally find on this site:

As I’ve been working remotely, I’ve noticed that a lot of people use virtual backgrounds. I don’t like the way they make you look like you’re on green screen, so I’ve tried to create an aesthetically pleasing REAL background for my desk area, and central to that is a giant, antique clock. I’ve had a lot of comments about it, so here’s the story behind it

One weekend, I saw an ad on a local buy and sell site for a tiny antique clock. It didn’t work, but the price was cheap and the case was pretty. I decided it would make a really great little jewelry cabinet, so I contacted the guy and arranged to pick it up. When I got there, right on time, he was like, “What? I thought you were coming tomorrow. I’m just going out for a ride on my motorcycle and the clock is in the basement.” He said this like it made absolutely logical sense. Then again, the weather WAS charming, and riding a motorcycle is like smoking crack for some people, so I said I’d come by the next day. After a series of confusing messages (at one point, he said, “I’m here” and I thought he meant outside my house, so I spent ten minutes waiting for him to come to the door, but he meant HIS house), I drove to his place to pick up the clock. It was sitting in his garage, and it was WAYYY bigger than the picture made it seem. I had envisioned it as being less than a foot tall, but it was, in fact, over three feet tall, and much too large for a jewelry cabinet, unless you were a member of the Royal Family. Still, it was beautiful, so I put it in the car, and brought it home. It weighed a TON (I discovered later that it still had the original lead weights inside), and I struggled to get it up onto the kitchen counter, where it stayed for a week. Mostly because I had NO IDEA where to put it. Ken said I should sell it for parts, but here’s the issue: it still had the original paper label inside it, and after doing some research, it turned out it was a very rare “Chauncey Boardman” American clock from the early 1800s.

Me: I can’t gut it for parts, Ken. It’s 200 years old! People didn’t even have WATCHES back then.
Ken: Um…I’m going to say that’s incorrect.
Me: Well, fine. But they kept them in their pockets, which is not very convenient.
Ken: What time is it right now?
Me: Not sure. Let me check my phone. Now, where’s my purse?
Ken: Did you know that there were no Canadian clock manufacturers 200 years ago? There would have only been individual watchmakers. I saw this documentary last week about…

I have no idea what happened in the documentary because I tuned out, and started mentally going through rooms to see where I could put the clock. When I tuned back in, Ken was talking about ANOTHER documentary about pygmy goats, or Shakespeare’s skull or something, so I started physically walking around the house to figure out where a 3-foot-high, non-functioning clock could possibly go. After another week, I promised Ken on my honour as a woman that I would find a place for it, and get it off the kitchen counter. And that’s how it ended up as a background prop on the windowsill in my office alcove. Another crisis averted. If only they were all that easy.

His favourite place to lounge in the sun.

47 thoughts on “A Crisis Or Two

  1. I am so glad Atlas is fine.
    We had a similar thing with a dog we had growing up. He got really sick and wobbly and the vet thought he might have licked up anti-freeze or something, though we could never determine where he got into such a thing – it wasn’t at our house. The vet said maybe a contaminated puddle and now I’m paranoid about puddles and my dogs think they’re special wells of treat water.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just wish we knew so we could avoid it. Yesterday, I caught him eating a green tomato that dropped over the garden fence onto the lawn–those can be quite poisonous to dogs but he seems fine. If he would only stop putting every damn thing in his mouth!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s good to see Atlas got over whatever it was he wasn’t supposed to eat. Waaaaaay back when I still had kittens, they managed to break into my computer room while I was at work (I probably didn’t close the door all the way) and found the bowl of candy I keep on the shelf above the monitor. The bowl and what was left of the candy was strewn all over the floor when I came home. It wasn’t too hard to figure out who the guilty party was, as Ody just sat there like “It wasn’t me,” while Spilly was perched on the second tier of my shelf making a vomit waterfall. Thankfully, he either didn’t munch up too much of the chocolate, or it’s not as toxic for cats as it is for dogs…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so glad to hear Atlas is okay. It’s so hard when our fur-babies are sick because they can’t tell us what’s going on with them. I hope you find out what he ate, so you can make sure he doesn’t come into contact with it again. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy to find that Atlas is okay, whew! And, what the heck are you feeding that pup? He’s ginormous even for a pup, he’s like the Andre the Giant of Pups! Seriously he’s a big puppy. They’ll eat anything, ugh which makes it hard to kept track of how and what they eat.
    That clock is beautiful and it doesn’t look as heavy as you said it is. But I’m sure it was worth the move.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely ecstatic that Atlas is ok! (to be honest, I began stalking your fb page the moment you said he got sick) I wish I could tell you that he would grow out of that put everything in his mouth phase. D.O.G. is 13 and still “tries” the most random things…smh

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad Atlas is OK dangly, sounds like a very worrying time. You’d think, with evolution and all, that dogs would have some sort of ‘edible or not edible’ instinct about stuff by now… but apparently not!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m joining everyone else in breathing a big sigh of relief over Atlas, especially with a puppy of our own in the house, although I think I’d be just as upset under any circumstances. It’s also why I pick mushrooms in the yard: the dogs will probably eat them and I have no idea what the effects could be, especially the red-capped ones.
    That clock really is amazing and I want to know more about the documentary Ken watched. All of them, in fact. Clocks, pygmy goats, and Shakespeare’s skull all sound fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we’ve pulled some mushrooms just in case, and blocked off the composter (he never went near it anyway) and we just found out that green tomatoes (but not red) are also very toxic. So much to worry about!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m SO glad to hear things turned out well for your fur baby! And how sweet and wonderful of the vet to sleep next to him! ❤ That is an awesome clock! It would be fascinating to find out the history!


  9. I had to laugh when your husband suggested you dismantle the clock and sell it for parts. There is someone in my house who would say the same thing.

    So glad Atlas is home and is healthy again! That would have been quite an ordeal for everyone involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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