It's All Connected

It's All Connected

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poison Control Thinks I Am a Serial Killer

It took me many hours to post that last blog, and here is the story why. Spoiler alert: it involves fantasizing about bitch slapping the Poison Control lady.

While writing that last blog, I decided I could not wear any of my clothes to work tomorrow, and so must figure out if the washing machine was, in fact, broken.

I took the dogs down with me, because I feel like an awful pet owner every time I have to put them in their crates. It turns out, that would have been a much better solution for all involved.

As I opened the door to the laundry room, the dogs rushed in. I flipped on the light, briefly checked for violent sex offenders, and walked to my basket. When opening the door to the wash machine, I noticed my dogs trying to get something behind it. I shooed them away, and checked to see what they were after. To my horror, I found a very smooshed box of Decon.

I immediately panicked and called Jero at work. Because you know there is so much he can do from an hour away. Crying and completely out of control, I told Jero what just happened. He told me to call either Poison Control or the 24 hour Emergency Pet Hotline.

I rushed upstairs with the dogs and Googled "Poison Control", which I promptly called. A woman I will call, Captain Meanie of the Mean Ship Enterprise, Meanie for short, answered. Here is the conversation:

Meanie: Hello, Poison Control, this is "Meanie" what is your emergency?

Me: Yes, I don't know if I've called the right number or if I have to call one specifically for pets but...

Meanie: Normally yes, but our computers are down right now and we are unable to take payments, if you would like to make a donation online I might be able to help you.

Let's just ponder that for a moment. If I had told her that I would not like to make an online donation, would she have hung up on me, leaving my pets for dead? That's fucked up, Meanie, that's seriously fucked up.

Me: Of course I'll make a donation (I did not) please if you could help me.

Meanie: *sighs* What happened?

Me: I went down to our communal laundry room to do my laundry (apparently I turn into Mistress Obvious when I'm panicked. What else would I be going to the laundry room for? Crack?) and it was just a moment, I'm not sure they even ingested any, but my dogs got behind the wash machine and there is Decon back there that I didn't know my manager had put out.

Meanie: *sigh*

Me: I was just wondering if you could tell me what signs I should watch for if they have been poisoned?

Meanie: What kind of Decon was it?

Me: It was in a yellow box with black lettering that said "Decon" on the top. I didn't see anything in the box.

Meanie: *silence*

Me: I don't know if they ate any, I'm just worried. They are like my children.

Meanie: And you don't know exactly what kind of Decon it was?

Me: Dammit, Meanie, I'm a Title Clerk not an Exterminator!

Okay, I didn't really say that, but that's the sentiment of my thinking minus a million expletives.

Me: (For real this time) No, I don't, I didn't put it there. I know this sounds stupid, but...

Meanie: You just don't sound like you are taking this very seriously, and I am trying to figure out why.

Okay, let's stop again. REALLY, BITCH FACE??? I don't sound serious? I FUCKING CALLED POISON CONTROL! I just said they were my children! How much more serious could I be? Would it be better if I was sobbing so uncontrollably that you couldn't understand a word I said? Because I'm about there, lady, and you will wish for the panicked yet attentive pet owner you started out with!

Me: Nonononono! I am taking this very seriously, that's why I called. I don't know what to do or what to look for.

Meanie: Can you call the manager and find out what kind of Decon it was?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

Meanie: Okay, good. First, do you have any fresh hydrogen peroxide in your home?

Me: I have hydrogen peroxide, I don't know how fresh it is, I'll look at the doesn't have a date on it.

Meanie: Is it open?

Me: Yes.

Meanie: Do you remember when you opened it? *sigh*

Me: No, a while ago, I don't think it's fresh.

Meanie: Do you have the ability to go and get fresh peroxide?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

Meanie: Now, first I'm going to tell you to drive safely. This blood thinner takes time to work and you seem to have caught it soon, so that's good. Okay?

Me: (Starting to cry now) okay.

Meanie: What kind of dogs are they and how much do they weigh?

Me: A Puggle, he's about thirty pounds. And a Rottweiler mix who is about seventy five pounds.

Meanie: First you are going to feed them, kibble or whatever. Then you give the little one about one ounce and the big one about an ounce and three quarters. Okay? This should induce vomiting. If it doesn't induce vomiting within fifteen minutes, give them a second dose. Call me after the first time they throw up. You are going to follow this with water. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: The most important thing is to empty their stomachs, then call your manager to find out what kind of Decon it was. Is the store you are going to close?

Me: Yes, it's a block away.

Meanie: Good. Here is my direct number to call me back. Again, my name is "Meanie".

I put the dogs in their kennels, and rushed to RiteAid. While going there, I called and left a message for my manager. The people at RiteAid looked at me like I was crazy because I was buying Hydrogen Peroxide, two rolls of paper towels, and an iced tea. I was wearing capris because all of my pants were in the wash and sandals because they were handy. I was not wearing a coat because it was also in the wash and it is December in Eastern Washington. I was also shaking.

I don't know if you've ever tried to get a dog to drink peroxide before, but it is a little bit like trying to pour a liquid that smells like dirty feet through the clenched teeth of a wolverine. I was crying, covered in peroxide, Giles was doing his high pitched whining that indicates he is unhappy and would like to not be forced to drink feet anymore. Ozzie was trying to hide from me in our tiny little kitchen where I had them pinned. There was more peroxide on me and my kitchen floor than in their tummies. I was begging them to just drink it, while trying to sound soothing.

Nobody was soothed.

My manager called and informed me that the Decon is very old. That he didn't put it down there, that the previous manager must have and that it is Decon brand Decon. Whatever the hell that means.

Fifteen minutes have gone by and no one had puked. I gave them a second dose.

I sat down at the computer to Google "Decon poisoning in dogs" and I heard retching and a thump come from my kitchen. I turned the corner to find that Ozzie had jumped the gate, Giles was puking and there were three large piles of foamy puke on my kitchen floor. Ozzie was at the door, which meant his was probably the biggest pile of vomit because he knows that he should not puke in the house and always heads for the door when he gets sick. I called Meanie back as instructed.

Meanie: This is "Meanie".

Me: Yes, Meanie, it's Sara again, I wanted to call and tell you that they both just vomited. It looks like foamy dog food.

Meanie: You don't see any of the Decon tablets in it?

Me: No, none. I talked to my manager and he says it's Decon brand Decon and it's been down there for a couple of years.

Meanie: *sigh* So, he can't tell you how much they ingested?

Me: Umm, no, he didn't put it there, a previous manager did. I'm hoping the box was empty.

Meanie: Okay, well it takes 24 to 48 hours for this to kick in, so you'll have to be very vigilant. You'll want to watch for black bloody stools and bleeding of the gums when they eat. Okay? It's good they both threw up. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: If you notice those things you can take them to a vet and they can do a blood test. There is an antidote. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: You have a nice night. Bye bye.

Me: Bye.

A nice night? Not only did you just tell me that they may not be better, but I also have a ton of foamy puke to clean up off of my kitchen floor! Oh, yeah, it's a party up in here.

Once calm, I really got to thinking about her not believing I was serious. I get that they must get prank calls because people are idiots and do not understand the importance of Poison Control or 911. What I kept thinking about is what goes through their minds when they get those types of calls.

Did she think I'm in the beginnings of my serial killer days, practicing on animals but unable to wait for the result so I called Poison Control to get a detailed description of what was going to happen? Or maybe she thought I was some hack writer, doing research for my novel about a serial killer whose MO is Decon?

Most likely she just thought I was a moron.

All I know for sure is that my house smells like feet, my dogs won't come near me, and I pray to God I never have to call Captain Meanie at Poison Control ever again.

That and how much fun Jero is going to have examining their poop for the next two days.

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