Toby has quickly grown from an 18-pound puppy to a 40-pound dog - and he's only six months old! A lot has happened in the past few months since I rescued him, so I thought this would be a good time to discuss my diligent efforts to raise a well-adjusted and well-behaved pit bull...
Toby was a fast learner in puppy-training; he had “sit” mastered in mere minutes. However, since the day he was rescued, he has been very unsure and cautious in new situations. I have been working with my dear friend, Courtney, to help Toby gain some confidence by taking him to the dog park and getting him out in public.
A few weeks ago, I decided to stop by the pet store to replenish his food supply and get him and Roxie new collars. We strolled to the toy aisle looking for something for him to play with that was durable and safe. I finally decided on the Kong Braidz Giraffe. He and Roxie had a grand time playing tug-of-war with it until they discovered there was stuffing in the giraffe’s head. After seeing the stuffing all over the place, I examined it and determined that it was still okay for them to play with. Turns out, I was wrong...
After a week or so, I noticed that Toby wasn’t interested in eating his dinner. This is extremely odd behavior in a two-dog household. You eat, or the “finders keepers” rule applies. So, being concerned that he might forfeit his meal to Roxie, I coaxed him to finish his dinner. Unfortunately, he spent the night getting sick. When he continued to get sick the next morning, I decided to take him to the vet. After an abdominal exam, invasive temperature taking, and an even more invasive stool collection, Toby was diagnosed with… NOTHING. Thanks, Doc.
After listening to the sales pitch complete with estimated prices treatment options, I informed the veterinarian that I was not going to assume the worst [“Parvo? Really? You gave him all of those vaccines, remember?”]. Toby ended up getting IV fluids, a shot for nausea, and some antibiotics. Believe me, he was not pleased with any of it.
When we got home, I informed the dog walker, Heather, of Toby’s condition, and she oh-so-kindly agreed to forgo the walk and just keep an eye on him for the day. I went to work only to receive a text message from Heather saying that she took Toby out to go potty. Apparently he did a #6 [a #2 multiplied by 3]. And God bless the dog walker: she dissected it. And when I asked her to describe it to me via text, she did - without calling me crazy! [I’m a worried mother, what can I say?!] Then she said, “You know, I’m thinking maybe it’s part of the giraffe toy. I just found it and it doesn’t have a head anymore.”
Sure enough, that's what it was: a bowel obstruction caused by a stuffed giraffe head. I'm hoping that Toby doesn't have Pica, but I guess he'll have to ingest other items before we can diagnose him with that. [No worries, I don't plan on giving him a chance to get his paws on anything else unless it's edible].
To top it off, I received an email yesterday from the vet’s office asking me to fill out a survey about Roxie’s recent vet visit. Which is interesting, since she hasn’t been there in a year. Nice.
I guess it's all part of the fun of raising puppies!