I'd like to be witty and funny, but I don't have a funny way to convery my worry or saddness. I figure the best way to work through an emotion is to write, so blog I shall!

Yesterday was the first day back to work for teachers in our school district. I left the house at 7am, gave Hardy a pat on the behind and a kiss on the nose. He smiled his corgi smile and I know he was waiting for the invite to come with me since we were inseperable all summer.

Due to a variety of surprises in my class schedule, I stayed at work until 8pm or so. When I got home, my husband was on his way out the door. He told me that he was going to leave the dogs in the kitchen and he would explain when he got home.

As soon as I walked in the door, my daughter rushed over to me. She told me that Hardy was "sad" all day and stayed in his bed. At 5:00 he had thrown up. When she fed him at 6:00 he refused to eat, and it took him about 45 minutes to eat his food. (and he, a dog who I think sucks the food up his nose because it is usually gone in seconds.) He did not come to greet me at the door: He just lifted his head, looked at me and put his head back down.

My daughter informed me that he had thrown up again just before I got home. I checked with her to see how his potty business was and he was "business as usual".

I tried to give him a cookie, which he didn't get up for or "sing" for. He politely took the cookie, placed it on the floor and pushed it away with his nose. I knew something was horribly wrong.

I called the doggie ER line and the answering service assured me that the vet would call me in a few minutes. The vet called me and I explained everything that was going on. The vet had me check to see if he was bloated, and when I was checking for bloat he attacked our border collie when I was on the phone with the vet. It wasn't a contact attack just flashing teeth and frenzied barking. No bite wounds etc. (The vet was concerned that I was getting bit so I had to explain how my sweet little corgi uncharacteristically attacked the other dog but not me.)

The vet said that there were no indications that a trip to the ER was necessary but if I wanted to he would go in to look at the dog. (My normal vet was closed, and I don't know this vet.) He said I could give some peptobismol if I wanted to, but he might throw it up. He said not to offer any more food and to give him ice to lick.

We decided that we wouldn't run him to the ER and that we would just keep him with us, since the vet didn't act like it was a huge deal...just that he ate something that didn't agree with him. He went to bed with us and stayed between us all night. (Usually once we are both asleep he goes under the bed)

When we got up and lifted him to the floor he hobbled (stiff legs) to the living room and took a poop on the living room floor. It was runny and red with blood. My husband immediately picked him up and brought him outside. There was a trail of blood droplets on the floor and his poor little bunny butt had blood on it.

I called my vet. It was an hour until they opened (and it would have taken me about that long to get to the ER) and left them a frantic message. They called me back 45 minutes later, told me that the vet wasn't due in until 8:30 (yet one more hour wait) but to bring him immediately. En route to the clinic, they actually called the vet and the vet was there waiting for me.

She took his temperature, which was normal, but was concerned that the thermometer was covered in blood. Since I couldn't get a solid stool sample to carry with me, she did the finger scoop poop method and told me that they were immediately going to test him for Parvo. (There was a lot of blood in his little butt)

10 minutes later, the good news was that he didn't have Parvo. The bad news was that he was very dehydrated, and that they wanted to keep him and connect him to an IV. They are also going to give him some tests and monitor him.

They are testing to see if he has a GI problem and doing a tox screening to see if he was poisoned. She sees some signs that are consistent with poisoning from rat poison (we have no rodent poison anywhere on our property, and he's not an outside dog). Also she said it feels like there may be a blockage. She assured me that she would call me at lunchtime and let me know his status. I am a complete mess.

I am kicking myself for listening to the first vet last night. I should have just brought him to the ER and I am beating myself up over it. My vet assured me that I did the right thing and that she wouldn't have been worried either last night.

I'm going crazy not knowing how he is doing. He is the best dog that I have ever had and brought so much love and light to our home--He is the most amazing dog that I could ever ask for. I feel like I failed him.

If you're reading this, please don't flame me for making the wrong choice last night, I can't handle that. I may have thick skin, but it's not thick enough to take being verbally beaten up for not rushing to the ER. However, kind words are welcome! It would be nice to know I'm not alone. :(

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Comment by Karen and Hardy on September 4, 2009 at 6:06pm
I added a new blog post with a Hardy update for all of you who asked for an update. Thank you all SO much for your kind words. I appreciate it!
Comment by Joan Miriam Fried on September 4, 2009 at 4:45pm
Hi Karen... Having a sick dog is so hard. Unless a dog is foaming at the mouth, hit by a car, limping or some other extreme visible sign of distress they are better off home with the family to love and comfort them. We can watch them over night and the vets don't usually have someone stay the night with them. Don't be hard on yourself. It wasn't as if you put him in the garage to sleep... you gave him your love. Now he is in the best place for him to be. One of my dogs was in the bathroom with me while I was in the shower. I closed my eyes while washing my hair and when I opened them again there was a huge puddle of blood all over the floor and on her hind side. It turned out to be a burst anal gland. I wrapped her in a towel and got her right to the vet. She bled a lot on the way. It turned out to be something a lot less serious than it could have been. Zeppy and I will keep our positive thoughts with you for Hardy's speedy recovery. Pelase keep us posted on his progress and your stress. Joni
Comment by Ein Danger on September 4, 2009 at 4:24pm
oh you! we only bring you love and support :) you just had to make the best decision you can with all the information you had present. you did the right thing! now its up to the vet and their staff to see what exactly the problem is. it wouldn't surprise me if its a blockage since ein just loves to nibble everything down to a nub. he'd even pull apart his pull rope so i'd see little red and white strings interwoven into his poop. lol. be optimistic and most stay importantly calm. you're a good pet parent, sometimes our kids just get sick.
Comment by Carlie on September 4, 2009 at 3:01pm
Oh please don't feel guilty for not taking him the first night. I think we all do that, it's hard for us to know or understand what's happening, especially when they can't talk back :). Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kiwi and Orzo send nub wags and LOTS of kisses, please keep us posted.
Comment by Sam Tsang on September 4, 2009 at 1:38pm
Karen, you've done the best you could. There are many reasons for blood in the butt, since he was throwing up and had runny poop, he was losing fluid and dehydrated, now that he's got IV, he should be good without food in the stomach. If it is a blockage, once the obstruction is removed, he'll be on the road to recovery. If it is poisoning, it would be much more serious with major organs shutting down, so I really doubt that is the case. Anyways, he is in good hands now. We'll pray for Hardy's speeding recovery.
Comment by Jennifer Markley on September 4, 2009 at 1:18pm
I am praying for you both! You didn't do anything wrong...I wouldn't have taken them in either. Please don't beat yourself up...Hopefully it is something simple. Please keep us updated, and hang in there! Corgi's are tough--their attitude usually pulls them through...
Comment by Heather and Ella on September 4, 2009 at 1:10pm
My thoughts are with Hardy and your family. I hope it all turns out ok. You can't beat yourself up about waiting, if the vet thought it was nothing then how could you have known.
Comment by christy fry on September 4, 2009 at 12:56pm
I hope Hardy has a fast road to recovery!
Comment by Suse Scheimreif on September 4, 2009 at 12:52pm
My boy is always eating a bad lizard or cat poop or bumble bees and having an upset tummy. You did the right thing - checked to see how he progressed. The good news is now he is with his vet being watched over by people who care about animals - be strong!
Comment by John Wolff on September 4, 2009 at 12:26pm
Try to relax. Don't beat yourself up for your decisions; you probably did the best you could with the information you had at the time. This is frightening, and illness in the family is always extremely stressful, but you will get through it.
Please keep us posted and thanks for sharing this; I'm going to discuss emergency procedures with my wife and make sure we're ready with a plan for something like this.

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