Our two terriers investigate everything, always quick to notice. They sniff and chew and carry things around, creating little stashes of treasures in their dog bed, under couch cushions, in the mulch. Stockton and I give them exercise and proper toys to gnaw on when they seem feisty. And terriers, well they are feisty a lot.
Recently our smallest member of the family, Matilda, started acting lethargic and wasn’t keeping her breakfast down. After monitoring her closely, we took her to the vet. I’m not a parent, my dogs are like my kids, so my stomach flip-flops when my pets aren’t feeling well. I was in Birkenstock mode.
Stockton fielded the return call from the vet with the diagnosis: our Tilly had eaten something that created a blockage in her gastrointestinal system. A routine surgical procedure would fix the issue. (Routine for the vet. For me, it was like ripping my heart out.)
We visited our little terrier post-op.
The vet revealed the issue: numerous hair ties and a mass of my long hair. It made me want to shave my head. Or switch to Lorelai Gilmore headbands. Relief that the ingested items were not sharp, but guilt that our dog ate them on our watch.
My curious mind goes into overdrive to understand the particulars of the crime. My hairbrush rests out of her reach. She must be sniffing out strands of my hair from the floor. And it’s not like I offered the dog hair ties, but there are times where I left them mindlessly here or there. Our cat likes to play hockey with them, batting ties into far corners of the house. I have cut a few out of the vacuum cleaner’s jaws. Clearly, I don’t vacuum quick enough to suck up strays before Matilda sniffs ’em out. What perplexes me is our other terrier couldn’t be more disinterested in objects unless they squeak, smell of peanut butter, or feature both. He’s choosey.
As you can imagine, Stockton and I have been crawling around the floors and vacuuming and searching for any and all things our puppy might find intriguing. Touch everything, decide if it bring joy or pain, stash or trash accordingly. It sounds like the KonMari Method for dogs.
Our terrier is on the mend. Before I know it, she’ll be chasing birds in the yard and napping on the couch next to me. Meanwhile, I’ll be shopping for neon hair accessories.