For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the promised tale of the glitter eating dog, the moment has come!
The story begins with a mention of my son who has yearned for a Bernese mountain dog. This is unlikely to happen as they are fabulously expensive.
As luck would have it though, several weeks ago while just happening to drive by a Petsmart on dog adoption day, the next best thing happened. Or maybe, the next, next best thing.
There, right before his eyes, was the almost dog of his dreams. It was a mixed breed (mutt), but part of the mix was obviously a Greater Swiss Mountain dog. I must add that this was mainly obvious to my son. A “Swissie” for short is closely related to the Bernese Mountain dog and shares many of the same characteristics.
My son still lives at home and he dutifully asked permission to adopt the dog (along with all the earnest declarations pertaining to all future care and feeding of said dog).
And so Barret came home with us.
Upon reading Barret’s history, we found out that he was two years old and had been surrendered to the shelter 3 times. The first owner became homeless, the second lost their house and had to move into an apartment, and the third returned him because of his aggression toward their cats.
Now is when the story gets interesting.
Within two days of bringing Barret home, he started to get aggressive…towards our dogs and us. He was unpredictable and moody. On day three he became lethargic and then started running a fever. A trip to the vet was in order.
He was diagnosed with a serious ear infection. He tried to bite the vet and everyone else in the office and had to be muzzled. He howled when the medicine was put in his ear.
Twenty-four hours later, his fever spiked and he was obviously worse. Back to the vet for an overnight stay for evaluation and I.V. fluids. He was extremely aggressive and hostile towards everyone. He had to be sedated to be examined and treated.
I read through all of his paperwork again and found a teeny-tiny reference to a swollen spot on his face that the shelter treated with Benadryl, of all things. We conferred with the vet who diagnosed Barret with meningitis, probably related to the untreated injury to his face. Barret was very ill and it wasn’t clear if he would survive. Since we didn’t have a clear understanding of his previous disposition, we didn’t know if he was a naturally aggressive dog or not.
At this point we were all emotionally invested in Barret, so we gave the vet the go-ahead to treat him. Several days later, we brought him home provisionally.
As it turns out, he is the sweetest dog ever. He has an incredible urge to protect everyone in the house, so beware anyone who come to the door, but with a little training we can work through that.
He is a gigantic dork and has a few quirky traits which or may not be related to the 105 degree fever. We were warned that there could be brain damage. That could explain why he eats glitter (among other things).
After feeding him humongous amounts of food and stopping him from chewing on anything in the house including furniture and toes, we have determined that he is most definitely not two years old. Barret is a puppy and not fully grown. Did I mention how much this dog eats? He eats a lot. All the time. We have no idea how big he is going to get.
Oh yea, here’s the best part (sarcasm). Shortly after bringing Barret home (along with a pretty hefty vet bill), our son got invited to move into an apartment with some friends. He has been trying to save up money and work out the logistics of moving out on his own. We live in an expensive area so moving out of the house is a complicated thing. It’s all good. We are very happy and excited for him. He’s moving in with some good guys and they found an affordable apartment.
Just one little catch…
Have you figured it out yet?
He can’t take the dog with him.
So now, I am the proud owner of a gangly, dorky puppy who follows me everywhere, wakes me up in the middle of the night to make sure that I’m okay, and is eating us out of house and home.
But that’s okay because he makes me laugh (sometimes).