Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could go an entire Holiday season without any spills on your carpet, burnt holiday desserts, or accidents with your children (2 and 4 legged)? I can personally attest to the fact that Murphy’s Law is in super mode during the Holiday season and this had led to me being an overtly helicopter mom to all of my babies. Let me begin with Christmas of 2008, it was my first year of veterinary school, and the first holiday season in my own home. At the time I had a 3 legged, energetic, yet mentally challenged cat named Chit, short for Chitterbox and Lucq, my mild mannered Boston terrier who believes that the world and all of its beings revolve around his needs.
After a week of very demanding finals and the need to shop and prepare for the impending holidays I felt as if I were on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I was so thankful that the first semester was complete and was looking forward to packing Lucq and Chit into my VW bug and heading to my hometown. As I hopped out of my car and skipped through my front door whistling “To Grandmother’s House We Go,” I saw a trail of vomit from the doorway to the cabinets of the kitchen where 3 dozen, that’s right a variety of 36 chocolate chip, sugar, and gingerbread cookies, used to be. They had been packed and ready to be dispersed to friends and family, all GONE!!!! I looked around the room, called out to Lucq, and as he came down the stairs he was wagging his butt (he has a stub for a tail) and smiling at me, indicating that he is indeed the culprit of this misdeed.
Once I had calmed down enough to think, I realize that he had probably vomited the majority of the cookies and was not in dire need of emergency medical attention, but being a good and studious veterinary student, I took his heart rate and assessed his hydration status. After this assessment I determined that he was stable enough to make it home so my dad, a veterinarian, could examine him. I then promptly started cleaning my carpet and the doorbell rang, it was the neighbors with a basket full of goodies. As I open the door, Lucq barks scaring Chit who runs through my legs making a great escape into the street. This is the incident which led to me being known as the crazy lady who ran through the neighborhood, looking under bushes and yelling profanities. Yes, before you name your pets, first consider what this will sound like when you are yelling it out your front door. Unfortunately I did not take this into consideration when naming Chit.
So as I was somberly making my way back to my house after 45 minutes of searching, I was thinking I would never see my cat again. Then I see Chit lying on the mat of my front door. Thrilled, I drop Lucq and ran to pick up Chit. Once I get both of my heathen children back inside, I resume cleaning the carpets. This lasted approximately 30 seconds before Lucq jumped onto the kitchen table to get into my lunch box and in the process knocked over a glass making a loud kaboom. This sent Chit immediately into the Christmas tree which came tumbling down, leaving Chit with a very obvious lameness.
By this time I was sitting on the vomit covered floor in tears. It took me another hour to clean up the house, pack my car, and head home. Thankfully there were no more problems on the ride home but once we arrived at my dad’s veterinary clinic and x-rays were taken of Chit’s leg and Lucq’s abdomen, it quickly became obvious that both would need surgery! Chit had a pin placed through a broken bone in his one and only back leg and Lucq had a small, stuffed Santa removed from his belly. Yep, not only did he manage to eat 3 dozen cookies, but when he was finished stuffing those into his gullet, he thought to himself…”I am still awfully hungry, this small rotund man looks like he could do the job.” Both recovered and are as feisty as ever. Although the following Holiday seasons have not been quite as eventful, I can honestly tell you that I have had at least one mishap with my 4 legged children every year. I hope you can benefit from my past experiences and horror to help prevent your own. Below you will find a few websites that have helpful hints for preventing Holiday accidents. We hope that you can avoid any tragedies of your own but if by chance one befalls you please know that we are here to help. Best wishes for a joyful holiday season from all of us at Pets and Vets As Partners!
Rhetta Mellencamp, DVM