The Adventures of Madden the Goat-Dog

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There are some things that just have to stay between dog and owner.   Well, this is our dirty little secret.

You’ve heard the expression the Cobbler’s son has no shoes?   Well, Madden, since the day she snuggled up to Scott’s knees at the pound, has been both a trash diver (you’d swear she has thumbs) and a scavenger.  (Not to mention her seemingly having the ability to defy gravity.)  When Scott’s around, that dog is an angel.   She’s quiet, she’s well behaved, she won’t take a step out of line.   But she’s a Shepard, and Shep’s are only loyal to one Master.   So when Maddy’s Daddy heads off to work with other dogs?   El Chupacabra comes out to play.

When Scott lived on Magnolia, we’d come home to find her perched (all four feet) atop the fence, watching the cats with her little matchstick tail swishing back and forth.   When we first moved in together, I’d come home and find her sitting on the coffee table, the hot tub lid, or on occasion, the dining room table.   Time after time after time, we’ve come home to our table tops disturbingly undisturbed, while various food items are conspicuously missing from places that would seem incredibly hard to reach for Sophie McShort-Arms and your average 50 lb Shepard mix.   And yet…a box of sprinkles cupcakes…last night’s Chinese take-out…an entire bag of blueberry bagels….a ten pound bag of dog food… all gone without a trace, save for Maddie hiding outside – ears back, head down, belly bloated – waiting for someone to yell at her.

Well…this weekend, the Mad-dog really outdid herself.  See, a few weeks ago, we all got up in the morning (the dogs have a Pavlovian response to my alarm clock, they get up and sit facing our bedroom door when it goes off, because the first thing I do when I get out of bed every morning is feed them breakfast, which, thanks to Mad’s gastro-intestinal adventures, this morning I cooked for them – rice and ground beef.)  Ahem.   Anyway, a few weeks ago we all got up in the morning and as I went to give them their Old-Dog pills, I thought Madden’s eye looked a little weird.  (I lost my Rottie, Bruiser to a tumor behind the eyes a few years back, so I’m a little sensitive to this.)   And when I tossed her her pill, she winced, and all of this saliva came pouring out of her mouth.   I called the vet.   They suggested that “maybe she’d had a stroke, but she can probably walk it off…only you know your dog!”   Taking their earth-shattering advice to heart, I decided that only I do know my dog, and right now, my dog was acting really really weird.   So we took her in.   They spent two days not being able to diagnose her, except that she was in incredible pain in her jaw, and was keeping it locked as a result, and the pressure behind her eyes was so great the reading was twice what it should be.   (In fact, the vet later said they pressure got so intense behind those buggy eyes that if we hadn’t brought her in she could have lost her vision by that evening…excuse me as I pat myself on the back for my excellent dog-parenting, before telling the rest of this embarrassing story.)

Anyway, long story moderately shorter, they started her on Steroids to reduce the pressure.   They thought it was some genetic condition having to do with her jaw muscles, but those tests have since come back negative so now they have no clue what caused it…but I digress.

Point being, the dog is ‘roided up.   So Sunday night, when she ate a very questionable batch of cookies left on the counter by our generous house-sitter (I’m talking about 25-30 cookies here) I called Marcos completely frantic, then called Candice still frantic, and then ultimately took her in to the puppy emergency because there was some concern that her Pancreas, under the stress of the Steroids couldn’t handle the chocolate/sugar/other stuff her body had already begun to digest.   After we filled her up with ipecac to no response at home (she had her jaw clamped so tight, she managed to make it the whole ride to the emergency room in the back of Scott’s truck without blowing a single chunk) the vet was able to give her a shot and finally get her to toss those cookies, and q-tips, and other miscellaneous items they kept bringing out in a kitty-litter box filled with dog-vomit to show me.   (Again, I stress, the dog was NOT in our care this weekend!)  One Vet Tech actually came out early on and said “were those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?   They smell good.”

Anyway, thanks to the help of the Studio City Animal Emergency team who kept her under close watch over night and managed to avoid the dreaded Pancreatitis they feared could be fatal, (and of course the real heroes of the night Marcos, Lisa, and Candice) Madden is home and back to her old tricks, currently trying to find a way around the baby-gate Scott just installed in the kitchen.

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.