Today is a day I would rather forget. I am now on my third glass of wine, something lovely white and fruity , but it is already setting the world to rights. Its been a long day, and I need a wind down.
This morning, after a lovely dog walk, I could feel the stress of the week taking its toll, and decided baking would be a relaxing past time. I embarked on making chocolate truffles, in preparation for my 40th. After a couple of hours, Lucie fast asleep in the back room, I looked out the kitchen window to see the neighbours chicken had escaped. Not a biggy, until I saw a local cat, known for its mean temperament, prowling towards the chicken, and managed to corner it. Not being one to stand back and watch nature take its course, I ran out and grabbed the chicken and shooed the cat away. I put the chicken safely in my garden till my neighbour returned home and I could give it back. I had been out only a couple of minutes, and on walking back into the kitchen immediately noticed the 40 or so truffles were nowhere to be seen.
Lucie was back in her bed looking decidedly guilty. I know dogs can react badly to chocolate, but this was not the first time she had snuck some, and I thought some dogs reacted more than others, thinking it was more like a reaction rather than quantity. I googled dogs and chocolate, and also put a note on Facebook about what had happened. Within a couple of minutes thankfully my sister and a friend quickly sent more information saying it was a big deal, and my research confirmed this was a problem. I called the vet, was told to come straight down, threw the chicken in our garage to keep cats away, phoned Dave to say I was on the way to the vet after a truffle crisis, and when he came home he would find a chicken in the garage, and please return it to the neighbour. His response was, "A live chicken?!". Yep, a live chicken, best not to remind me. Within twenty minutes of the chocolate munch we were in the vet. Four members of staff later, they had given her pills to make her vomit, shaved her leg, got the drip thing set up and by now I realised the extent of the issue. She had taken over the potential fatal dose of chocolate, and there was every chance this could be serious. The vet was fantastic. She was very sick on demand, and I was given four doses of charcoal to give her at home to absorb any chocolate left in her.
As we stepped out the vet we needed to cross a road by a police station. Lucie had her leg bandaged up, and was a little slower than usual. A 4x4 marked police car came toward us as we waited to cross the road. He indicated to turn left, and started to turn, so we could now go. I looked straight at him, and we started to cross. For some reason he then carried straight on, and had to slam on his brakes to stop in front of us. I looked at the policeman, and pointed to his indicator, to say, I could see him turning. The poor guy had a shock, and apologised repeatedly. He must have changed his mind and headed back toward us, not looking. Just hearing his brakes startled me. I waved to say it was fine, but with all the stress of the events, I got to the car and just burst into tears. The events of the last hour caught up with me. We have only had Lucie 8 months, and had 3 emergency vet visits. I could not feel more like a failed dog owner right now if I tried. I played the event over and over in my head to see how I could mess up so badly.
I took her home and watched her like a hawk. We had an appointment to return later in the evening to check her heart rate had not started to speed up. She was calm, and pretty much her normal self, though I think she knew she had done something wrong judging by the big labrador eyes. So we returned for a check up, and I physically felt relief when he confirmed she was doing great, and no signs of any trauma. She has eaten the charcoal no problem, mixed with a little peanut butter, and now we are keeping each other company while Dave has gone out.
Next time I try and chill out, I will not bake, I will have a long hot bath and listen to some nostalgic music, and drink tea in the bath up to my ears in bubbles.