Last weekend Susan bought what she thought was a very cheap half kilo pack of fresh grapes, but they ended up costing us over £300. The reason for this massively over-inflated price? In a word, Beagles!
The grapes had been stashed right at the back of one of the kitchen worktops, safely out of doggy reach – or so we thought. The thing is, The Bigglet gets very bored when his Mum and Dad are preoccupied with work, and that boredom propels him to new levels of naughtiness. In this case, boredom propelled our pogostick Beagle to the boing of his life, enabling him to snatch said grapes.
A bored little boy snatches a sock from the clothes airer, some days prior to his big score with the grapes
I heard a commotion coming from the kitchen and reluctantly went to investigate, only to find Biggles out on the lawn munching his way through the last of the grapes. Beanie was out there with him, and I suspected she’d managed to down a few of them as well. Grapes are toxic to dogs, and this was of course out of normal vet hours, so after a quick phone consult with a vet nurse we were headed down the motorway to the Glasgow Pets A&E.
Like I said, we knew grapes were toxic to dogs, but until we talked to the A&E vet, we had no idea just how toxic. In some dogs even a handful of grapes could cause renal failure, and by my counting half a kilo is rather more than a handful. Fortunately we got Biggles to the vet well within 2 hours of consumption, and she quickly administered a shot to cause him to vomit up his potentially life-threatening belly banger of a snack. To play it safe Beanie got the magical jag of barfing too. The shots didn’t work immediately – there was a ten to fifteen minute delay which gave the staff just enough to time to bring a pile of old newspapers and a roll of kitchen towel before the fun began.
Biggles was the first to be sick, and as soon as that huge pile of undigested (and incidentally completely unchewed) grapes hit the newspaper, the Beanster lunged right at it to snatch a few. She didn’t succeed, but she got awfully close, and now the vet nurse who was holding her has a better idea of how fast fit Beagles can move. A couple of minutes later though, Beanie was far too busy losing her own lunch to care what Biggles was bringing up.
Neither of our two were keen on being sick on the newspaper we’d laid out for them; they clearly wanted to soil an otherwise clean section of the floor, or maybe one of our shoes, so we had to follow them around with the paper trying to guess where the next payload would hit, all the while being careful not to stand in one we’d missed. It occurred to me that this could be good material for a blockbusting video game. “Beagle Barf Catch” for the Nintendo Wii, anyone?
Anyway, when the vomiting stopped it was clear that poor Beanie hadn’t eaten any grapes, so she’d gone through all that for nothing. Biggles on the other hand had dodged 500g of green bullets. I handed over my credit card and paid the £226 bill, only to be informed that wasn’t quite the end of it; the vet recommended we take The Bigglet for a blood test the next day to make sure there could be no hidden/delayed ill effects from his grape binge. We complied, and this put another £80 on the bill, bringing the grand total to over £300, and that’s without taking the fuel cost into account. So there you go, next time you go to buy grapes, make sure you can afford them!
All things considered, Biggles’ sock habit is considerably cheaper than his grapes habit!