A Dog Story with a Happy Ending

Guy gave me a bit of a scare last week. He woke me up about 3am having some kind of spasms, and couldn’t settle down. It got worse over the next hour and he started panting hard too. I was looking up the symptoms to see what it might be, and the two main things seemed to be poison or a seizure. Vomiting usually went along with them, so I let him outside to see if he needed to do that. He wouldn’t leave my side and could barely stay on his feet, so I went back in to put my shoes on to walk him out into the yard. Then he ran off into the dark. And the rain. Great.

I got the spotlight and started circling around the place looking for him, but had no luck. By the time the sun came up, I was really just looking for a motionless white form. Then I spotted him tangled up in some brush on a slope. He couldn’t get his feet under him to get out of it, so he looked pretty pitiful, but he was still kicking.

I carried him up to the house and put him on some blankets to wait for the vet to be in. His shaking had subsided a lot, but whether from improvement or exhaustion I didn’t know. By business hours, though, he had stopped shaking almost completely and was able to stumble around a bit, so I decided to wait and see, since that’s what the vet likely would have said anyway. By evening, he was willing to eat a small piece of hot dog so I could put a pain pill in it, and then he crashed for the night. The next day all the trembling was gone, but he was still shaky on his feet, and would only eat small bits of chicken.

It took three days before he was back to normal drinking and eating a little dog food, but on the fourth day he was running in the woods while we hunted mushrooms, running every rabbit and deer track and collecting a couple dozen ticks. That’s the good thing about dogs: once they get over something, they’re over it.

Poisoning seems the most likely culprit. Some new neighbors down the road have been cleaning a bunch of junk out of a shed, including some old vehicles, so he could have gotten into a puddle of antifreeze, or someone could have something out for coons or rats. Hard to say, but I’m keeping a closer eye on him to keep him from wandering off for a while. Here he is while I was mowing yesterday. For some reason he likes to stay close for that, so he has to keep getting up and moving every time I come around.