Sunday 12 April 2009


I should have known better than to bang on the other day about spending the pet insurance money on gear.

I didn't go for a walk on Saturday, mainly because Marion had the day off and we've hardly seen each other recently, what with her having that many different jobs.

The weather was glorious, so I decided to give the back grass its first - and rather overdue - cut of the year. So, I spent the day wandering in and out of the garage, pottering about, mowing and gathering and tidying up and drinking beer. As you do.

We had dinner quite late. Just as we were finishing, we remarked that it was singularly unusual that the Wee Black Dug wasn't hanging around, trying to force a bit of sausage onto the floor by sheer willpower. So we shouted on her.

She came waddling listlessly down the stairs. Huge, she was. Stomach all swollen. My first thought was that with the garage lying open all day she'd found some weedkiller or poisonous lily bulbs, or some other garden-related horror. We also thought she'd gone into season that morning, so the second thought was that there was some dreadful infection linked to that. Marion phoned her pal Avril who used to be a veterinary nurse, and talked through the symptoms. Avril was a bit concerned. We then phoned the pet insurance helpline and they asked a few questions, & said we should sound the dug's stomach by tapping it. If it sounded hollow then it was possibly gas, and we could probably await developments; if it was a solid sound then it might be something more sinister.

Solid, definitely. So, we were told just to get into the emergency vets in Glasgow.

Thankfully we know the way, so it didny take long.

Taken straight away, dug onto drip, anxious parents in waiting room reading the "guide price list" for emergency gastro-intestinal surgery (£1800 - £2500) and generally fretting over what could possibly be wrong with her. The nurse came out. "The dog's vomiting everywhere", she says. "It looks like partially-digested food though. I take it there's definitely no chance that she could have gorged herself on something earlier without you knowing?"

Absolutely not, we confirmed. We're very careful on that front because she's got form for it. All the dog food in the house is kept in a plastic bin, with a secure cover and it's in the kitchen cupboard with a hook on the door to stop her getting in; and indeed even the spare bags of food are well out her way. They're not even kept in the house - they're kept safely shut away in, in The garage.

Still, it meant we were in and out in ten minutes, so £102 to make an idiot of yourself isny that bad, eh?


  1. We'd often wondered what would happen if one of the dugs got into the food bin. Now we know. Thanks for that :o)

  2. Is there a smiley for "shakes head in utter disbelief"?