Dog Sick


I can’t say we don’t have a pretty good idea what the dog got into. Might have been the deer carcass up behind the house or one of the raccoon mummies he found recently. Might have been all the butternuts he found in the grass and crunched on, shells and all. Or it might have been something unrelated to his lust for carrion and rock-hard nuts.

Whatever it was, he was the sickest we’ve ever seen him yesterday–fixated on eating grass, then throwing up, then eating more grass, drinking lots and lots of water, puking again.

By last night, he didn’t seem to have the strength to get up–even when offered the chance to go chase deer for his usual last walk before bedtime. His eyes were glassy, his nose dry and he didn’t wag his tail when we spoke his name.

Whatever it was, this morning, he seems to be back again. He’s been out twice already on the leash, no compulsion to eat grass, no heaving, and some tail wagging.

Good to have him happy and whole again.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Ahh, glad the feller’s better today.
    Catching up here…..The stories from your practice are a scream. Perhaps there is fodder there for a 3rd book? Meanwhile, the cover for book 2 is perfect, layout and all. It’s beautiful. I could just sit and look at it.
    Hang in there!

  2. my pit bull walking slow for two day why could it be no poob out. eat somthing he ate. chgo Ill lansing thank u.