I’m not sure if Eileen and I are getting sick or if the warmer night yesterday threw us off, but last night, we both slept horribly. Speaking for myself, I don’t think it was something I ate. For dinner I had pasta — pretty standard. Earlier in the evening, I snacked on a few chicken wings and an apple, and, uh, some brownies. Nothing out of the ordinary. I stayed up a little later than I planned, researching whether I could really get a free xbox 360 or mac mini through some website called freepay (it turns out I can, or rather I could if I had 8 friends), so I should have been plenty tired. But when I got into bed, the dreamworld evaded me. All I could think about was how shifty it would be to ask my students to sign up for freepay to help Mr. Storm get a free xbox.
Eventually, of course, I fell asleep, but it was a restless sleep. I woke up three or four times. Once, Eileen was up too, and she muttered something about how the dog kept getting up to go eat out of the garbage and then coming back and asking for help getting back on the bed. Eileen’s a professional sleeper, so I wasn’t sure if she was awake when she informed me of the above, but I think I responded by asking whether she had blocked the garbage can with the kitchen stool.
When morning arrived too early, I grabbed our little battery-powered alarm clock and held it to my chest. That way I can repeatedly click snooze as soon as the alarm sounds. A half an hour later, I fessed up to the fact that I wasn’t going to get up to bike in the basement for an hour. So I reset the alarm and went back to bed. I slept a little, but not enough to feel any better when the alarm went off again 45 minutes later. Tember thumped her tail a bit as I crawled over her and Eileen, but she didn’t bother to lift her head up — a subtle sign that she knew something was wrong.
When I got into the kitchen, I saw the damage she had done to the garbage. I was muttering to myself about how it didn’t make sense: she never got into the garbage in the middle of the night; she only did it when she was home alone for a long period of time and when she had too much energy to burn; yesterday, I had taken her to a nearby park to throw the ball for her. It simply didn’t make sense.
Then I saw the little carryout box in which I had gotten my chicken wings. I dug through the garbage, looking for remnants, but I couldn’t find any bones. Immediately, I thought back to a freshman English paper I had graded years ago by a student who told of how she had secretly given her dog some chicken bones. Her parents had told her not to, but she did it anyway. Two or three days later, her dog died, and she blamed herself.
The first internet article I found was pretty encouraging. It claimed that in most cases, the bones cause some constipation but otherwise pass through the system without harm. The next article I found was not as encouraging, however. It was a horror story about a dog who had died after eating chicken bones. I stopped my search. Emotional personal accounts: 2. Reasoned advice from a certified vet: 1.
When I called in, the vet assistant told me that if I wasn’t going to be home with her all day, it would be best to bring her in. I woke up Eileen and said, “I need you to do me a favor.” Tember ate chicken bones and might die! “Tember got into the garbage and ate some chicken bones, which aren’t good for dogs.”
Two x-rays and $140 later, she’s fine. If she passes a normal stool tomorrow morning, we’re totally clear. Tonight, Eileen commented that if we were to tell our Ecuadorian landlords that we just spent $140 on our dog after she ate chicken bones, they’d think we were crazy. She said this while spooning with Tember on the couch.
What can we say?