Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday: The Doggy Garbage Disposal

Hmm, I guess this is "post about my animals" week here at the Wells Family, because this Flashback Friday is about the exploits of my dog Jager. Jager is a mix of several breads, but her primary breads are Lab and Rhodesian Ridgeback. She is high energy, extremely friendly (some might even call her aggressively friendly) and more or less a doggy version of a vacuum. This dog eats anything and everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I've often stared in wonder at dogs who pick at their food, leaving some for later. This is not my dog. She wolfs her food down the moment it is set in front of her, and no amount seems to be enough. She also has a non-discriminating palate - she has consumed such things as chapstick, Clorox wipes, and even a pregnancy test (unused). But this post is about one particularly absurd instance of consumption.

It occurred in the summer of 2006 while Jason and I were working at camp. Jager was living there with us, and my general routine was to walk her from our tent up to my office where I fed her and left her for the morning. On one particularly hectic morning, I took her up to the office and didn't have a chance to feed her right away. What I didn't realize at the time was that our bag lunch from the day before was still in the office. About twice a week we got bag lunches (or as we called them, crate lunches since they were served in milk crates). These usually consisted of some carrot sticks, a few apples, and an entire bread sleeve full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These were not ordinary bread sleeves - no, they were the sleeves that housed institutional-sized loaves of bread, usually around 35 slices. So a full sleeve of PB&J sandwiches included about 20. Now, this was also the end of the summer and we could hardly bear the sight of a PB&J, much less eat one. (Imagine if you had been served PB&J on cheap, dry, wheat bread twice a week all summer long.) So that sleeve from the previous day's lunch was pretty much untouched, and contained the full 20 sandwiches.

You can probably see where this is going. When I returned to the office, I fed Jager and was dumbfounded when she barely even picked at her food. Then I saw the crate and what was left of the sandwiches. All but two were gone - eaten in their entirety. Jager was moping around and licking her lips, so I shook my head at her and gave her some water. She finished that and wanted more, so I gave it to her. In my naivete, I probably gave her five or six bowls of water, not realizing that I was only compounding the situation. Jason had been off running some errands, and by the time he returned, Jager's poor belly was twice it's normal size. He, knowing much more about the dangers that can befall the overeating dog, immediately fear bloat (a condition in which a dog's stomach turns over on itself) and rushed her to the vet's.

By now, we're both worried that she has this awful condition that costs $1,000s to reverse and isn't even guaranteed. We knew we didn't have the money for the procedure, so I think we were both preparing ourselves that we may be saying goodbye to our beloved dog.

As it turned out, she did not have bloat, which an x-ray confirmed. The vet did, however, need to clear her stomach, so they induced vomiting. Upon her arrival at the vet's she weighed in at 93 lbs. After she vomited, she weighed 74 lbs - that's right, she consumed 19 lbs of PB&J and water. Fortunately, the x-ray and vomit-inducing medicine only cost about $200 - a far more affordable price than we had anticipated.

For a while, this was Jager's claim to fame - she was the dog who ate 18 PB&J sandwiches. But don't worry, because a few years later, she topped it. That's a story for another day, however.


  1. I have been silently following you Amber. Thank you for writing. It makes me feel close and I love hearing what you are thinking. This post makes me think you need pet insurance! Check out the Planet Money Series and the This American Life from a couple weeks back for the low down. Love, Jess

  2. The best part is that this isn't even the worst of her offenses! I started to write a second story but it was getting too long, so I'm saving that for another day. Jess, you'd think that we would have learned about pet insurance after the PB&J incident, but we didn't. And, as you'll see in the next story, it's really too bad that we didn't!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...