Thursday, November 13, 2008


I saw this article today.

It's an article about how pets improve your health, and that people with pets are apparently better able to handle stressful situations and have lower blood pressure.

But what if the pet causes the stressful situation and increased blood pressure?

I'm sure those of you who have pets have had this experience. I know we did many times with my childhood dog Halley. And we definitely have with Layla.

I know what you're thinking. How can this:


be stressful?

There was one day.

Layla was adapting quite well from living in the crazy pound to living with us. We were crating here during the day while we were at work and coming home to play with her all evening. She has a big metal crate that she has always liked.

One day soon after I started teaching orientation for the high school, I pulled up in my driveway and noticed that the blinds in my bedroom and the blinds in my dining room were missing. The windows were completely bare.

The first thought was that we had been robbed. I opened the garage door and walked into the house.

Imagine my surprise when Layla met me at the door.

Somehow she had popped the top off of her metal crate and set about DESTROYING the house. She must have had an amazing time while I was at school.

In her fun she:

Pulled 2 blinds off the walls and chewed through several strips on a third one,

Knocked over a lamp (by jumping onto the couch),

Broke a stone coaster,

Ate a pair of my tennis shoes,

Got ONTO the kitchen table and retrieved a jar of her treats, which had a screw on lid like a peanut butter jar. She unscrewed the lid and ate ALL of the treats. We didn't find the lid for several days (it was very far underneath a chair),

And in the thing I think was most annoying to clean up -- knocked over our paper shredder and spread shredded paper up and down our stairs and in our office,

among other various misdeeds.

You can imagine -- the house was a WRECK. I was infuriated. I cleaned it all up and Layla and I had a long talk. I assure my blood pressure was sky high that day.

She's never done anything like that again.

Weeks later, we realized that Layla had picked up whipworm at the pound. Whipworm is a very common parasite, but unlike many worm issues, you can't see whipworm. I attribute her insane behavior on this day to the beginnings of her whipworm disorder manifesting itself (whipworm takes several months to incubate -- she picked it up right before she left the pound and didn't start exhibiting signs until almost two months after we got her). It took awhile before we figured all of this out, but I'll spare you that story. It was, however, an easy fix once we figured out the problem.

Regardless of any mischief she did when she was a puppy (she doesn't get into trouble these days), we're still glad we have her. So I guess that article is right in the end.

No comments: