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  • Nikki Rockwell

Grapecident 2020

You know, as your friendly, neighborhood dog-walker and animal blogger with her finger on the pulse of Philly, I try to ascertain what my many, many fans need in the ways of both pupertainment as well as general dog knowledge. I’ve given you my opinions on very serious matters such as why Pug come in pairs, insider insights of The Westminster Dog Show and exactly what I will and will NOT watch during the pandemic. I know that each and every one of you hold these Think Pieces very close to your heart and I know that writing them did not happen in vain. I, however, did not quite plan to delve into the world of Emergency Vet care during a pandemic as a way to bestow upon my loyal readers the knowledge of navigating through such an ordeal. Chicken, on the other hand, disagreed.

I was getting ready to take a long bike ride when Carolyn called me up and said “Well, our day is about to become much more expensive. Chicken just ate a grape!” UGH! This isn’t the first time Chicken decided to indulge herself with this tasty, forbidden, snack. Just about 8 months ago, Carolyn was eating Raisinets and dropped one. Chicken, being ever-so-helpful, insisted on helping her mama pick it up...with her stomach. It was then when we realized just how dangerous raisins and grapes are for dogs! (In fact, when I first told a friend about it, she said “Oh, it's because the Rainsinets have Chocolate!” Nope! Chocolate is for surely not good for dogs, but the amount of chocolate a dog has to eat for them to be sick is larger than one thinks. And it's a KNOWN amount. You can actually look online and determine how sick your dog is going to be based on their weight, how much and what kind of chocolate they ate.) The trouble with grapes, raisins and currents is that the Vet world doesn’t know exactly how they react with pups and kits. One pup could eat lots of grapes and be fine and one could eat half a one and die from kidney failure. And there is NO WAY TO KNOW!

After Carolyn and I endured dealing with the most expensive Raisinet ever known to personkind, we actually rid our house with all things Grape and grape-adjacent. No raisin bread, no raisin bran and certainly no chocolate covered raisins; Carolyn’s favorite. Even if Chicken was one of those dogs who could tolerate these things, we felt like we were playing some weird game of Grape Roulette and it is NOT WORTH IT! So when Carolyn called me and told me this, I was a bit bewildered. Turns out Chicken ate one while crossing the street. That’s right, IT WASN’T EVEN OUR GRAPE. It was a rogue grape, just chilling in the middle of Oregon Ave, waiting for the right time to destroy our lives. Thanks Grape!

So we call VSEC and let them know we are coming, we strap Chicken into her K9 Sports Pack, and I my bike as fast as I can down to Front Street. Chicken is my “Ride or Die” dog and she loves going for a bike ride on my back. Little did she know what was at the end of that bike ride was tons of IV fluids and some grape-barfing. Carolyn gave her treats to get her in the bag and all I could think was "What a waste!" Poor Chicken!

Going to a Vet ER is never, ever fun, but it is even more upsetting during a pandemic. Everyone is just outside, masks on, with their furry friends waiting to be hauled in. Chicken was taken in right away because of the gravity eating ONE GRAPE. But I wasn’t allowed to go in, I had to hand her off to the very sweet Vet Tech, and she drug her in like the little rascal she is! Well, it actually didn’t happen that easily. As I watched big, giant Pitties being carried in like babies, swaddled and looking for comfort, my little poop-head actually escaped. The Vet Tech took her out of the backpack before I could secure her, Chicken went to nip the Tech, scared her just long enough to wiggle out of the bag, and then left. The other pet parents there were sweet enough to jump into action and try to catch her but I said “Oh no, no! Don’t touch her, she will bite you. I’ll get her back. Don’t worry! “ And thus began the slow-motion chase where Chicken would sit for just long enough for me to catch up to her, and then trot away again. Chicken didn’t want to leave her mama, she just wanted me to realize that we were about to go into 8th level of Chicken hell and she wanted to save us both. Chicken is too smart.

And this is just the beginning of my Vet ER adventures. Tune in next week to see the conclusion! (What? Writing serials worked for Dickens!)

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