Close call exposes the value of pets

It started out as a typical Thursday night. I had settled in for the night and was waiting for my sister to come over to catch up on some of our pre-recorded TV shows.

But the moment she walked in the door I knew the night wasn’t going to go the way I had planned.

I knew instantly from the look on her face that something was wrong.

In a panic she told me that our family dog, who moved in with my sister a year ago, had gotten into some Christmas chocolates.

At first, I wasn’t too concerned. In the nearly 13 years we’ve had this dog, he’s never really gotten into human food so I figured the amount he ate had to be minimal. I thought ‘oh maybe he just chewed through some of the cardboard box’.

But no, he’s a small dog and he had eaten roughly nine Lindor chocolates.

Frantic, my sister asked what we should do. Would he be okay or should we seek expert advice?

Fortunately, she knew to call our veterinarian clinic’s after-hours line and she was quickly dispatched through to the veterinarian who was on-call that night.

He told her to try and get our dog to drink some hydrogen peroxide to help get the chocolate out of his stomach.

When that didn’t work, she called him back and the decision was made to bring him in.

By the time we arrived at the veterinary clinic, the poor dog’s heart was racing and he wasn’t doing so well.

Two doses of medication had to be put into his eyes (it’s apparently the fastest route for absorption) before he finally gave up all of the chocolate.

In all actuality it was probably only 15 minutes or so that we were waiting, but those few minutes felt like a lifetime.

My sister and I, never having experienced anything like that before, were concerned, scared and unsure.

Luckily, everything turned out okay in the end and our little dog made a full recovery.

The veterinarian told us we made the right decision to bring him in or else the story may have had a different kind of ending.

We were so fortunate that he decided to eat those chocolates when he did. My sister had only been gone from her house for about an hour so there was ample time to get our dog to the vet and have his stomach pumped.

We shuddered to think what could have happened had he gotten into the sweets during the day while she was at work and then found him hours later.

We are so lucky to have veterinarians in our community who are caring and are available around the clock, 24/7, for when our furry friends get themselves into trouble.

Sometimes it takes a real emergency to be truly grateful for what we have.

I can say now I’m so thankful for our local veterinarians and for the work they do.

And I can better appreciate now when I hear pet owners talk about much money they spend on vet bills.

I used to wonder why people would go to such lengths and put up so much money for an animal.

But after seeing our dog in such a scary situation, and more than anything just wanting to see him well again, I can understand completely.

After all, we are the voice for our pets who don’t have the means to make their own decisions, particularly when it comes to their health.