What, me worry?!

Alfred E. Newman (of Mad Magazine fame) may have said it first, but I’m the one saying it today. I dare anyone who loves their dog to deny that they don’t worry needlessly (at least once in a while) when their dog is sick…ah, that is to say, when they barf (vomit, hurl, upchuck…).  Opal tossed her proverbial cookies yesterday afternoon. Hmm, I thought, as I examined the resulting gift on my living room rug.   Yes, I know you sighted folks may be disgusted to hear that I poke through my dog’s vomitory offering. I live alone and have no alternative than to ‘feel’ the matter out. I need to know some details about what is coming out of every end of my girl. This is critical information for determining the status of her health. Consistency, odor etc. are helpful to diagnose potential health conditions.  Let’s just say, that I suspected Opal ate some grass or other vegetation and possibly scavenged some unknown food or garbage while she played at the park earlier in the day.  Despite my best efforts to be vigilant while she sniffed and toured at the end of our retractable leash (Flexi), she might have gobbled up an unknown item.  Dogs are opportunistic, and the allure of old food or other garbage to a lab, is hard to resist.  The weather has also changed here, going rather warm quite suddenly.  I know this effects me, so I suspect  it is also difficult for Opal to adapt. What do I do when my dog is sick? I try not to obsess about it. Dogs sense (like kids) when you fuss too much about them…”Ooo, you poor girl!”…which sometimes, leads them to manifest symptoms that are not ‘real’. Instead,  I cleaned up, gave her a pat on the head, offered her water and carried on with my work, though I had an ear open for sounds of further upchucking. Later,  I checked her belly during a brief grooming. Then I cooked some brown rice. Yes, that’s what I said. I gave her a cup of cooked brown rice with a few kibbles and a little water in it for her supper, though only after a two-hour wait.  She seemed lethargic, but that may have been the warmish day. Like anyone who loves their animals, I do worry, but not to excess.  I paid close attention to see if, and what she pooped,  so that I could be assured that she did not have an obstruction. Good news to report. Happily, Opal is better today, though I am giving her an easy working day. Of course, I would be running to the vet, if I had any concerns that she was not getting better,  or if I thought that she was in pain. I would caution against weird home remedies, or waiting too long before going to the vet, especially if dehydration is a factor. It is hard to achieve that balance between excessive worry, and appropriate concern. 

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