Tuesday, October 10, 2006


In Which I Can't Believe He Ate the Whole Thing...

Yesterday, Her Lovely Self brought in a load of groceries from the supermarket, but she wasn't feeling so hot, so she left them in their bags on the kitchen floor while she went upstairs to take some Tylenol and go to bed. I put away the perishables but left a few of the pantry goods where they lay. I know, I know, I should have put everything away, but it was a nice evening and Thomas wanted to play some catch before it got dark.

I kinda sorta forgot about the bags until this morning. HLS was still feeling ill, so I got up with the kids and went downstairs to make them breakfast. And finally put the groceries away.

With Halloween fast approaching, Her Lovely Self laid in some seasonal provisions, including apples and caramel and an assortment of trick-or-treat candy. Normally we get this stuff in moderation, so I was mildly surprised to see that HLS had purchased a large bag of Tootsie Rolls. I say "mildly surprised" because she's had kind of a craving for Tootsie Rolls lately, so a large bag made sense.

What surprised me was how empty the bag was, after less than 24 hours in the house.

And then I looked closer at the packaging.


A 420-count bag? Jesus, there's maybe only a hundred left in here, I thought

"Did you guys snarf some Tootsie Rolls last night when I wasn't looking?" I asked the kids as they ate their breakfast.

Thomas shook his head. "Don't even like them. Too chewy," he said. The Brownie copped to having two or three. But not two or three hundred.

Good God, HLS couldn't possibly have eaten all these, as sick as she's been, I thought, staring at the bag. Who the hell ate all the Tootsie Rolls?

Give you one guess.


I'll be honest: It was a long time before I could seriously suspect Blaze this morning. He may steal food off a dinner plate if no one's in the room, but he has never ripped open a bag of food and started gorging himself. And he's never shown the slightest interest in sweets either, so I had some difficulty believing he could be the Tootsie thief. Except for the fact that he was sitting in his kennel, watching me with a look that was the very definition of the word "hangdog."

And there was that telltale wrapper in his cage.


"Oh Blaze!" I said in a tone of exaggerated scorn as I waggled the wrapper at him. "Did you eat the Tootsie Rolls?"

He just looked at me.

Thomas heard this. "You mean Blaze took them?"

The Brownie saw what I was holding. "Well, Dad," she began, leaping to support her dog, a little public defender of the canine world. "If Blazey ate them, what did he do with the rest of the wrappers?"

Alas, we got the answer to that question about four minutes later (click at your peril. You've been warned).

And again four minutes and 12 seconds afterwards.

And yet again four minutes and 22 seconds after that.

And...well, you get the idea.

Oh, do I really need to tell you at this point that a Vomit Warning is in effect?

I hauled Blaze, sputtering and trailing a pendulous string of brown drool from his snout, out to the back and hooked him to his runner, whereupon he brought up yet more Tootsie Roll artifacts. As he alternately retched and chewed up great clumps of grass, I phoned the vet. Chocolate--even something chocolate-flavored, like a Tootsie Roll--isn't great for dogs. Neither is inhaling a shitload of waxed wrappers, so I wanted to see what I should do.

The vet was much more amused about the incident than I was, that's for sure. But she still managed to do a decent job of reassuring me that Blaze was doing the best thing possible for himself, if not for us. My job, the vet stressed, was as vomit support--to keep the dog off food for the rest of the day, to make sure he had plenty of water, to be watchful that he didn't choke Jimi Hendrix style, and in general to make sure he didn't exhibit any behavior that remotely resembled death.

You know, like the behavior I exhibited the entire time I was compelled to mop up his mess.

Excuse me, messes.

Now, I don't know precisely what Tootsie Rolls are made of, but I'm here to tell you that once they're mixed with canine stomach acid, they become a hideous, syrupy form of ectoplasm that sinks into carpet with unimaginable speed. It's not a mess easily cleaned with wet rags and foaming carpet cleanser, that's for sure. And it is most definitely not easily--or quietly--cleaned with a shop vacuum. I will go to my grave hearing the snuffling, slurping noise of the wet/dry vac as it attempted to hoover up what was essentially a 40-foot long loogie composed entirely of Tootsie Roll.

Not to, er, toot my own horn, but generally I'm pretty unflappable when it comes to mopping up dog vom. Generally. But this! I was beyond horrified, beyond revulsed. I went into a kind of detached conscious state where I was able to cope only by forcing myself to have an out-of-body experience.

And by doing odd things.

Like counting wrappers.

I stopped counting at 316.

So, yeah, it was a bit of a long morning. Too long, to be perfectly honest. By the time I was ready to begin clean-up on site #6, something snapped. I threw in the towel--literally--and called a professional carpet-cleaning service. It was my lucky day, they informed me without a hint of irony. Turns out they had a cancellation this morning and could be at my house by lunch-time.

Which is where they are now. Her Lovely Self just called. Having slept through the kids' departure for school, she only just woke up a few minutes before the cleaning crew knocked on the door, feeling refreshed and pleased.

"What a nice birthday present!" she gushed (her birthday is in two days. And no, I hadn't bought her a gift yet, if you want to know the truth).

"Well...surprise!" I said. "I just thought you'd enjoy it. I mean we haven't had them cleaned since we moved in."

"It'll be great!" she said. Then there was a pause. "Um, why is Blaze out in the back yard?"

"Oh...well..." I paused. "I take it you haven't been in the dining room today."

"N-o-o-o-o," she said slowly. "Do I want to go in the dining room? Did the dog have an accident? Do I want to know any more?"

"Not really," I answered.

"Okay," she said, then abruptly shifted topics. "Thank you again for this great surprise. And for getting the kids out the door this morning. And I see you even put the rest of the groceries away. Boy, you're really on a roll today."

"You have no idea," I said.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Been there done that.
My ex bought a Dalmatian as a wee little pup. Got sick a few weeks later so we went to the vet and they say the little guy has worms. Ok, gave him a shot, or pills and went on our way. Sure enough later that day, we get evidence of worms. Nice.
But even better, the next morning I wake up with the new pup on the bed, standing between us, looking down at me. The next thing I knew I was pretty much covered from the shoulder up in dog vomit. Best alarm clock, ever.
I suggested we go back to the vet which we do to find out the little guy had Parvo. After a gob of money the little guy pulled through and was around for a good 12 years. Great dog, who was sure he was a human, and I can guarantee I will never forget that wake up call.
Nice pic of Blaze. I hope he's feeling better soon. 316 with the wrappers takes determination.

I skipped the links though... I have my own love of Tootsie rolls to consider. Your textual description I'll just have to block from memory.
HLS has cravings? Di you get The Snip yet?
Hahaha, that brings back memories of numerous similiar such incidents with my old beagle. Mostly I'm reminded of two incidents, one where he ate a bag of white chocolate kisses and he had to have vomiting induced at the vet's, and the other where he consumed an entire large pizza from the dining room table while we were, um, away.

Much worse than eating or vomiting incidents, however, were the explosive diarrhea incidents. Once was too much, unfortunately two times is what we got.
Our dog Nicky, who actually bears more than a passing resemblance to Blaze, unfortunately has a hell of a sweet tooth. Apparently he missed the memo reminding him of the hazards of chocolate. I'm sure he's eaten his weight in chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses, and After Eight mints since we brought him home from the pound two years ago.

One of the first times my girlfriend and I went anywhere with him, we stopped at 7-Eleven to buy a couple of chocolate bars for ourselves before picking up some groceries for supper. We actually didn't realize until later that our chocolate bars were missing, as Nicky had eaten them both, wrappers and all, leaving only a small chocolatey smudge on the passenger seat as evidence of his crime. Last Easter we went out with friends to get ice cream, returning home to find 16 Kinder Eggs missing from our Easter basket. It turned out he hid a few around the house that he'd pull out every now and then when he thought we weren't paying attention. And he unwrapped most of them, so -- heaven help us -- he's getting smarter.

We know that a dozen-or-so balls of crappy chocolate isn't really going to do anything more than give our dog the trots, but we worry that one day he'll get into something a little more serious. All in all, I'd be happier if he went back to chewing up our underwear.
hopefully hls is feeling better-- is it worth remark tha she was craving tootsie rolls and slept through the nausea and awoke feeling fine?

my beagle once ate and entire loaf of bread, bad and all. the bag was a little difficult to evacuate.
DEAR GOD WHY DID I CLICK THAT AT LUNCHTIME???? I've been reading you for so long now you'd think I would know better! My boxer once ate a large bag of chocolate chips he got into. He got very sick and vomited alot BUT there were no wrappers involved! The cleanup however, was a bitch!
When we got our last puppy from the shelter, she was tiny innocent thing. My younger sister had made Rum Truffles for Father's Day and left them on the bench. We all went off and did our usual Saturday things. Later that day we were all home and she went around accusing everyone else of eating them. Teenage tantrums until we found the plate and the wrapping under the sideboard with a very guilty, yet happy puppy. It set her up for a lifetime of expecting human food and a paranoid mindset in the rest of us to hid everything from her.

Little gator, I've been wondering the same thing...
My mothers dashound managed to pull off the table and eat an entire pumpkin pie one Thanksgiving. That was one of the strangest dogs I have ever seen- I wont mention what it looked like coming up... I feel for you and Blaze. Happy Pre-Halloween.
Why am I always eating when you write posts like this?
Scent hounds, and especially beagles, are more food-motivated than most dogs, which is saying a lot.

Our Coonhound Dixie (harvee.org/pictures) regularly steals and eats used paper towels, which almost always pass through uneventfully but not digested either.

One time she stole a peach, chomped it a bit, then swallowed it whole. Peach pits can cause a deadly obstruction so we were quite relived when she vomited the pit 3 days later. Even though she did wake us up at 4 am.

Her favorite food ever is clementines(a kind of tangerine)
I was sleeping in the guest room of my parents house. On the floor was a plastic baggie of groceries my mom had generously purchased for me. To wake me up, my parents let the cat in the room. I woke up to the sound of rustling plastic, only to find my cat had chewed through the plasic wrapping on a loaf of bread and helped himself to a few mouthfuls.
Does HLS ever read this blog? If so, you might want to go ahead and get her an additional birthday present.

Almost an entire bag of Tootsie Rolls! Eww. I can barely stomach one bite of those nasty things. Chelsea once ate a huge block of parmesan cheese, plastic wrap and all, and she literally smelled like a fart for a month afterwards. Eventually, the plastic wrap came out on the other end.

Other things I have found in her poop: a condom, a $20 bill, my old wallet and part of a shoe. GROSS!

And when we lived in New York, she'd eat the caterpillars that would infest the apartment during the summer and she'd end up puking Blaze-style all over place. Of course, in the wild, dogs eat plants to help them throw up. Being that Chelsea was in a brownstone, she chose to eat the tassles on the couch and half of the firewood.
Around our house it's the cats who steal the groceries... the bird chews Kleenex, and the dog just eats the cell phones. So far the gecko has been remarkably well-behaved.
Why oh why did I keep clicking? Why as humans, do we do that, knowing full well what's coming? Hhahahhaa, glad I didn't have to clean that up...LOL!
So funny..those little puddles of yuck..So funny cause its your house this time..Not mine!!! YEAH not mine. Married yourself a libra..smart man!My b-day is on Friday. Hope your wife feels better soon..ohh..all those wrappers....hehehehe
I thought you might find these lyrics from a song called Tootsie Roll somewhat amusing, MM:

Whoop, come on, whoop, come on
Whoop, yeah come on come on and,
Whoop whoop whoop, yeah baby
Cotton candy, sweet and low
Let me see that tootsie roll!

Glad HLS enjoyed her birthday "surprise" and sorry about your "morning surprise."
what the HELL is wrong with me? i clicked. and then clicked again. and again. and... you'd really think i'd know better by now.

hope everyone is feeling better!
I love that the Vomit Warning came AFTER the links.

Don't deny it. You knew what you were doing.

You were making us SHARE your horror...

Oh, but it could be so much worse. My dog Molly finished up a half-eaten bag of chocolate covered blueberries. The result: miles and miles of little blue piles. It was as if Gargamel of our saturday morning cartoon youth finally discovered the Smurf village and then quite literally stomped the shit out of them. The stains left behind defied the carpet cleaners. Like the carpet, I too, was left rather blue after losing my pet deposit. Pun intended. I truly do feel your pain.
I picked up on the same comment Lil gator.

My parents tell me of a similar story of our poodle Mugsy. I was 4 or 5 at the time. Mugsy ate an entire bowlful of Tootsie Rolls on the kitchen table, he was smart enough not to eat the wrappers though. My parents found him in his bed, on his back, belly distended. Though he didn't vomit, he belched chocolate burps for the next few days.
I'm not sure why I continued on with this story as I was eating dinner either... I know better than that ;)

After reading all of these comments, I'm even more grateful for having a cat. He might throw up the occasional hairball, but never eats people food and the only mess he'd make with tootsie rolls would be biting the bag open to play with them - i'd be picking them up for a week but at least they'd still be in the wrappers!

hope Blaze is feeling better...
I absolutely demand a Blaze-perspective narrative on this whole experience.
As a labrador owner, I am well acquainted with that "out of body" clean-up state of which you speak. I laughed out loud though (even given the involuntary full-body shiver of "revulsion remembrance"), so thanks!
This morning, after 5 days of vacation, I had to return to work. This morning, of course, was the morning one of our golden retrievers decided to roll around it $hit. Not your run of the mill stuff, but the really runny kind. So, of course, his neck was saturated in it.

He ran up the steps, so pleased with his own little self, and met my husband, who was sitting on the porch, giving him a noseful of neck fur. Then he ran upstairs to the bedroom and pushed his face over the bed to lick my nose (in case it wasn't awake, yet, I guess) and left, um, impressions on the sheets.

Fortuantely, he's well behaved (other than that) and took his shower very well, if not a bit saddly. I mean, he brought this great gift! If he'd known it was bath day, he'd have waited until this evening! In fact, he handled all three showers well until I finally figured out that the remaining smell was coming from the collar I had removed and left on the floor of the shower.

I can, however, definitively say that YOUR MORNING was WORSE!
Ah, dog-vomit. I've cleaned up my share of it, though probably not my fair share.

My dog Gaila had the bad habit of swallowing her rawhide chews, then retching them up. After awhile we learned not to give her big ones anymore.

Fortunately, all the dogs typically spent their time in the office with Mom, which meant they were close to the linoleum of the kitchen. Much easier to clean than, say, the hall carpet (though I had to do that a few times, too).

But Gaila was a beautiful dog. And I swear, she and I shared a personality.
We were given a tiny runt Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy with severe medical needs which she successfully survived. But as our first puppy (All past dogs were full grown rescue dogs). We had NO IDEA how like a rugrat they are! First she found the Rat Poison behind the water heater which we had forgotten about. I heard cheerful crunching behind me, and looked in time to see the package disappear, I grabbed her and ran to the phone. 10 ml. of hydrogen peroxide forced down her throat and her eyes saying "What did I do?", me waiting in the bathtube with her. Then it was coming home and finding the box of raisons on the floor near the counter and wondering how they fell off and spilled so badly, and then realizing the box had been full, and there was no where near enough left to fill a box. Puppy was 5 months old and tall and skinny enough to just reach the counter, and she was looking uncomfortable and I figured stomach ache time, but something about it being dried fruit worried me, and thank God I checked on the Net because it was late at night by then and I had no idea how long it had been since she ate them. Raisons will kill dogs, So 20 Ml of Peroxide down the throat this time and a VERY unhappy puppy who tried hard to get into our bedroom to hide as she felt things foaming. Most of a giant box of raisons returned. 6 months old and she was obediant enough to walk without a leash in our small town. A new neighbor invited me into his fenced yard to see his outdoor rock collection, so I brought little Rita in and she frisked around the grass as we looked at his giant agates and fossil wood, and then I heard a cheerful crunching sound behind me and turned to see her crunching down a nice blue stick of rat poison. "Oh Dear, that's the rat Poison I put out for the mice." I said, "So Long" and called Rita to chase and ran home as fast as i could, got to the drive way and saw my husband in the garden and yelled for help while leading the cheerful victim into the house. This time it took both of us to force about 30 ml of peroxide down her throat with difficulty because she REALLY did not understand, did NOT want to swallow the nasty stuff, but was being a surprisingly good sport about it. My husbands hair turned white staring at the dog waiting for foam, and everytime we stopped dosing her, she would urp a little foam and then lie down in the tub to say "What ME vomit?" We finally put her on the bathroom floor and after almost 30 minutes, masses of bright green foam and slime came up. We now realize we need to get some sort of device to easily get ippacac or peroxide down this dog's throat in a hurry. I didn't need to call poison control this many times on my kids! Today she just ate 1/2 lb of rotten parmesan cheese that a friend gave me for the chickens. Ridgebacks.....Sigh
My boxer chews up paper towels and boxes of tissue when we leave him home alone. He has chewed up several books including a dictionary. Ate almost a whole pepperoni & sausage pizza. When he was about 10 months old he swallowed half a corn cob, luckily the vet got him to vomit it up. So today when he tore up and ate a whole roll of plastic wrap I just had to look online and see if anybody else had dog's as crazy as that. He has also been stung in the mouth by bee's or wasps at least 4 times.
About the boxer and the plastic wrap. We found the roll behind the couch the next day with ends badly chewed, like a bone. Glad he didn't eat the whole thing.
Believe me i know, my dog ate his toy once, thankfully he pooped it in the BACKYARD.
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