The Scare

If you’re wondering what kind of sticks a 70+ pound puppy plays with, I’ll give you a hint: branch-sized ones.

That was Grady for most of the week [I’m half convinced he climbs trees and tears them off himself], but things took a turn on Thursday. Aside from the fact that we’re miserably busy these days, my radio silence this week was prompted by a little scare with the little monster.

The worst thing a puppy owner can encounter is a puppy that refuses to eat. All growing puppies want to do is eat. Grady is no exception. Sometimes I think he lives for his next meal. Thursday morning, we noticed things were off. Around 4AM he started acting antsy, waking us up and keeping us up for a good chunk of the night. Red Flag #1. By 7, I let him outside. Red Flag #2: I couldn’t get him to come back in, even though it was pouring [he hates being out in the rain]. After a few tries I dragged him in, but I could tell something was off. He was anxious, crying a little, and clearly scared or sad. So I gave him breakfast. He took one look at it, picked up a kibble, and spit it out. More sad eyes.

Shit. Huge Red Flag. I’d never seen Grady refuse anything remotely edible [paper, socks, rocks, trash, leaves, grass, his own hair]. He slumped down on the floor. I couldn’t get him to eat biscuits, or ice cubes [his favorite], or peanut butter. I sat down on the floor with him and he put his head in my lap. Even more sad eyes. Then, vomiting. I woke up Shaun, and we called the vet, who made us detail exactly what Grady was [and wasn’t] doing. The gist? Puppies not eating is bad. She told us to keep an eye on him and bring him in Friday morning if nothing changed. He continued to lie on the floor, stomach gurgling, for the rest of the morning.

Thursday’s are rough for us because we both have a solid block of class from about 1PM-6PM, which meant we would be leaving Grady, sick and sad, from 12:30-6:30. Needless to say, all I could really think about all day was how he was at home. We penned him in the kitchen with a bed, water, food, and some peanut butter, but what if he was throwing up? What if we came back and he was worse? I had these disaster scenarios playing in my head all day, and hated myself for taking classes I didn’t have the leisure of skipping [I’m a failure of a 3L]. It was a high anxiety day, and when our seminars ended at six we bolted out of the law school.

To our absolute delight, we came home to an empty food bowl and a less lethargic puppy. He still wasn’t at 100%, but his tail was wagging and his appetite had returned a bit. I can’t describe the relief. My guess is he had the puppy flu of some sort. Since Thursday night, he’s improved markedly and is back to eating, although we’re still keeping an eye on him. Our scare turned into the best case scenario, and Grady’ back to playing with sticks. Excuse me, branches.



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Categories: Dog


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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  1. Texture Eating? | Ryes and 'Shine - February 5, 2012

    […] Grady’s bizarre illness wasn’t the only thing that made last week rough. I was actually feeling a little under the […]

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