A Night In the Life of a Dog Owner and an Upset Dog Stomach
by Lynn Stacy-Smith
I was supposed to write an interesting and informative blog for you today on social media and the do’s and don’ts of sharing about dogs in need of a home. Jackson’s digestive tract had other ideas for me, though.
I knew I shouldn’t have had that latte so late in the afternoon yesterday. Three shots of espresso in the afternoon meant I was wide awake for hours after the rest of the house went to bed, and the last time I remember seeing on the clock was 2 a.m.
At 3 a.m. I felt Jackson’s signature wake up method, as he nudged me with his beautiful black nose. “No, Jaxy, it’s not time yet,” I mumbled.
Another nudge and a moan. I scooted further toward the middle of the bed and away from the edge, hoping he would take the hint.
This time he shoved his snout under my arm and flipped my forearm into the air. “No, buddy, go lay down. Dog bed. Go lay down.”
Another nudge and a moan followed by a whine. I sat up, bleary eyed. I know my boy and the difference between a serious request to go outside and his sneaky efforts to get his breakfast moved up to the wee hours of the morning instead of the standard 6:30 a.m. The whine told me everything.
In a last ditch effort to call his bluff, I picked up my bottle of doTerra Petitgrain, opened it, rubbed a tiny drop on my hands and then let him smell it. Normally this results in him curling up again in his bed for the rest of the night. I’m not sure if it’s the calming qualities of the actual oil or if he associates the smell of that oil with me putting it on myself before bed with it being time for him to also sleep, but 99% of the time a sniff of Petitgrain does the trick.
Last night was the 1% time that it did not work. Meanwhile, Tinkerbell had noticed that Jax and I were awake and she was getting excited at the thought of going outside and possibly eating breakfast hours early. I looked over at my sleeping husband, wishing I could send him on night-time potty duty, but not wanting to disturb him when he had to leave for work in a few hours.
Jax got my attention with a series of sad sounding cries, and I realized he really did need to go outside.
Once outside he confirmed that his needs were real and that his stomach was upset. I stood in the light rain while he selected numerous spots and then I herded both dogs back into the house.
We went back inside and I gave him a probiotic. Rather than go back upstairs I decided to go back to sleep on the sofa so we would be closer to the door. Instead of going to lay down, Jax sat next to me to be petted and I listened to his stomach rumbling and gurgling. We go through this about once a year with one or the other dogs, and so I got back up and gave them each a tiny portion of food.
With everyone’s needs met, both dogs went to sleep again. I made sure my alarm was set to drive my daughter to school at 6:30 and tried to get more sleep.
At 5 a.m. I felt the nudge again, and opened my eyes to see Jackson’s beautiful blocky head right in front of mine. Another nudge and a moan. “Oh, sweetie, you need to go out again?”
We were back inside at 5:30 and I watched an infomercial about a magic copper pan for a while before falling to sleep for a few minutes before getting up to drive my daughter to school and to start the day.
Needless to say, I am not at the top of my creative, mental game today. I’m hoping his digestive upset will run its course without meds, and I gave him some Honest Kitchen Perfect Form to help solidify matters before making an appointment at the vet. Of course I always worry about my dogs whenever they don’t feel good, like any loving mom, and I hope that his digestive system settles down for the night and that we can get some uninterrupted sleep.
Although this is not the blog I had planned on writing, that topic will wait. I think it’s more important to share these real life moments as a dog owner, a night in the life of a dog owner, particularly with new or potential dog owners who see only the cute puppy photos and not the sleepless nights and upset dog tummies. I am a firm believer in knowing what you are getting into before getting a dog. The reality is that I would stand outside all night with him if I needed to, he’s my soul dog, my Jackson, my big boy, and I love him as if I gave birth to him myself, but you still can’t help but groan when you get the “I have to go outside and its an emergency” nudge in the middle of the night.