Because this is, lastly and mostly, the story of a terrier. A terrier who, today, had his second brush with death (this was his first) when he got inside the x-pen, shook the tree, and ate a 9 piece box of dark chocolate.
Of course, we didn't really know for sure who had actually eaten the chocolate (although we had a good idea) so both dogs had to go to the vet for induced vomiting and charcoal administration. It soon became very apparent, on examination of the contents of said vomit, who the real culprit was. This was small consolation to Porter I'm sure--who also ended up needing a bath out of the deal--but at least she got to come home tonight.
Moe, on the other hand, is going to be spending a few nights with Dr. G. He's not showing any symptoms of chocolate poisoning right now, and since we got him to the vet within a few hours of his little meal the doc says he'll probably be all right. However, because the amount he ate is potentially toxic for his weight; and because the chemical that's in chocolate won't necessarily work itself through his system on it's own (and can, in fact, resettle and reabsorb in various places along his digestive tract) he's getting a few days of IV fluids to keep everything moving right on through.
A very worried afternoon? Yup. A huge vet bill? Can't even think about it yet. My response when Sweet Husband suggested that maybe we need to consider another kind of dog next time around? Not on your life.
Don't think I say this in ignorance. I know what I've gotten into; I know that Moe isn't just an exceptional case. This afternoon I was stranded at work and couldn't leave. Unable to do much else, I sent out an e-mail to the on line Welsh Terrier group that I'm a member of. Along with lots of reassurance, I also got several stories. Stories about Airedales that opened a closed door and got into several bottles of pills; stories about all kinds of chocolate eating; and one very wise observation along the lines of "these guys are so smart--they manage to figure out so many things, but somehow they just can't learn that we're just trying to protect them." You do the best you can, but I'm starting to think that life with a terrier just means stuff like this happens every now and then. You just can't stay ahead of them 24 hours a day for all 365 days a year.
But despite all of that, at the end of the day--even at the end of a very bad day--there's nothing like knowing that you have a dog that, in the words of someone who's written much on the subject, is "so fiercely independent" yet still "obeys, trusts, and even likes [you] a little bit"; a dog that "comes to you, not because they've been trained to, but because they love and trust you." There's nothing like a terrier for making you laugh, and there's nothing like a terrier to lick your face goodnight.
I sure am missing mine.