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March 2, 2013

A potentially quiet afternoon interrupted by a dog and a balloon


“So how harmful do you think a balloon would be?”

“Is it inflated?”

“No. Just ingested.”

We hemmed and hawed a little. Caution, we decided, was the better part of valor. Or something like that.

I called the vet. The receptionist took my number, checked with a tech, then called back.

“You’ll need to make her throw up,” the receptionist said, “because we’d hate to have to go in after the balloon later.”

“Right,” I said. And with that, I saw my nice free afternoon drift away like so many, um, balloons.

The receptionist explained that hydrogen peroxide will induce vomiting in dogs (and in people, too, I suspect, but don’t want to test). She gave me a dosage, wished me luck, and told me to call back once the situation resolved.

Which sent me scouring our bathroom, wondering if we even had a bottle of the stuff, while swearing that a trip to the drug store would be exactly what would make the day absolutely perfect.

The dog sat in the doorway and watched, wagging her little stump of a tail whenever I muttered about strangling the child who didn’t pick up all of her stuff.

Fortunately, there was a dusty bottle hidden in the way back of a deep shelf. Crisis averted. Or, at least, averted until I realized that I zero idea how to get the liquid into the dog.

Remember: this is my first dog. Until now, I’ve had cats, who are notoriously difficult about taking any kind of medicine at all. It took two of us to pill our first cat and, then, we could only just manage it if we wrapped her in a pillowcase first.

Peroxide in hand, I looked at the dog. She looked at me. I grabbed a people dish, walked outside, into the 15 degree day, and poured the dosage into the dish. There’s no way it could be this easy, I thought.

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