Friday, October 22, 2021

A Sad and Cautionary Story

 On October 9th my brother Marc got a puppy. He emailed my siblings and me with his utter enthusiasm about his new doggie. Marc has always been a dog person. From the time he got his first dog Jeffrey more than 50 years ago. So we knew that this new puppy was very lucky to have found her way into his heart and home.

He sent us this photo along with his sweet request to help him come up with a name. We all sent him ideas. It was a fun long-distance family way to welcome this little pup into our family from coast to coast. Marc and his partner Zanne decided on the name Pearl for black pearls which are rare, only one in 10,000 pearls are black. So, we welcomed this rare little beauty into our family. "Hello, Pearl" we all shouted to her from miles and miles away.

Marc and Zanne fell in love with this pup right away. She was smart and so well behaved for a 12 week old. She was easy to train and loved to play with her toys. She always put her toys back on her sleep cushion. 


She also loved going outside with them into the garden. Marc has 80 acres of land in Virginia. He grows much of his own fruit and vegetables. He works the soil often. He has been there for many, many years. Introducing Pearl to the garden was interesting. She liked to go out there and eat things. Last Saturday on October 16th, Pearl was out in the garden and ate a toad. No, she didn't actually chew it and swallow it, she just swallowed it whole. Not a good thing at all.  She started foaming at the mouth right away. Big frothy foam. Marc cleaned her up, and after a little while she seemed okay. No long-lasting issues. Then she started to eat some mushrooms. Also not a good thing at all. Marc stopped her, but she had eaten several mushrooms. 

Pearl started to get sick a day later. Very sick. She was throwing up and had started pooping all over the place. So, Marc called the vet and brought her in to be seen. He realized it was likely that she had been eating poisonous mushrooms. There had been several days of rain before they headed out into the garden. The mushrooms had sprouted up everywhere. 

The vet kept Pearl there on an IV drip. Her glucose levels were well below normal. She was not doing well at all. The vet did all she could do to help, but Pearl was dying of intestinal issues brought on by what she had eaten. Very early Thursday morning she died. 

The other day my twin brother saw a neighbor out for a walk with her dog. Michael had seen this neighbor many times with her dog out on walks, but this was the first time the dog was wearing a muzzle. Michael asked why and the neighbor said it was because she couldn't stop the dog from eating so many not-good things when out their walks. She said it had already cost her lots of money at the vet to handle all of her eating mistakes. 

I had no idea dogs did stuff like this, eat things that are not only bad but could literally end their short sweet little lives. So, that's our very sad and cautionary tale. Please watch what your dogs eat out there. You never know if that toad or mushroom is going to be the sad end. 

Rest In Peace, Pearl.

36 comments:

  1. This is so sad Robin. So unfair. I know puppies eat things they shouldn't but I thought older dogs were wiser. Poor Pearl.....

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    1. Dr Michelle-- It's so sad that puppies make mistakes like this and it costs them their very sweet little lives.

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  2. I had a horrible feeling that your lovely story about the new puppy would not be ending well....so sad and utterly devastating for your brother. Sending condolences to Marc and the family.

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    1. Frances-- I will convey your condolences to Marc. Thank you for your kind words.

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  3. PS. Years ago I had a cat that the vet dubbed "the cat that thinks he is a labrador" as he used to eat unsuitable things. He mainly sicked them up.... sponge disc from a kid's toy (that must have been in his tum for several weeks )and a shoe lace were brought up, but when he swallowed a cap from a bicycle tyre he ended up having an emergency op to remove it from his gut where it had stuck fast.It was February 2001 because I had just earned and extra £300 for working in the bank on the millenium weekend and the op cost just over £300 !!

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    1. Frances-- Wow! I didn't know a cat would be that adventurous about eating non-edible things. He was a lucky kitty cat to have you in his life.

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  4. I am so very sorry that your brother lost Pearl. Dogs can be pica eaters. I just wish he had run into that neighbor and the muzzled dog earlier. I have been debating a muzzle for Callie and this made me realize I should definitely do it. Thank you.

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    1. Patti-- It didn't even occur to Marc that there were poisonous mushrooms there or that a toad could be so toxic. It was a tragic revelation. If Callie has a habit of eating things that she shouldn't, maybe it is time for a muzzle.

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  5. Such a sad story, Robin Andrea. Pearl was a sweet looking dog. Sorry for your brother's loss.

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    1. EllenD-- It is a sad story, but I thought I should share it for friends here to know the utterly heartbreaking consequences of a single moment... a toad or a mushroom.

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  6. I also had no idea that dogs would eat really harmful stuff. I guess being a pup was what caused her to eat something very bad. Sad when all the family loved Pearl.

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    1. Red-- It's something I would have never thought about, a puppy eating something so deadly that it would end her life.

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  7. What a horrible story! Poor Pearl!(And your brother!) Does he know whether it was the toad or the mushrooms that got her? I've heard some toads are toxic to dogs. All dogs eat crazy things but obviously it's usually not fatal.

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    1. Steve-- Yes, it's a horrible story. I even thought about not posting it. But then I thought it would be important to share this with all the dog-loving people I know out there. You never know when a dog is going to eat something that is going to cause them such harm.

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  8. So sad! I had no idea dogs would eat those kinds of things, either. Maybe it was puppy behavior. An excellent cautionary tale. Muzzles. Problem solved.

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    1. Tara-- I think it was partly puppy behavior and partly just a dog being a dog. That's why Michael's neighbor got a muzzle for her dog. She told Michael that she had literally spent thousands of dollars at the vet for all the times her dog ate something bad. Oy.

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  9. So sad! I had no idea dogs would eat those kinds of things, either. Maybe it was puppy behavior. An excellent cautionary tale. Muzzles. Problem solved.

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    1. Tara-- It really was a heartbreaking cautionary tale. The vet offered to have Pearl cremated, but brother picked her up and brought her home to be buried on his land. She was a new love for him, and he want to remember her very short time with him.

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  10. This is so sad for all involved. And so unexpected for your brother after so having so many other dogs in his life.

    Coincidentally, or not, there are mushrooms everywhere here in the past week. I don't recall ever seeing so many, including Amanita muscaria.

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    1. am-- Yes, it is rainy season and the mushrooms are popping up everywhere. I hope sweet innocent little pups don't decide they need to take a nibble.

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  11. My Bernese Mountain dog ate everything, Including underwear and socks. But one day he ate a corn cob. $11,000 later (all in little increments so that you hardly knew you had reached that level) he was right as rain. This is until a few months later he exhibited the exact same signs. I had to put him down that time. He was 5 but there were 6 broken hearts.

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    1. Linda-- Wow! I had no idea a corn cob could do so much damage the it would cost $11,000 to repair. Yikes. So sad that he did it again too. Yes, broken hearts all around.

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  12. I am so very sorry for everyone that loved that little guy.

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  13. Oh no Robin....what a terribly sad story. Pearl looks like such a sweetheart. Your brother must be heartbroken. We keep a very close eye on our beloved Grace when we are out and about. It's mushroom season here and we are in the forest every day. Grace's mad obsessions run more to squirrels rather than dangerous mushrooms, for which we are glad. Please send my heartfelt condolences to your brother for me, from one dog lover to another.

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    1. John-- My brother is definitely heartbroken. I called him today just to check in and he said that the vet had wanted to cremate Pearl, but picked her up and brought her home. He wanted to bury her on his land (which he did some time today). He said that she had been with him such a short time that she didn't even really get to know her name. He said she knew she was loved, and that made things a bit easier. I will definitely give him your heartfelt condolences. Thank you for that. I'm so glad and relieved that Grace's obsession runs to squirrels and not mushrooms. May she always stay safe.

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  14. How awful for your brother and the dog. I am so very sorry. I had a new pup poisoned when I was 10 years old.....we never found out why.

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    1. kenju-- Such a sad story about your pup so long ago. Some things we just never forget, especially about our pups.

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    1. 37paddington-- It's very sad. If I remember correctly your daughter has a dog... if yes, please tell her this story. Thank you.

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  16. oh how sad. I'm so sorry for your brother.

    some dogs have eating disorders just like people I guess. I knew a woman whose big dog would eat dish towels and washcloths, could not get him to stop and had to be very careful and observant. had the dog's impacted intestines cleaned out several times.

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    1. ellen-- I really have been so surprised by what dogs will eat. I had no idea. I always just thought they would go for things that smelled like meat.

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  17. It is truly a sad story. You would think animals would have some instinct for safe and unsafe foods, but domestic dogs apparently don't. I have to pull my dogs away all the time on our walks from something they find that they think would be good to eat. My mother's little dog Lucy ate some kind of prescription pill my mother dropped one evening. Lucy just darted in and ate it without even knowing what it was. She survived, but she had a terrible case of diarrhea that night. I always make sure to keep the dogs away from pills if I happen to drop one. I didn't know Pearl, but I will think of her sometimes.

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    1. Mark-- It really does surprise me how dogs eat things that can truly harm them and sometimes end their lives. I thank you for your kind words about thinking of Pearl sometimes.
      It's so good to hear from you. I've been thinking of you and wondering how things are there. If I ever followed through on my impulse you would have gotten an email from me just the other day. Hope all is well for you and Leah.

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  18. I’m so sorry for their loss! I don’t know why puppies and dogs insist on eating such things. That is such a rotten thing to happen.😢

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    1. oldwhitelady-- My brother is still very brokenhearted about losing Pearl. It really was a very rotten thing to happen.

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