This cute little furball was growing so fast. Nemi was so small when we picked her up at Kennel Dunlin. Three months later, she had acquired a lot more flesh on her tiny, little bones. Now it was time for her first visit to the vet for her vaccination and health check.
First Health Check and Vaccination
The first visit to the vet was an exciting adventure for Nemi. It was a lot of other animals there, waiting for their turn; cats, dogs, birds and guinea pigs. But the dogs were predominating in the waiting room
Nemi´s body language told us that all this was very new and that she was unsure of how to communicate and behave. I think it was a disappointment to her that not every one of the other animals were as curious as her, and the cats were a real scary bunch.
The health check and the vaccination was soon over. It went very well. Nemi´s weight was perfect, and her health was top notch. I don´t think she had the chance to react when she was vaccinated and didn´t realize what was happening.
The best part of the experience was definitively the dog treats she got afterwards.
Dangerous food for dogs – A Close Encounter of the Third kind with Grapes
Little did we know that we would soon be back. This time it would be an emergency with an acute and dangerous risk of Nemi being poisoned by grapes.
During the first time after we got Nemi, she was often coming to work with me. My wife was working full time in the health sector, and our kids were going to school. A day completely alone would not be good mentally or physically for our little fur-baby.
Dogs are pack animals and do not like to be alone for extended periods, which is especially applicable regarding puppies. Puppies need to learn to adjust to being alone. Learning to be alone takes several weeks and months.
Leaving a dog alone for a whole day is close to pet abuse, and should not be done.
One time when Nemi went to work with me, it ended in an emergency visit to the vet. Every week, at work, our department gets delivered a big basket of fruit and nuts. The delivery of fruit is a popular arrangement contributing to a great working environment.
The basket with the fruit contains, apples, bananas, oranges, nuts, tomatoes, carrots and very often grapes. Grapes is a no, no, for dogs.
To a puppy, everything is exciting and is the focus of exploration. Charles Darwin would have been proud. If anything falls on the floor, your puppy will be there in an instant. Puppies are extremely fast when they want to be, and what is on the floor goes down with a big gulp!
There are human food that is dangerous to dogs. Ther physiology cannot handle such food at all. In most cases, it will cause discomfort and diarrhoea; in other cases, it might be leading to life-threatening complications and be fatal.
Grapes is in the category of food that dogs shall not eat. Grapes are poisonous to them, and as such neither is raisins.
On this day, some grapes had fallen on the floor just beside the coffee machine in our break area. During lunchtime, I went to the coffee machine to grab a cup of coffee. Nemi was the usual 2 cm behind me.
Suddenly one of my colleagues said to me that Nemi had just eaten some grapes. I turned around and looked into a very happy face, licking her mouth after eating the grapes.
Nor me, neither my colleagues had seen how many grapes Nemi had eaten. In my head, the alarm bells went off big time. I grabbed Nemi and called the nearest animal hospital as I was rushing to my car. The animal hospital said to come as quickly as possible.
Grapes, dogfood, grass and one bright yellow earplug
I got to the animal hospital within 10 minutes. It was one of the longest drives by car that I have ever done. The longest one was driving my wife to the hospital when she was pregnant, after she got very ill, and I almost lost her.
I was very concerned that Nemi was about to be food poisoned due to me not looking after good enough. Thinking back on the drive to the animal hospital, I should have let someone other drive the car. I am sure that I was not driving safely on our way to the vet.
Nemi was taken into the emergency room immediately and was given a shot to make her vomit. She wasn´t showing any symptoms of being poisoned yet. I took her outside the animal hospital, and after a few minutes, the poor little thing threw up all of her stomach content.
The veterinarian came out to join us shortly after, to check the stomach content and see if she had gotten the grapes out or if her stomach had started to digest the grapes yet.
To our relief, it was only three grapes that she had eaten, and every one of them was whole.
To our surprise in the middle of the puddle of vomit, there was one bright yellow earplug of the brand E.A.R. I started to laugh together with the vet. I recognized the earplug. I am a helicopter pilot, and I use the type of earplugs when I am flying.
Summer Vacation Together with Dad
Usually, each summer, my whole family travel abroad and stay for four weeks. The first summer with Nemi, she was only six months old and way too young to be alone with others for four weeks.
The solution was that I stayed at home in Norway with Nemi, while the rest of my family went away on vacation abroad. It was a summer full of exciting new adventures for our little Nemi. We travelled to my parent´s mountain cabin in Trysil in the highlands of the eastern parts of Southern Norway.
Nemi enjoyed the trip immensely. She showed herself to be an adamant little lady of fur. We went on a couple of quite long trips together, which she did without any fuzz at all.
That summer, Nemi experienced a lot of new excellent stuff. Strange animals and insects. She even tried to hunt some grouse, of course without luck. She was also very curious about the cuckoo bird, which was very noisy.
When the day turned into evening, she became a bit afraid of the dark. It was so quiet, and all the small noises from the wood the cabin was built of, and the wildlife was unfamiliar. She jumped quickly into the bed to me and curled herself up between my legs.
Some final thoughts
When the four weeks of summer was over, Nemi had gown a lot. For the rest of my family, it was a shock to see the little puppy had turned into a little lady. She had become very attached to me during these weeks, and was of course quite shy to my family. But she warmed up to them again quite quickly.
Another chapter in the life of Nemi was over. Her first summer had come and gone. She had experienced a lot of new stuff and learnt a lot of new things.
To us, her humans, we learned the hard way to be watchful of what she was eating, and has gained a lot of knowledge about what dogs can eat and what they cannot eat.