Who knew plants were poisonous?


Again, I’m not actually sure how I manage to get myself into so much trouble, but I do a great job of it.

Shortly after I had finished writing the previous blog post (Emily, the internet pirate) Alice’s dad came in and told me, quite angrily, to leave. I’m not that sure why, but anyway I’m really glad that he did.

I’m not going to lie, I was more than a little bit disgruntled by his unwelcoming gesture of asking me to leave his house and go back to Alice’s, especially since Alice’s mum had told me previously that I was always welcome to go over there when Alice was asleep. Hm. Anyway, I walked back up the path to Alice’s, feeling very rude and unwelcome and I let myself back into her house. Nothing had changed since I left. She was still asleep. It was 4 o’clock. I don’t think I’ve ever slept until 4 o’clock? Maybe she went to bed at 7. Who knows.

I decided that I was quite angry and upset and that I had waited quite long enough for her to wake up and that I should better have just gone home. So that’s what I did. I hooked up the sat-nav and made my long, winding way home.

That was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I got in, a little teary I must admit from feeling very rude and sat on the sofa with my Buddha book. That’s when I noticed my little Apollo. I pulled him over for a cuddle and I noticed that every time I stroked his head, he blinked profusely. Almost like someone had poked him, very violently, in the eyes. This is very strange I thought. I sat back a bit and watched him for a second, and I noticed that he had started to shake. Something definitely isn’t right, I thought.

MUUUUUMM” I shouted. “MUUUUM!!

My mum comes out of the barn, clearly getting quite bored of hearing my voice “What, Emily?” “Mum, there’s something really not right with Apollo. He’s shaking and he is blinking really strangely. I think we should take him to the vets.” I urged. The thing is, is that we had already called the vet out once this week, out of hours, and it costs €75 just for a consultation (for him to say, ‘yep, that dog isn’t very well‘) if you have to call him in for an emergency. It must have been about half past five that I noticed him shaking, the vets would have been open too, had it not been a Sunday. Just my luck, right? I swear things like this don’t happen regularly to everyone else.

We decided that it would be better to pay €75 to be sure – which is about £64 – than have Apollo die. So I called the vet, explaining that we didn’t know what had happened and that he was acting strangely, and the vet told us to meet him outside of the vets in 15/20 minutes. I was quite frightened that I had been imagining the shaking, and that we would get to the vets and Apollo be absolutely fine and then I get a good telling off for wasting my mum’s money. Little did I know that I had been right, something was seriously wrong with Apollo.

We waited for what seemed like forever outside of the clinique vétérinaire. When the vet arrived, he let us in and we went down a familiar anti disinfectant-vet-smelling hallway to the consultation room. Apollo knew where we were. I put him on the table and the vet looked him straight in the eyes. *CLAP* he clapped. I looked at my mum through the corner of my eye. What the hell is he doing? We both thought. *CLAP* he clapped again. I was extremely confused. The vet put a thermometer up poor Apollo’s little derrière and then he turned to us. I wasn’t expecting such bad news. “Je suis sûr qu’il a été empoisonné” << I’m sure that he has been poisoned >> The vet said.

Oh no. Shit shit shit. Why?! Not my Apollo!! How? Who poisoned him? Is he going to live? How much has he eaten? Will he die soon or will it take a while? How does the vet know? Why did he clap in his face? Can he find out what type of poison he has consumed? Can we cure him? Is there a general antidote for all poisons? Was it some rat poison that we thought we had got rid of? Was it the neighbour’s poison that he had gotten hold of? These were just a few of the unanswerable questions going through my mind.

The vet got out a syringe and filled it with – a lot of – yellowy-green liquid. He injected it into Apollo’s back and then he squirted a clear liquid into his mouth. He explained that he had injected Valium into his back and morphine into his mouth (he didn’t explain until this morning that morphine is an antidote to poison). Poor little Apollo was shaking like mad. He told us that he had clapped at him to see whether his reactions were distorted. Apparently, when a dog is poisoned, any noise, no matter how small, will make them jump out of their skin. And so, when he had clapped in front of Apollo’s face and he had been frightened to death, that’s when he knew he must have been poisoned. He said that the first thing you need to do, is calm the shakes. No matter what poison he had ingested you need to stop him from shaking. The Valium is meant to calm him, and the morphine to take the pain away (and act as an antidote). He said that he needed to keep Apollo in over night so that he could keep an eye on him and act appropriately if his condition worsened. We were sent home to come back the next morning.

I think that it was the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had. We came home and both of us were worried sick. We ate a little bit of gnocci and then I went to bed. I cried and cried and cried. I felt, on the one hand so grateful that I had come home early from Alice’s and found him, but on the other hand gutted that I hadn’t stayed at home rather than have stayed at Alice’s to prevent this awful poisoning. I slept from about nine to half past twelve. I lay there awake, envisaging every possible awful circumstance that Apollo may have been in. Was he slowly dying? Was the vet watching him properly? Would I ever see him again?

I heard footsteps downstairs and, even though normally I would have immediately imagined it to be a burglar, I made my way downstairs to see my mum. “I can’t sleep” I said. ” Me neither.” She replied. We sat downstairs for a little while, watching the fire burn and praying for poor little Apollo to make it through the night. I went and tried to sleep in the other single bed in my mum’s room for the rest of the night. Zeus came and joined me.

This morning I woke up feeling sicker than ever. I waited desperately for it to turn half past ten so that I could hear the perhaps good, perhaps awful news. I researched every plant that he could possibly have eaten and worried myself sick with all of the awful poisonous plants that could be lurking somewhere in our garden. When I called up I couldn’t have been happier. “Il est beaucoup mieux, et le vétérinaire dit que vous pouvez venir le chercher maintenant si vous voulez” << He’s a lot better, and the vet says that you can come and collect him now if you’d like >> YES I WOULD LIKE. I was so happy. I am so happy! My mum and I have never been so happy to see his little fluffy face. Image

Now to inquire about fences to cage our huge patio. Anyone got a spare €1,700?

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