The Tale of the Trials and Tribulations of Sir Labsalot on Howl’oween

Indiana Bones, a young beagle puppy, was peeking through the fence at his neighbour Sir Labsalot.  Labsalot was a 3 year old yellow Labrador retriever that was usually a bundle of energy but that day he was just laying down in the leaves – not rolling in the leaves like his usual goofball self but quietly resting.  Once in a while he would let out a big sigh and then go back to sleep.  Just then, Sigmeow Freud, the wisest cat in the whole neighbourhood, came sauntering along the top of the fence and gave a big long stretch and then settled into a comfortable perch just above Indiana.  When Indiana asked what was wrong with Labsalot, he began to explain what happened.  You see, Halloween had just passed, and with it, many dangers to cats and dogs like Sigmeow, Indiana and Labsalot.  This year was another close call.  The story of last night begins 3 years ago…

Stress from the frequent doorbell and costumes and lost pets – Oh My!

Sir Labsalot’s first Halloween was coming and he was so excited!  He couldn’t wait to see what all the commotion was about.  Then it started to get dark and then the doorbell kept ringing.  At first he thought it was the mailman and he ran to the door barking with his best tough boy voice!  But then when the door opened, it was all he could do to not pee on the floor, he was so scared!  That night, there was what appeared to be an endless stream of scary lurking figures stalking his front door.  The doorbell kept ringing and as it got darker and darker, the figures got even more frightening.  He didn’t know who these people were and why they were there.  He then was so upset and things were so busy he ended up running out the door during one the many times it was opening and closing.  He ran around the neighbourhood dodging between cars and then finally Labsalot hid behind an old shed until morning.  Boy, was his family scared that night and so was he!  Luckily he was found by Mr. Herman when we was out for his morning walk.  It is a good thing Labsalot had his collar with ID tag on and he was micro-chipped as well.  That made it a lot easier to find his home for sure!   Remember, Halloween can be a scary and confusing time for pets.  Did you know some pets become very fearful or aggressive at the sight of certain Halloween costumes?  These pets would much prefer to be kept in a safe, quiet place in the home away from the trick-or-treaters. Labsalot wasn’t the nervous type but he knew a dog named Bony Soprano that would not have responded to trick-or-treaters as well as he did. 

You are making me wear what?

The next year, Labsalot’s family decided to take him out with the kids as they went door to door – and they dressed Labsalot up! He did look very cute in his costume.  “Did I mention he was dressed up as a cat?”  Sigmeow lifted his head in obvious pride as he told Indiana about the costume.  People need to be careful dressing pets up on holidays. Sometimes costumes can make it hard to see and hear.  Moving becomes awkward too and boy, can it ever get hot in those suits.  Have you ever seen a dog trying to pant in a cat costume?  It isn’t pretty!  That night, Labsalot did think about chewing his way out of the cat suit but luckily his family stayed with him the entire time he had it on so he didn’t hurt himself or eat any parts of the costume.

Watch that candle!

The following year, Labsalot was wagging his tail and it knocked over the candle in the pumpkin and the fire department had to be called!  No one was hurt but that pumpkin didn’t look very good after that… his tail was a bit singed too!

Don’t tell me you left out the chocolate and candy…

Just then, Indiana Bones looked over at Labsalot through the fence posts and saw him lift his head a little and reposition himself a little to get comfortable.  “Why does Labsalot seem so uncomfortable today?”  Sigmeow looked off into the distance for what seemed like a long time and then turned to the bright eyed Beagle pup and said, “Well that is because of what happened this past Halloween, Indiana…”  After a busy night of trick-or-treating, when the kids came home with all their chips, chocolates and candy, they all went to bed and didn’t put the treats away, out of Sir Labsalot’s reach.  Well if I know one thing, it is that you are hard pressed to keep a Labrador retriever from eating something as tempting as Halloween candy.  That night, Labsalot ate more chocolate, candy, wrappers and chips than one would think possible.  His family had to take him to the veterinary hospital to help him recover.  He had to stay in the hospital to help him get better from being so sick!  Luckily his family woke up in the middle of the night and caught him in the act and got help right away!  He was going to be okay but boy, did he have a belly ache!  And do you know what?  If you put a bag of candy in front of Labsalot again, he would probably do the same thing!  You see chocolate is really harmful to dogs – even just a little bit!  And when it comes to chips and candy – they can cause really bad belly aches! 

And with that Indiana realized he would have to wait and play with his friend Labsalot another day when he was feeling better. Hopefully next year his family will remember the previous years and do their best to keep him safe so he can have a wonderful time with his family and his friends Indiana and Sigmeow!! 

 

Dogs on Thin Ice

Kapoodle here! I wanted to talk about something that sadly happens every year during our freezing winters – dogs falling through thin ice.

For us dogs, it’s harder to differentiate between where it is safe to walk on and where it is not safe, and sometimes when we are used to being on a leash, we tend to just run free, not worrying about any of those dangerous things that are out there. It’s your human’s job to make sure that you are monitored at all times when you are outside, even at an off leash park as many off leash parks have ponds in or near by them. If you do happen to fall through ice, your owner should call the local fire department right away, as it is not necessarily safe for your human to get to you. However if your human is able to get you out without a hitch, or if you’re able to swim your way out of it, then your human should take the following steps prior to going to your PetFocus Veterinary Hospital. They should:

  • Take note of whether or not you’re shivering. If you’re shivering, then you are losing body heat, which could mean that hypothermia is a possibility.
  • Dry you off right away, and try to warm you up, wrapping you up in a towel or warm blanket (if nothing else their jacket) is a good way to keep your body heat in.  I love that part at any time.
  • After they have you safe and warm, they should rush you to your PetFocus Veterinarian to ensure that your body temperature hasn’t plummeted drastically.

Of course, it is not a bad idea for your human to have a basic idea of First Aid for situations such as this, and if your family goes for a lot of walks to off leash parks, some good items to keep in the vehicle are warm blankets, heating packs, a first aid kit, and a list of emergency contacts – this is just for the winter time, and should be changed for the summer time. The best prevention is to never give us the chance to end up on thin ice. Avoid dog parks that have ponds in the winter time, and double leash us when out walking – it’s always better to never have to deal with the situation in the first place. Play safe!