Having dogs can be a lot like having toddlers. No matter how sure you are that they can’t get into anything, they always seem to find that one thing you forgot about or didn’t put high enough or thought they’d never find. I know, I know; the solution is simple. Either “dog (toddler) proof” the house or never let them off a leash (the dogs, not the kids). Obviously you’re not going to do that so you have to be a few steps ahead of them when deciding what they might get into. Now we didn’t always know this; we’ve learned a lot through trial and error. We now have baby locks on cabinets so the dogs can’t open them and eat the food. Unfortunately, those locks sometimes work with adults too. We have very little on our counters because well, one thing is I hate clutter, but also we have Crispie the Chocolate Lab. Her ability to stretch tall rivals Inspector Gadget’s legs therefore, she can surf a counter like no other. Also, when proofing, we’re very aware of what’s toxic to dogs and keep things like chlorine, antifreeze, and all chemicals in the shed or garage. We put the bleach type products on a shelf in the laundry room and have a baby lock on the kitchen cabinet that has all the cleaning supplies in it. (I often wish that particular lock would keep me out of that cabinet but no such luck). We don’t leave things in the yard that can hurt them. We put the toilet lids down, have automatic closing hinges on doors, only Tupperware and pans in the lower kitchen cabinets, the garbage cans are closed off with a gate, electric cords are all bunched up as short as possible, and the bedroom doors stay closed. Inside and out, our house is safe. Whether we’re talking about my 2-year-old great-niece or our 8-month-old puppy Ryder, the house is safe for them. With all of that said, I’m not proud to admit that over the years we’ve had dogs that have gotten into things they shouldn’t have and that could’ve really hurt them. My Cocker Spaniel Ted ate a one pound Toblerone chocolate bar, he didn’t even throw up. Crispie has eaten chicken bones and all kinds of things but thankfully she’s never had a problem except with rocks but that’s a different story. Benson used to eat socks and I swear he’d get them out of my drawer! There’s also been a few other situations too but the scariest thing happened to Beavis; our son’s Golden Retriever.
First, you have to get an idea of Beavis and his personality. He was our second Golden foster that came and never left (that’s called a foster failure). He was the greatest dog; loving and kick back. He came in to the rescue because someone dumped him out in the desert here in Arizona. Thankfully there were people out there who saw it happen, picked Beavis up and contacted the Golden Retriever rescue. The rescue person named him Beavis (which was actually a great name for him) and brought him to us to foster. He was instantly attached to our son and we were all instantly attached to Beavis, so he stayed. He was a big boy; tall and long and he weighed 90ish pounds. Beavis was a “tester” though, mostly of my patience but also of his environment. He was constantly looking for things to get into and that didn’t belong to him. He stole shoes, clothing, hairbrushes, TV remotes, pretty much anything he could find. And he was really good at scavenging.
Every time I thought I had everything out of his reach, he’d find something new he loved. The thing that Beavis loved most though, was paper. Any kind of paper. Paper towels, toilet paper, writing paper, he wasn’t picky. I can’t count how many times I went in the bathroom and the toilet paper roll was chewed up, wet, and half of it was gone. I’m talking from the side to the center, not long ways. He would also grab the end of the roll and pull the paper through the house. Seriously. We’d come home and there would be a ribbon of toilet paper from the bathroom, down the hall, and into a bedroom or the kitchen. If the bathroom door didn’t get shut, Beavis was in the garbage. I seriously cannot even guess the number of times that he dumped the garbage and ate whatever paper was in there. When Beavis walked out to the kitchen one day with the garbage can lid stuck over his head, we decided we needed to take proofing to a whole new level. I will admit here that when the lid on the head thing happened, I laughed so hard I cried and made him keep it on while I got my camera. It was damn funny. Ok, so Marc put a door hinge on the bathroom door that made it close automatically. Genius! Problem solved. Nope. That worked perfectly; until the hinge loosened up a little and the door would still close but didn’t latch all the way. From the outside it looked completely closed. Somehow Beavis knew when it wasn’t totally latched and he was all about pushing the door open so he could get the garbage. He was so big, that when he did this, his body would keep the door open for him. However, one time it didn’t work so well and he got stuck in there. We came home and couldn’t find him. We were panicking. As we’re looking all over the house and yard, Marc opened the bathroom door and there was Beavis, sound asleep, with the contents of the garbage can (minus any paper) on the floor around him. He was definitely resourceful, or maybe stubborn is a better word for him. Either way, he kept life interesting. Which leads me to what I thought was a life ending situation for him.
We went out of town and had a neighbor’s teenage son (we’ll call him Dick) watch the dogs for us. We’d known the family for several years and trusted all of them completely with our house and our dogs. We soon found out that was a big mistake. We got home in the evening and Dick had gone home because we’d called and told him we would be home soon. We came in the house through the garage and everything seemed great. The house was spotless; just as we’d left it. The dogs were going crazy because they were happy to see us. That’s such a great feeling. The only one not around was Beavis. We figured he was outside and just didn’t realize we were home. He was getting older and his hearing wasn’t near what it was when he was younger. Anyway, after unloading the stuff from the car he still hadn’t come in. That great feeling quickly dissipated when we realized Beavis still hadn’t come inside. We looked around the yard, checked to make sure the gate was still locked, we knew there weren’t holes he could’ve gotten through; but we couldn’t find him. Then we started in the house. We checked the bathrooms first (of course). Then we went through the bedrooms and closets; he wasn’t there. We have what is supposed to be a formal living and dining room at the front of the house by the front door. We didn’t come in that door but if we had, we would’ve seen Beavis in the middle of the room with his nose completely flat in the carpet. It looked like he did a nose dive and just stayed there. To this day, I don’t know how he was breathing with his nose like that. His nostrils were flat! Flat on the floor like he would be if he was sniffing something. I freaked out. I was positive he was dead. Even when we talked to him and called his name we got zero reaction from him. He was breathing but not moving. I can’t explain the level of fear that I had going on. I got on the floor by his head and kept talking to him. I got minimal reaction from him. I picked his head up and it was dead weight but, he opened his eyes just a little. While I was trying to “wake him,” Marc was searching the house and yard trying to figure out if Beavis had gotten into something dangerous and ate it. I stayed with Beavis-who was trying his best to move or stand up, I’m not sure, but he couldn’t. He got part way up but then just plopped back down. He didn’t want to stay up and I was afraid he’d hurt himself if he did walk. So he laid back down but I made sure his chin was flat on the floor; not his nose. I was positive he’d had a stroke and I was figuring out which emergency vet we’d take him to; and then Marc walked in holding an ashtray made of tinfoil that neither of us had ever seen before. In that ashtray were stems from marijuana (pot, weed, trees, dro, cannabis, dope, whatever you call it, those stems were from it). I wasn’t exactly innocent in high school which is how I knew what they were. My first raging thought was that Dick got Beavis high. Needless to say I was at a level of anger I’d never experienced before. I didn’t know what to do for Beavis; wasn’t sure if he could die from it. Beavis was starting to come around some but was definitely experiencing a high that any stoner would envy. I went to Dick’s house. His mom opened the door and I immediately started explaining what was happening and what we’d found. Dick walked out to see what the noise was since I hadn’t tried to keep my voice down. When he appeared I went on a verbal attack asking what the hell he did to Beavis and why the hell was he smoking pot in my yard! He, of course, had the deer in the headlights look going on but I had the “ashtray” with me. He finally fessed up and said he and his friends (who were NOT supposed to be at my house) had smoked a couple blunts. Side note here, a blunt is the wrapper of a small cigar or cigarillo. You empty the tobacco and then fill it with pot so it looks like you’re smoking a cigar. I told you, I wasn’t innocent. Anyway, I didn’t think my anger could get worse but I was wrong. I asked him at what point it seemed like a good idea to get Beavis high. He was adamant that he didn’t and finally said that there may have been a blunt roach (the very end of the blunt), or maybe even a few, in the ashtray and Beavis must have eaten them. I then learned that a “couple” meant EIGHT! Beavis ate EIGHT blunt roaches. I was now more panicked than I had been because I didn’t know what that much pot would do to him.
My plan when I got back to the house was to take him to the emergency vet but he was much more responsive than he’d been 20 minutes earlier. He still couldn’t walk very well because, well, he was high. But he could at least lift his head and keep his nose out of the carpet! It absolutely was not funny when it happened. I was so scared he was going to die and I’m so grateful that it all turned out fine and he was ok. As time passed and because Beavis was fine, the story became a little funny. I mean the dog was stoned out of his mind. People pay a lot of money for the amount of pot he ate. Generally they don’t eat the roaches. They may put them in brownies but it’s all the same concept I suppose. Anyway, we watched him come off his high. He kept trying to get up but it took too much effort so he was happy right where he was. I sat with him while he was, I can only assume, on an imaginary date with the pretty female Lab down the street, or in the PetSmart warehouse with access to everything, or maybe he was simply on a doggy beach checking out the ladies. I’ve no idea but he was definitely enjoying his buzz (I was a little jealous). I tried to get him to eat with the hope that maybe some food would absorb the stoner binge he was on. Apparently though, dogs don’t get the munchies like humans do when their high because he had no interest in food. He did drink, a lot, typical cotton mouth when you’re high. All Beavis wanted to do was “chill.” I’m certain if he could’ve talked, he would’ve said, “Duuude, this is awesome man.” It took several hours for his high to wear off. He finally ate some food which made us both feel better. He was slow moving for a while that night but eventually he just slept it off.
We’ll never forget that night or the pot induced trip Beavis was on. It was all very scary. Thankfully, because he was a big boy, his body processed the pot, time wise, pretty much like a human would. The next day he was absolutely fine. Back to his normal self and back to searching for things to steal and or eat, that didn’t belong to him. Beavis lived a long life (of course it’s never long enough). We’ll never forget him and his antics and we’ll definitely never forget the night he got stoned when his family was out of town.