My Jack Russell Terrier ate What?

All better- notice size 11/10

Last week I promised you a three-part series under the auspice of Why Didn’t I Go to Vet School? As long-time readers may guess my beloved Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Sammy, is perched at  the top of this series. Who knew a little bundle of white fir with a black spot on the top of his head and black circle around his left eye could breakthrough my well-deserved midlife crisis? Well, he shattered it…

Hey Sammy

Sammy is Dennis the Menance, puppy style. Who’s Dennis? Stop reading- give your computer back to your mother. This trilogy focuses on the ‘medical emergencies’ in the Johnson household since Sammy came home to live with us in September, 2010.

Flashback: November 3, 2011:  Wednesday began as most mornings do at the Johnson’s. One of us lets Sammy out, LT makes coffee and I grab a diet Coke.  After LT wakes up and  the three of us watch the morning news together. Sammy and I whine; we want LT to stay home. We lose the battle. Everyday. He kisses me goodbye.

I then scooched Sammy in his ‘little house’ while I took a shower. Dressed, I let him out so he could eat some breakfast and have some water before I left. Counting my predetermined number of seconds for maximum effect with my eyelash curler, I hear a loud crunch from the kitchen (by now, I know what eating puppy food sounds like). I fly out to the family room. I catch Sammy with 1/2 of what looks like a Rolaid in his mouth?

Sammy- A Rolaid!?

I don’t remember him talking about indigestion?

Puzzled, I journey back to my dressing area, my thoughts full of Sammy scenarios which would preclude the Rolaid ingestion.  I look down and see pills: of all shapes and sizes. I scramble to get them picked up. Where in the hell did they come from? Then I notice LT’s daily med container on the floor- two of the “not yet here” days were open AND EMPTY! This is serious. I look at Sammy. Sammy looks at me. No one says a word. Damn, I know one day he is going to say something, but not that day.

I call LT. We try to narrow the playing field of possibilites…which ones were still there? what possibly could Sammy have swallowed.  LT calls back, telling me he is waiting a call-back from our vet.  How is Sammy? Sammy does not look like he ate a boatload of pharmaceuticals. No, he is dashing around the house doing his famed figure-eight loops at 90 mph. I, on the other hand, exhibit signs of possible drug ingestion: my lips are quivering, my breathing is rapid, and my sentences become increasingly incoherent.

Suddenly, I flash back to my “Take Control of the Intersection” days as a Paramedic. What am I doing standing here? My dog’s life is in danger. I am taking him to the vet- let her watch him grow lethargic. Sammy screeched to a halt when he saw me pick up his little house, my name for his crate. Headed to the car, I had no clue how to secure this baby in- bungee cords were nowhere in sight.

I went back in the house, grabbed Sammy and of course, my co-ordinated Vera bag of the day. When I put Sammy in his little house I asked him not to move explaining I did not want a rollover on the way to the vet’s office. I left him in the back asking what a rollover is as I backed out of the driveway, and zoomed down the street. The thought crossed my mind to engage my emergency flashers, yet I held back. My vet is literally four minutes from our home.

We pulled into the vet- I flew around back, grabbed Sammy and flew to the front door. It was locked. I tried again. It was locked (again).My anxiety attack hit a tsunami level when suddenly a vet tech opened the door, and asked  “Sammy, what have you gotten into?”  Little did we know we would all be asking this question many times over the next six months.

When she carried Sammy away, I burst into tears. For an eternity (reality check- 7 minutes) I sit there, hearing nothing. I send LT an e-mail, advising him that they are inducing vomiting. I think I hear him whimpering. More minutes pass. Suddenly, my vet appears holding my scared little Sammy. They had induced him to vomit three times. And, yes, Sammy threw up a nice variety of pills, sticks and some pineapple (?). Hey, his Grammy eats pineapple every morning.


Sammy  spent the next few days on nausea meds and bland food (like Purina Puppy chow is South of the Border Tacos?). And, of course I babied him a bit, more.

We won’t get into what I had for the next three days. Now, remember, this is part One. Leave a quick comment for Sammy – tell him not to feel bad about scarfing up LT’s pills. Or you can email Sammy at To make SURE you don’t ever miss a Sammy tale, sign up to get savor the ride posts in your email box! See you soon for Sammy Saga #2