Dog Bites

About a week ago, Ripley started getting sick. First with the grass eating and what comes after that, then with the loose poops. It was clear that he was having some serious tummy troubles. Smack in the middle of the Holiday Season, it was possible he got into something or was given something he shouldn’t have had.

He was still struggling a few days in when a disturbing new development appeared: blood in his stool. That is not an experience I had ever had in all of my dog-having years (which is most of my life). Stacy called the vet and took him in first thing the following morning.

Fun fact — when dogs have diarrhea for several days, it can irritate their linings, causing bleeding.

A week of antibiotics, some omeprazole, and a couple hundred bucks later, and Rips is all better. Whew!

In other news, Beans has a new trick. He has always been communicative, employing an array of sounds — soft growls, insistent whines, needy keens, and full-tidal-volume barks. But this one takes the cake.

A few weeks ago, I looked up from the couch to see Beans seated at the back door. That’s his low-level signal that he’d like to go out.

I went over to the door and opened it, but he quickly turned and went in another direction.

“Hmmm… that’s odd,” my voice said in my head.

It took two or three more times of this routine before Beans had me trained. What he was doing was giving me the potty alert, which is, arguably, one of the most important alerts your pet can give you, and then he was walking over to what he really wanted from me: food or a cookie.

My dog had figured out that I respond more promptly to a pee request than a treat request, and adapted his communication to serve his purposes.

Do you remember a time when you had to deal with a serious illness of a pet?

Have any of your pets come up with off-the-wall ways to let you know what they want or how they feel?

I would love to read your stories!

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