On Storm Keeping Ants Out of His Belly

Storm the Border Collie

Storm the Border Collie

I knew there was trouble as soon as I rounded the corner and caught sight of Storm’s kennel.  He was laying in it, as usual, peering up at me with those round, little Border Collie eyes.  However the shreds of plastic laying near the kennel entrance were new.  What the?  Oh no, it hit me like a wrecking ball (thank you Miley)…he had made an early morning snack of one of the ant traps I had set out!  Where’s the box, I thought, hoping that somewhere in the fine print it would state “really toxic to ants, but perfectly fine for canines to ingest and share with other doggie friends.”  Unfortunately, there was no such gentle wording on the box I yanked from the shelf (where I put all of the chemicals so the dogs don’t get into them…hrrrmmph).  It plainly stated that whatever was in those attractive little black discs was toxic for domestic animals. Now in my defense, the little voice in the back of my head had told me to be cautious.  For I know….I have an eater!  Storm has ingested items that would make any other dog shake his head in disbelief.  He has an affinity for toilet paper rolls and steals them from bathroom wastebaskets any chance he gets.  Cotton swabs are a delicacy in his eyes.  I still can’t find the tiny remote that belonged with my digital alarm clock….huh.  Anyway, I thought I was exercising caution when I put the ant trap up high and behind some appliances that would be tough to maneuver around.  Darn that canine sense of smell for betraying my stealth and cunning.  Storm must have smelled whatever attractant is housed in those black domes, and he wasted no time working to get to it.  I am still not sure how he maneuvered onto the kitchen island and around the appliances to get to it, but a snack was available, and he was going to have it!

So as it sank in that Storm could get seriously sick, my heart sank at my apparent lack of caution.  I hurriedly called my vet and luckily, since Storm has just recently enjoyed his unconventional meal, there was a chance that vomiting would help keep him out of trouble. One teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide was prescribed…two if he wasn’t “hurling chunks” in a matter of a few minutes.  Disclaimer:  this doesn’t always work, and certain things ingested are not good to bring back up so in short, kids, don’t try this at home without your vet’s approval.  Being a dog who tries his best to respond quickly to any demand placed upon him, Storm was launching remnants of ant bait, plastic and the morning’s kibble towards the floor shortly after I administered the first spoon of peroxide.  Good boy!  Just to show off, he threw up two more times afterwards. Ok, that’s enough…you can stop now!  Poor dog, he looked absolutely pitiful after all of this.  I am sure I did as well, but I was immeasurably relieved that my sweet boy was likely going to live to eat another toilet paper roll.

Dogs are certainly very intelligent and perceptive creatures. However they need us to be constant ambassadors to the human world and to help them stay away from things that they are just not able to interpret appropriately.  Especially if they are like my sweet Storm, and everything is interpreted as the next great meal!

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Macaw

Macaws…one of the most well known parrot species in the world (and a pirate’s best friend). What many people don’t know is that they can actually blush when excited. White turns to pink on the face, as it has done here, and the bird communicates that it is highly focused on something. Pretty cool, no?

Dogs, Wolves and String Cheese

I recently encountered a wolf hybrid at my local dog park and was simply fascinated with observing and taking note of the differences this animal exhibited from my Border Collie, who was playing in a different area of the park.  There was an obvious wildness to this creature.  It was keenly observant and exhibited vocalizations that were crosses between growls and whines.  It reminded me that dogs, although descended from wolves, are far removed from their wild cousin, even when he is present in a partial state.  It was also interesting that the hybrid was seemingly much more detached from its owners than my dog was from me.  While my Border Collie stuck close and tried to entice me to throw his ball, the owners of the hybrid were duly ignored as they tried to coax their curious creature to play.  Instead, it chose to vocalize at the fence line when dogs came near, perhaps to warn them of trespassing or share some other pertinent information.

The relationship our dogs have with us and the nature of their reliance on humans has been studied quite a bit.  Dogs have often been shown to look to humans for direction, when in a dilemma, whereas wolves are much more self reliant and proactive.  Here is an interesting video about one instance of problem solving where (spoiler alert) wolves were shown to be much more “clever” at figuring out a complex puzzle. Perhaps the dogs would have done better had a human helped them along.