crackers! ANIMAL Snout of it…
Bev gasped as her rescue pup, Monkey, couldn’t move. She’d been on the pill – all 110 of them!
Watching our cheeky puppy cuddle her squeaky monkey, there was only one suitable name for her.
‘She’s a Monkey,’ I laughed with my husband, Carl, 53, and daughter, Tyla, 14.
It was early July 2018, and we’d adopted four-month-old Monkey through Canine SAS, an organisation which brings abandoned dogs to the UK from Spain.
She arrived by doggie transport straight to our door.
Excited, we welcomed her with new toys. She carried her brown corduroy monkey everywhere, like a comfort blanket.
And she brought fun back to our lives. A year earlier, I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, going through rounds of debilitating surgery and radiotherapy.
But, when I got up on the morning of 26 July, Monkey wasn’t in the kitchen.
‘Monkey!’ I cried, about to scold her for leaping the wooden gate that stops her going into the front room.
But, when I spotted her, underneath the dining table, my heart shuddered. She was splayed on the floor, legs at
wonky angles. Stepping over the gate, I slipped.
The floor was a mess of urine and faeces.
Something was terribly wrong. Her eyes were huge and glassy. She wasn’t moving! ‘Carl, get down here!’ I shouted. He raced downstairs.
‘Has she eaten something bad?’ he wondered in shock.
Then I spotted chunks of thick white plastic on the floor.
The remains of a bottle of homeopathic tablets I’d used to help me sleep, that I’d left on the table – it had a childproof lid but, as proven, not puppy-proof.
Terrified, we drove the four miles to our local veterinary surgery. Monkey’s heart raced and she was panting.
The vet was aghast. Monkey’s motor system had broken down, she said, immediately calling the Veterinary Poisons Information Service for advice.
As she’d emptied her bowels, the pills were already in her system. Too late to make her vomit.
Her temperature was way too high – over 42˚C!
‘We need to get a cooling drip in,’ the vet said.
But Monkey was shaking and her eyes were rolling.
So, Carl crawled into the cage and held her as the vet team wrapped her in wet blankets.
Finally, the vet got the cannula into her left leg and hooked her to a drip of cold hydrating fluid. She gave her antibiotics, too.
‘We’ll try everything,’ she promised. ‘But prepare yourselves – even if she pulls through, she could suffer brain damage.’
Putting the squeaky monkey in her cage, we returned home.
I counted the scattered pills and worked out that Monkey had eaten 110!
‘Why?’ I cried. They didn’t smell or taste good…
Guilt stung. We’d adopted poor little Monkey to give her a good life – now this…
At 3pm, the vet called to say Monkey’s heart rate had slowed.
Good news, but she required 24/7 monitoring in case she fitted, so we drove her to Willows, a vet hospital in Birmingham, for overnight care.
She rested her head on Carl’s lap in the back seat, while Tyla talked softly to her.
She was a little brighter, even managing a tail wag.
I just hoped we didn’t have to administer, through her cannula, the drugs the vet had given us in case she had a fit on the journey.
At Willows, the vet placed her on all four legs on the floor. She wobbled, but…
‘She’s starting to function again,’ the vet said. ‘If she makes it through the night, she’ll be OK.’
Still, until the phone rang at 9.30am next morning,
I was worried sick.
‘Monkey’s hanging in there,’ the vet said. By lunchtime, she was walking. And come the afternoon, the vet asked, ‘Can you come to collect her?’ I burst into tears. Back home, she zonked out for three days – then we were off on holiday at a cottage in North Wales.
By the end of the week, Monkey was running on the beach and climbing mountains!
‘You’re a miracle,’ I told her, and experts at the PDSA agreed, crowning her a quarter-finalist in Pet Survivor 2018.
Six months on, Monkey is a healthy dog and has more than doubled in size to 19kg.
We had her DNA tested and discovered she’s 50 per cent Samoyed – a white Siberian herding dog.
Clever and athletic, she loves agility and obedience training and playing with her pals.
As for her squeaky monkey – she now has five!
I’m one-year cancer-free and feel fit and well, too.
I don’t buy that type of homeopathic pill any more, though – having a bottle at home would unnerve me.
The thought of any more mishaps is too hard to swallow.
● If you’re worried your pet could have eaten something toxic, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service has a 24-hour advice line on 01202 509000, charged at £30 for every phone consultation with a vet.
Her eyes were rolling
Me with Monkey, who has lived up to her name!
Luckily, she’s back to full health now
Monkey enjoys her walks with Tyla