Many of us give our dogs human names, snuggle with them on the sofa while watching TV, sneak them a human snack or two and even invite them to join us in our bed. Because of all this "humanizing", we often forget that they are dogs and still maintain the same instincts they have always had even though we have diligently tried to make them think and act more like a person. The following stories, many about GREAT Goldens, will illustrate this and help us to be ever vigilant:
This beautiful female Golden Retriever was in her new home for only one week when she became ill and passed away ten days later. Totally bewildered at the sudden change in her health, the family Vet did some tests and determined that Chloe had ingested anti-freeze. No one really knows how Chloe found it, but it was a deadly encounter for this beautiful Golden girl.
Moral: Anti-freeze, windshield cleaner, etc. all are very sweet tasting and deadly. Be diligent about keeping surface areas free from leaks and store all poisonous items out of dogs' reach.
Living in a foster home, Jack was a bouncy and inquisitive boy and especially enjoyed romping with a family dog. One beautiful afternoon, the boys were joyfully running and wrestling, right into a sago palm. The following day, Jack became very ill, was hospitalized in intensive care and on IV's, but luckily survived.
Moral: All parts of a Sago Palm are deadly. If you have them in your yard, discard them and be careful to clean the area, especially of seeds which are particularly enticing and very poisonous.
This beautiful Irish Setter was truly enjoying his Golden years, but with failing health and severe hip problems. Unfortunately, he was left outside, unattended by the swimming pool when he stumbled in and drowned. What a tragedy for a 16-year-old, beloved family member.
Moral: If you have a pool, make sure your pets know how to swim and know how to get out via the steps. Senior dogs should never be left unattended by a pool as they may loose their footing and not be able to paddle fast enough to stay afloat. Failing eyesight may also prevent them from finding the steps.