Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Dog Who Ate Corn

Spring is around the corner and I am trying to decide which flowers and vegetables I’ll be planting. I plant a small vegetable garden in our back yard every year. I neglect it, eat very little of what I plant, but I love the act of planting, the challenge of remembering to water it and seeing things grow. I usually plant heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant and corn. After last summer, I will never plant corn again….

We have a portable gate that keeps Murphy from going to the bathroom all over the back lawn. Now that we have a little one, we try to minimize her chances of stepping in Murphy’s ‘leftovers’ as I’ll refer to them here.

One day last summer we left that gate open, at a time when the corn was only a few weeks from being ready. Murphy had gone outside and it was a little too quiet for a little too long. With our dog and our daughter, when it’s too quiet for too long, there is nothing but trouble transpiring.

I found Murphy munching away at all the corn husks, corncobs, corn silks and corn stalks. He was not about to leave anything behind. He even went after the zucchini as well. I brought him back inside and thought nothing of what he ate and was bummed there would be no corn from the garden that year.

Later that evening I was IM’ing with my friend Liz (who happens to be a vet, and a very good one too) and mentioned that Murphy had eaten the corn from our garden. It was a funny story and she would appreciate it. This is when the cute dog eating the corn story turns. Ignorance is actually sometimes really bliss. She immediately went into ‘vet’ mode and told us to watch him, corncobs are not digestible and it could cause an obstruction (and this is very bad). Watch him for lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc…

Well, 24 hours later the vomiting started. My husband was between jobs and was thankfully at home that day. He called me to tell me Murphy was getting sick and he took him in to our official vet. Murphy had x-rays, we contemplated surgery, and we consulted with our official vet and our unofficial vet (and savior, Liz). It was near closing time for our official vet and after several discussions we took Murphy to a local ER vet clinic. If he needed surgery, at least someone would be with him the entire night. The ER Dr. decided to induce vomiting to see if Murphy could rid himself of all that very fresh and very tasty corn he had consumed the day before. It seemed to have worked, but they kept him overnight to monitor his progress and would call us with an update or the need to do surgery.

I don’t know how he did it, but Murphy escaped surgery, again. The dog has nine lives and has used 2, maybe 3 of them already. He has no idea what happened and the $4.00 I spent on the corn plants in the back yard ended up costing us $2000+ and worth every penny since Murphy didn't need surgery.

There will be no corn in the garden this year. I'll have to find something more easily digestible to replace it.

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