Oh yes, there’s more… but this time, it’s nothing to do with a boil, abscess or wound, you’ll be glad to hear. This one is a cautionary, yet amusing tale…
As you’ll know if you’ve followed my blog recently, I was house- and dog-sitting for my cousin in East Sussex. She has a lovely house, with two rabbits (outdoors), a big cat (usually very close to the Aga) and two very loveable black labradors.
My friend and I arrived the night before they went away, partly so we could spend some time with them and partly to receive instructions on pet care, central heating, Aga cooking, keys, etc. Meanwhile, my cousin’s husband spent some time drawing maps of local walks for us to take the dogs.
All instructions received and understood, we went up to bed reasonably early, tired after a long drive, leaving the family to do their last bits of packing.
On Wednesday, we said our goodbyes before I went off to see the nurse. They left before we returned, with promises to email if required. The wonders of technology and a very organised woman… I received the first email before they’d even boarded the plane!
Later we took the dogs for a long walk, using one of the maps provided. It was very cold, but with suitable clothing and boots, also quite lovely, with views across fields and over the South Downs. The dogs had fun, running around chasing each other and were remarkably amenable and well-behaved, coming back to us when we called them. The biscuits we had in our pockets may have helped. We came home tired and well-exercised – all of us!
The evening consisted of feeding everyone, then lounging in front of the fire with the hounds. All very relaxing.
Before bedtime, we let the dogs out for a last wee. We had been instructed to move the dog beds in front of the Aga, remove the back door mat, give them each a Bonio and give the younger dog a piece of kindling wood to gnaw on, before putting up a baby gate to keep them in the kitchen, which is open plan into a corridor.
Now, we’re both previous dog owners, so we knew to make sure there was no food in evidence on the table or counter tops. Everything checked, dogs cuddled, patted and praised, lights off and up the stairs to pyjama land.
The next morning we came down to a drama…
plastic pill boxes and pills scattered around.
Initial response: PANIC! OMG! What have they ingested?
Visions of hauling them off to a vet, at 7:30am, pumping stomachs, inducing vomiting, possible long-term damage, sick dogs. Not to mention huge vet bills, shame-faced confession, ruined holiday for my cousin, end of restful house-sitting venture… and possibly forever after! Well, I’m sure you can imagine!
Second response: slightly calmer consideration of the evidence…
None of them seemed to have been chewed or even licked.
PHEW!!!!! All was as it should be… even the broken tablet was all there, just in two halves.
Fortunately, I’m not taking anything too toxic… antivirals, antibiotics (two types) and antidepressants. I can imagine our initial dramatic reaction might have been worse if I’d been taking chemo or steroids, as I have done in the past. OMG! It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Fortunately, dogs generally don’t like taking tablets and usually need coaxing with dog food or some other disguise to fool them into swallowing pills. And fortunately, the thrill of the chase must have been more exciting than the spoils themselves.
However, lesson learned… All pills were immediately relegated to the bedroom, far out of sight, sniffing or chewing temptation. Sorry dogs – you’ll just have to make do with Bonios and kindling wood!
After everything and everyone calmed down, I could laugh about it… a kind of semi-hysterical, letting go of tension, relieved kind of laugh, but nonetheless laughter rather than tears.
I do seem to be quite good at creating a lot of unnecessary drama scenarios, don’t I?
Sorry G, P, L & J. Hope you’re still having a great holiday! x