I should have known better. I plead innocent by virtue of a grief-induced foggy mind. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
Over the past weeks since both my parents died, my siblings and I have made a valiant effort to clean-up, clear-out, and distribute the possessions that remained, bizarrely, after my parents departed. It’s one of the strangest things about this whole experience. The things they bought, used, loved, kept, didn’t know what to do with, are all still here, without them.
Anyway, in what seems like an endless series of trips home, from the house they lived in that was left behind, I brought home boxes of photos, books, china, memorabilia, and so forth that either I couldn’t part with, or thought that my parents would have wanted kept. I realize my parents’ wishes in this matter are dubious at this point, at best, but the mind and heart does strange things when facing the absoluteness of death of a loved one or two.
Mark and I brought home the bird feeders we had given my dad for Christmas a year or two ago. And while we were in the garage, with the tools and fishing poles that my father also left behind, we went ahead and took the bird seed containers as well, including the one that contained peanuts in the shell for a little wire snowman feeder.
This morning I saw the birds checking out our empty feeders and I decided I would feed them the peanuts. In my exuberance to feed the birds, I remembered the little squirrels who are hungry, and threw a couple of handfuls of the peanuts on the ground in the garden. Arthur, who was accompanying me in my works of generosity for nature’s creatures, immediately snagged a peanut and ran off with it.
At first I was worried, confusing peanuts for chocolate momentarily and trying to remember if Arthur was allergic to peanuts. By the time he returned to grab a second peanut, having devoured the first one shell and all, I realized that if Arthur could eat peanut-butter, which he can, he should be able to eat peanuts.
Then a nagging thought occurred to me, how old were those peanuts anyway? And the old girl scout song, Found a Peanut, in which someone finds a peanut, cracks it open, finds it is rotten, eats it anyway, and ends up getting sick and then dying, from decades ago came back to haunt me. By now Arthur has returned for at least a third, and possibly fourth peanut.
I crack one open. It is moldy.
I grab all the peanuts I can find on the ground and throw them away. I empty the bird feeder of peanuts.
I think Arthur’s stomach will reject the moldy peanuts he ate if they are a problem and he will likely throw up.
But he’s just a little dog.
So I call the vet.
Three hours and $94 later, I pick Arthur back up from the animal hospital where his system has been chemically purged, then chemically calmed down again. Except for a shaved area on his right front leg that they used for the IV, Arthur does not seem any worse for the wear.
But his long-overdue haircut scheduled for tomorrow will have to wait.
What kind of responsible pet owner would deliberately traumatize the little guy two days in a row?