Five AM

I can not help but think that she knows.

It would not have been hard to work out that something is going on. There is a stack of dog food in the garage and the other week two people came to the house and seemed especially interested in her and Archie. Why would that be? Strangers never come to the house. The last time a stranger visited he stayed and Mum and Dad left.

Then Saturday Mum and Dad went out during the afternoon. This never happens – at least not very often. They went out on foot together which always means that they will be gone longer than it takes them to do the shopping. 

Lucy knows we are going on holiday and is getting stressed about it. 

I am not crazy enough to believe that my dog can understand a conversation or the significance of a suitcase, but she is a fierce observer of behaviour and detects any and all changes in regular behaviour and there have been changes recently. Perhaps that is what made her sick.

Of the two dogs, Lucy is definitely the healthier of the two. If I had to describe her health using one word only, I would choose the word, ‘robust.’ She is fit, has a healthy appetite and a happy outlook. Archie on the other hand is driven demenented from time to time with allergies and there is not room enough here to outline his many psychological issues.

We had gone out yesterday on a modest crawl around some city pubs. It was a great afternoon and I enjoyed having a drink after a year of mostly abstinence. I expected that this morning I would need a bit of a lie-in but I was woken by the softest of sounds right near my ear: a dog licking her lips and swallowing repeatedly.

Unlike Archie, who goes for the direct retch and heave approach, Lucy was clearly in distress and trying desperately not to be sick. On my head. Good dog. I got up, scooping her in my arms as I did, as bright though she is, not even Lucy can fully appreciate the benefits of being sick on tiles rather than carpet or bed linen.

I got as far as the sliding patio doors then I had to put her down to open them. As I did, she gave in to the nausea and produced a copious pool of vomit on the rug. Then looked upset.

On the rare occasions that she has an upset stomach, she is normally sick once and then feels better but being sick did not seem to have relieved her much. She wandered round the garden in the cold morning air then took up position on a garden chair, looking miserable.

I did not want to leave her on her own, but equally did not want her back in the bedroom if her stomach was still dodgy, so grabbed a pillow and my iPad from the bedroom and decamped to the couch to keep her company. She joined me there fifteen minutes later only to have to get down again to release another large pool of fluid. This time I out her back on the couch while I cleaned up the mess and then sat beside her again. Normally she likes to be near humans but is not especially worried abut being stroked, this morning she seemed to find a soft hand on her head a bit of a comfort and she lay her small face, sad as a teardrop in my lap.

She was sick one more time before I tried to go back to bed with her.By now it was gone seven and the sky was light, but no sooner had we settled down then she started to lick her lips again. I got her to the bathroom tiles and tore off another huge strip of kitchen towels to mop up.

My husband got up and sat with her in the garden while I tried to grab back my stolen sleep. Two hours later she was still being sick but was drinking water in between. I have had hangovers like that.

I checked her gums and decided there was no need to panic just yet. I would see how she went today and keep her on gentle food if she wanted any. She was keen to go for a walk and I took them to the park in the car where she completed her circuit but with her tail down and at half speed.

I have no idea what has caused this. I do not really think that it is stress. She had not to my knowledge eaten anything unusual and Archie is clearly not suffering. She is lying across from me as I type this having had a small bowl of chicken and rice for dinner. She has not been sick since this morning but is still clearly not feeling very well. I will keep an eye on her tonight and hope that tomorrow morning whatever this is will have passed over. 

Because there is only one thing that I hate more than getting up at five in the morning and that is having to watch my dog feeling awful and not being able to make her feel better.

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