How I almost killed my dog… again.

So you may remember that Harley the Wonder Schnoodle had a near-death experience back in November. I came home from church to find that he had gotten into my trash and eaten a few scoops of coffee grounds. Turns out that coffee is one of the deadliest people foods known to dogs. Waaaay worse than chocolate.
So $600, an overnight stay at the puppy hospital, and a good stomach pumping later (plus many tears and some minor hyperventilating on my part), Harley the Wonder Schnoodle was back to his old self. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn his lesson.
And neither did I. I’ve been so good at keeping the door to my kitchen pantry closed. Every time he starts sniffing around the trash I threaten him with a, “If you think I’m going to spend another $600 to pump your stomach if you get in this trash, you’ve clearly mistaken, mister! This time you’re on your own!” And then he gives me that guilty, knowing look of acknowledgement with those sad brown eyes. I mean, surely he understands me… right?
Unfortunately, no. Last night I walked in the door of my house to find trash everywhere. In my kitchen…
In my office…
In my living room…
In my dining room…
And of course, there were a week’s worth of coffee beans in that trash can.
My first reaction was simply to lay my head on my counter, close my eyes, and say, “No. Please no. Not again. I’m having friends over for dinner in a few minutes… this can’t happen now.”
And then I called my vet, hoisted Harley in my car and drove him, crying all the way (me, not him) to the animal hospital 30 minutes from my house. Along the way, I managed to somehow spill a glass of water in my lap. And my cell phone died. I would have charged it but I dropped my car charger in a cup of milk last week. When I finally carried Harley into the animal hospital (with no collar, no leash… I had forgotten both), I had tears streaming down my face, mascara smudged, and a giant wet spot on my skirt (definitely looked like either Harley or I had had an accident). Probably not my finest moment.
The people at my animal hospital are saints. They never once scolded me when I told them we’d been in just two months before for the same exact reason. Nobody judged me for my wet lap. Nobody looked at me funny when my eyes almost swelled shut after I had an allergic reaction to all the dog/cat hair in the tiny exam room. The vet saw us immediately, and we were in and out in less than 30 minutes. And this time for only $200. Turns out a little bit of induced vomiting and some IV fluids and the Wonder Schnoodle was a new dog. And we know that this time the culprit wasn’t coffee, but ham, which can cause pancreatitis in dogs. I’m learning so much these days.
Once I got Harley safely home, and I knew he wasn’t going to die, the dog got a good scolding. You can see where he hides when he’s trying to avoid a spanking.
And you’ll be pleased to know that I’m now the proud owner of a $100 heavy-duty steel trash can (with lid) that is impossible for a 20-pound schnoodle to knock over. At least, I hope.


  1. Oh my goodness…your dog is about as ridiculous as mine are! Mine usually dig through the bathroom trash can and get out anything they can grab quickly and run under the bed with. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into our bedroom and there are small pieces of kleenex everywhere. And don't even get me started on what's under the bed! Glad Harley was okay.


  2. I've had to call Animal Poison control and induce vomiting in my dogs more than once…it is nothing short of traumatic for sure. The first time was for ibuprofen that may or may not have been gobbled up – I spilled a bottle and little mouths were there at the ready – and the second time was for a chocolate bar that someone had thrown in our yard. Hysterical crying ensued. Thankfully they lived through both. Oh the wonders of pet ownership! I'm with you though, I'd go to just about any length to keep my little guys healthy. I'm glad Harley is okay!


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