Diary of a Sussex Newbie - the raisin

The source of the problem!
The source of the problem!

We’ve had our new rescue cockapoo for three weeks now and are on a steep learning curve...

I’d like to say that it’s all going swimmingly and that we’ve set boundaries, and that she knows who’s in charge.

But the reality of the situation is that Bessie is very much in charge, and it’s just fortunate that she’s a little sweetheart and has the good sense to come back to me/the back door, eventually after her ludicrously long toilet visits!

As much as I try to sound masterful and stern and shout various commands at her in the hope that she may respond to one of them, she is apparently blissfully disinterested; every now and then looking up to check I’m still around as if to say, ‘oh you’re still here – that’s nice to know, but for goodness sake stop shouting ridiculous human words at me that are of no interest!’

She perpetually wants to be ‘go out’.

Even when we return from a lovely long walk she hares to the back door and for all intents and purposes looks as if she’s absolutely desperate to get out to do some very urgent doggy business.

Devoted Doctor seems to have taken on board the night time/last toilet break outing of the day.

He resembles an arctic explorer with his woolly hat, gloves and night torch as they venture out to the garden at around 10pm.

Like a true lady, she’s much happier doing her doggy business off the lead, but in the dark, it’s just too risky to let her off the lead as she careers around the garden like a mad thing and we thought we’d lost her once through the hedge!

Again, we find ourselves muttering words of encouragement; ‘pee pee time Bessie’, ‘you’ll feel so much better after you’ve done your business’ and again, Bessie completely ignores us and focuses on the much more riveting task of smelling the grass furiously.

We, perhaps more so than Bessie, need some help from a professional, so the dog (and human) trainer is booked and visiting next week.

All this aside, we had a bit of a scare yesterday. All is well now, but the enormity of what we’ve taken on board really hit home.

Bessie, The Admiral and I ventured out for a walk and a visit to a dog friendly café by the river.

All was going well, until I cut into my Rock Bun and an errant raisin went flying off the plate and landed on the floor.

Before I could so much as move, Bessie had wolfed it down.

What harm can one tiny raisin do you may wonder? Well, I had fortunately been reading about foods which aren’t great for dogs and chocolate and raisins were at the top of list, so I knew this wasn’t good news.

The Admiral reassured me ‘what harm could that tiny thing do – it wasn’t a whole packet!’

I tried to relax but couldn’t get it off my mind and so 15 minutes later phoned the vet.

‘This probably sounds silly and I’m so sorry to bother you, but my new cockapoo just ate one very small raisin. I’m just calling so you can tell me to relax and I’m sorry to waste your time’.

The nurse went to check with the vet. ‘can you bring her straight in. We will need to admit her.’

Suffice to say, raisins are highly toxic to dogs and in some cases just one tiny raisin can lead to kidney failure.

So poor Bessie had to be admitted for 3 hours while they emptied her tummy.

Leaving her at the vets, I found myself sitting in the car, willing myself not to cry.

‘For goodness sake, she’s just a dog and you’ve only had her for three weeks’ I said to myself. But, I had a wrenching feeling in my stomach.

This little dog has wriggled its way right into the centre of the family.

The vets had quite a day of it with two other dogs being admitted for raisin dramas; one poor little one managed to gobble down a whole slice of Christmas cake and was going to be on a drip overnight!

Suffice to say, our household is now officially a raisin and sultana free zone.

That’s our version of Dry January.