It’s 9:45 pm on a Sunday night. Nate and I pull into the driveway after eating dinner at my parents house, a Sunday evening tradition. The garage door goes up and I head inside already contemplating putting on my pajamas and watching some TV before going to bed.
I open the door to go inside the house and much to my surprise Ghost greets me at the door; tail going a hundred miles an hour and an expression that seems to say “oh thank god you are home.”
There are two things you should know about Siberians; they are escape artists and they are too smart for their own good so you can’t trust them especially to be alone. They get bored, they get into things, they are unpredictable, and they always find a way to get into trouble if you leave them on their own for too long. This is why we always crate train all of our dogs. Whenever we leave them for any amount of time, they are locked in their crates so we never have to worry about coming home to a destroyed couch or something crazy.
With a knot in the pit of my stomach I walk around the house to assess the “damage.” Everything in the kitchen looks normal; good. I walk into the dining/living room area and see a dog bed that I know resided in the lower level a few hours before but it’s fully intact, and about ten shoes spread out through the room; okay not too bad. I check the upstairs hallway and all the doors are closed; awesome. I go to the lower level of the house; all the dogs are in their crates minus Ghost; his crate door is wide open. Nothing else looks out of place. I come back up stairs and examine the shoes some more; making sure they all have pairs. That’s when I find the destroyed moccasin; not good.
All the leather is gone except for the toe part where there was decorative stitching and the rubber sole of the shoe is fully intact. I look around the room and can’t find any scraps, fragments or anything; really not good.
I go to the cabinet to get hydrogen peroxide because I don’t know if he ripped off the leather and ate it whole or chewed it into pieces. I just know I need to get him to throw it up because if he swallowed it whole (which he has done to socks before) or if the pieces are too big they can get stuck and cause blockages in his stomach and intestines and then things can get really bad, really expensive, really fast.
I measure out 5 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, pour it down Ghost’s throat, set an alarm for twenty minutes and wait. You can give hydrogen peroxide (1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of dog) to induce vomiting if your dog gets into something it isn’t supposed to.
20 minutes later my alarm goes off and Ghost still hasn’t vomited. I give him 5 more teaspoons set another alarm and wait.
My alarm goes off again and still nothing. I walk him around, take him outside, make a bed on the couch in the lower level of the house to sleep on, set up a comfy dog bed, convince Nate to sleep down there with me because at this point I’m convincing myself that Ghost’s stomach looks swollen and I’m scared he’s going to bloat (it’s a super serious condition where the dogs stomach twists and cuts off access to the intestines and the throat and swells up. It can be deadly if you don’t get them to the vet in time and even if you do there’s no guarantee they can save them.)
I’m online trying to figure out what it means when they hydrogen peroxide hasn’t worked and trying to figure out if it’s acceptable to give him a third round. I come to the conclusion that you really aren’t supposed to give a third round because if they don’t throw it up it can be poisonous in large doses. At this point I’m coming to terms with the fact that maybe it had been too long since he ate it and I’ll just have to make sure it comes out the other end in the morning.
12:30 pm he finally throws up. All over the beige rug.
Thankfully the moccasin pieces come up; and lots of them so now I don’t have to worry about them getting stuck in his intestines.
So one moccasin, one beige rug, 2 hours of waiting, and five gray hairs later I finally got to go to sleep.
I’m pretty sure Ghost dragged the dog bed upstairs so he has somewhere comfy to lay while he chewed up my shoe; which now I think is really funny. We now will be putting metal clips on the crates to make sure they can’t get out. I’m not really sure how he managed to get out in the first place unless the door wasn’t completely shut or something to begin with.
So anyway, this is what inspired my new composite diptych entitled: The Escape Artist. I kept Nate out of this one because I wanted it to really reflect what happened soon after we left the house.