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Friday, October 01, 2010

Why “being prepared” always means the inevitable won’t happen

Look at her little innocent face -

You’d think butter wouldn’t melt wouldn’t you!

Well I can assure you it would not only melt but it would probably cause belly upset and other unfortunate instances.

My Little Spot-dog is not so much of an angel – this photo taken this morning is her waiting for her morning biscuit (half a bonio if you’re interested) and that look is always present when there’s food about. To put it mildly the army of Spot walks on her stomach!

To this end I do have to be careful when we’re out walking. We walk in a large area of common ground, littered with wildlife (and strangely empty coke cans?) and as unfortunately nature does sometimes have a cruel course…. Some of the wildlife is sometimes – well…… dead! When I first got Spot she was partly trained as a gundog, and as such would bring me a dummy (cutely wrapped in a rabbit skin to mimic the real article) and drop it at my feet, sit nicely, and wait for me to throw it again. At some point the rabbit skin fell off, and whilst we still play the fetch game (particularly with my nephews who love throwing it and making spot bring it back) it is now a plain green dummy. I think this is possibly where my mistake lies? You see there was a time when if Spot found, how can I delicately put this? A portion of wildlife? She would bring it to me….. not the nicest thing to have to deal with but lob it deep into the woods, and tell your dog to walk on in the other direction and no harm is done. At some point tho’ and I’m not really sure when, the sequence of events changed. She picks up the “portion” I call her to me, she ignores me and runs in the exact opposite direction trying to avoid me and eat her prey. And thus it was last week….. only this time it was feathered, probably a pigeon (or what was left of one after presumable a fox or something had had their fill).
So I called her, she looked in my direction…… I called her a little more sternly…. She made a slight move towards me….. and then…… Swallowed the whole dam thing in one gulp. At this point I am thanking all that is good in the world (and my own common sense) that I have pet insurance, as I am pretty sure that an entire feathered wing swallowed in one go is going to have a pretty drastic effect on Spot’s stomach, and is likely to make an unannounced re-appearance at some time. Or possibly not, but cause an obstruction or illness (my mind was racing a bit!) I shouted! She knew she’d been bad and lay down looking up at me with her ears dropped – fat good it did being repentant then, as well she knew!...... I swear I actually saw her tail wag at one point!

Anyway, we came home, and I waited, I had my own dinner (which she showed more than a passing interest in!)……. And I waited….and I watched the tv,…. And I waited……. And I let her out for her late night ablutions, and I waited………. And I went to bed and barely slept as I waited….. and I got up the next morning… and she greeted me with a wagging tail and asked for her biscuit!

This was a week ago! She is fine and has been all that time. No upset stomach, no belly aches, no loss of appetite (!!), a little extra water drunk for a day or two, but that was all the evidence that something out of the ordinary had happened.

I think the moral of the story is, that if I hadn’t kept up the insurance, then surely all hell would have broken loose (possibly almost literally) and as she gets older and the premiums gets higher it is a hard decision to make sometimes. It’s not just about the illnesses that they can get, but for this kind of eventuality – an accident or something that isn’t really an ongoing problem…….. you can’t beat having that reassuring knowledge that any treatment would have been covered. I mean a dog is a dog and as well trained as they might usually be, they all have a weakness (in her case feather and fur!) and that can so easily get you all into trouble!

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