When you awaken three times in the night to the sound of your puppy retching, it’s hard to feel that all’s well the next morning. And even harder when after breakfast your puppy for the first time ever behaves like the model dog. In our Labrador Lila’s case, morning is her prime time for mischief making, but yesterday morning she seemed hard-pressed to find mischief to make.

When her breakfast predictably resurfaced, I knew we’d be heading off to the vet. Not a mean feat either given Lila’s tendency towards motion sickness. And I had promised myself only to put her in the car when there was something pleasant at the end of the journey. The best laid plans. The poor doggy whimpered and drooled all the way there (with me stroking her head with one hand and steering the car with the other). Thankfully, she’d managed to empty her stomach before our departure.  [read more below]

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Not shying away from the vernacular, the vet pronounced that a “sock or jock” blockage was unlikely owing to Lila’s bowel movements continuing in a timely, perfectly formed manner. She thought it far more likely that Lila had ingested something nasty enough to throw the ecosystem of her gut out of whack. She recommended a liquid diet for the remainder of the day, antibiotics, and nothing but chicken and rice (Lila’s favourite!) for the next 48 hours.

We then headed home with me feeling the worst was over. Until Lila came within millimetres of ignoring the vet’s advice and wolfing down the three chicken breasts I’d just picked up from the butcher, without any regard for her proposed convalescence. And then, having averted that disaster (in case I had any doubt about the absence of a blockage), she proceeded to deposit another perfectly formed pile of poo on the back seat of the car.

I hope you won’t think less of me if I confess to pouring myself an extra glass of Shiraz at dinner.

[If you have received this post by email, please click “dog downunder” or “lila gets a tummy ache” in order to view accompanying video in a web page.]