Sick Puppy

It’s funny how you’ll be bopping along in your life, wondering what would happen if you substitute quinoa for couscous in a recipe, when out of the blue, you learn a handful of important new words.

For example, last Tuesday night, Winnie, Rick and I learned the meaning, impact, and cost of three doozies: torsion bloat, gastropexy, and splenechtomy. Here’s a helpful one-size-fits-all article on how these topics relate, but the short story is that after a big hike, full dinner, and probably too much water, Winston suffered a bloat so severe that it flipped his stomach 180 degrees, ripping his spleen off.

The good Dr. Don Betts of Driggs Veterinary Clinic saved his life with a 1 a.m. surgery, and said that in 30-years of vet practice and on average 10 cases of bloat in dogs per month, he’d never seen that spleen-ripping business before.

We’re big fans of Dr. Betts. Big, big fans.

Experts agree that deep, narrow chested dogs with thin waists are most at risk, and while Great Danes, Weimaraners, and Irish Setters are all excellent candidates, my suspicion is that Standard Poodles may be even more at risk, given what  delicate and particular eaters they can be.

Winston, for instance, makes it a habit to eat with his supermodel figure in mind. After checking his bowl for poison (this is accomplished by carefully selecting one random piece of kibble and spitting it out on the floor for TSA-worthy scrutiny), he’ll pick his way through a meal, stopping as soon as his hunger is satisfied and he recalls he has a photo shoot early the next morning.

We figure that on some days, he must be surviving on cigarettes and Chardonnay behind the garage.

That is, of course, unless he’s surviving on excellent vet care, rest, antibiotics, pain relievers, easy-to-digest prescription canned food, and the TLC of family and friends.

Did you know that flowers and a sweet card really do help with the healing process?

Anything that brings a smile to the face simultaneously lifts the heart…

… and there’s nothing better for the constitution than feeling loved and the anticipation of better days to come.

BTW, these are Winston’s buddies featured in this slideshow of a recent fishing trip with the Sordahls. He has asked us to relay his gratitude, and, LeRoux? You’re on!

I know the thoughtfulness and beauty made Rick and me feel a whole bunch better.

And as of last night, Winston was insisting he was feeling much better, too.

We’re glad for that shaved spot where the catheter was. It reminds us of Dr. Betts’ words at the post-op check-up:

“Winston will insist that within three or four days, he’s all better. DO NOT LET HIM LIE TO YOU. The stitches don’t come out for another whole week, and until then, no long walks, no excitement, no stress, and no ball chasing.”

So we focus on the leg…

… while Winston focuses on the ball and drools.

Hang in there, buddy.

It won’t be long before you’re back to your glamorous, elegant self.

12 thoughts on “Sick Puppy

  1. Louise

    Glad to hear Winston has improved. His eating habits do not even come close to Lab eating habits. Our current pooch (8 months old) has been here just a shade over twenty-four hours and has ingested some cardboard, a wee snippet of silk and as many sticks, pine cones and grass tufts as can be obtained in a brief foray into the back yard. Said foray being for entirely different purposes than buffet dining. Dog has also had several quick trips out so as not to barf on the rug. Maybe here is a Lab that could benefit from some Emily Poodle Post lessons.


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  2. Susan

    Winnie eats like our Jasper. So funny. Jasper will select two or three kibble and leave them on the carpet near his dish. It’s somewhere between ‘I don’t like these ones’ and ‘I want to share the crunchy joy of my food. Please step on this…’ . Thanks for the newsy update to your saga and once again we are so pleased everything turned out ok. We certainly understand the special place these furry friends have in the family!

  3. Carol Ochoa

    Soooo sorry Winston had to go through all this!! Glad they were able to patch him up and that he is feeling better! The hardest part now is keeping him quiet and still – good luck with that!! He doesn’t know me, but give him a gentle little hug for me please.


  4. Gail Gauvin

    So glad to hear Winnie is up and about a bit. Maybe some Lassie re-runs are in order instead of ball chasing for a while?

    Take care,

  5. Sandi Fentiman

    Great to hear Winnie is better. Take it easy though Winnie, I’m not there to give you a butt scratch or talk to ya. And NO scratching the tummy area! 🙂

  6. Pegi

    So sorry to hear about Winnie–sure do miss seeing her and you guys out here on the Coast. It’s s beautiful day here in HMB…Ferel better soon Winston…and come and visit sometime..

  7. Katherine Ernst

    As for sub. the Quinoa for the Burghel in Tabbouleh,discovered it works quite well and is faster and even better. also when using the cuisinart for chopping…ingredients seems less wet than burghel. Making all ingredients by hand very time comsuming to de-stem every leaf of parsely, chop every green onion and radish.Cuisinart faster but all ingred. have to be towel dried before hand and burghel twisted dry in a towel.The Quinoa also seems to stay fresh longer. Cheers!

  8. Katherine Ernst

    HI, so sorry to hear about Winston.Have read about this and how serious it is.Not pleasant.
    They become our children, and those without dogs or cats cannot understand. Best wishes all around.

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