A.J.’s First Christmas

December 26, 2013

Yesterday was A.J.’s first Christmas with us, and he made the most of it. His morning started as it always does: going out early, coming in and sleeping for a little while, waking me up again, getting his breakfast. He went in and out while we waited for Dylan, my adult step-son who was visiting for the holidays, to get up.

A.J. got pretty interested when we started opening presents, so I gave him one of his. That kept him busy while we got about halfway through ours. When he got curious again I opened another present for him, and he stayed busy the rest of the time we were opening gifts.

When we were done, Dylan ate breakfast and Greg went to work on making dinner while I took A.J. out for his walk. We walked through the neighborhood to a yard with a see-through fence. In the yard was a dog that came running up to the fence barking. A.J. stood at the end of the leash and gave a little cry. I called to him, told him “Let’s go,” and he turned and came with me in the direction we’d just come from. However, I didn’t want to go back where we’d come from, I wanted to go past the barking dog. So we turned back around and started going past. A.J. stopped and looked, and he cried a little again, but I just told him a couple of times “Let’s go” and he came with me. We jogged right past without a tantrum. Hurray!!! That was the best Christmas present he could have given me.

The rest of our walk was uneventful. We walked across some baseball fields where deer had been the previous night, so we zigzagged around the field while A.J. tracked them. There was no one around so I took him into an enclosed football field and let him loose. He ran to one end of the field, then came running back. After that he headed for the exit so he could go back to the deer smells. I hooked his leash up again and we went back to zigzagging through the field. We made it home without incident.

When we got home Greg was still working away in the kitchen. Dylan went into the office to make a phone call. I sat down on the couch with a new book I had received as a gift. About half an hour later, Greg goes into the office and comes out holding an empty bowl. “Your dog ate my rolls.”


“I had the dough for the rolls sitting out to rise and your dog ate it all.”

“He ate the dough? All of it?”

“It was supposed to make about 12 rolls.”

I finally got the whole story. Greg wanted to put the dough someplace warm to rise. He saw sunlight streaming in through the office window, so he put the bowl of dough on the floor in the sunlight and closed the door to the office. When Dylan went in he had no idea the dough was there, so when A.J. went to the door Dylan let him in. Dylan was on the phone, so he didn’t pay attention to what A.J. was doing. A.J. was eating the dough. Greg discovered what had happened when he came in half an hour later to find an empty bowl.

My first thought was great, he’s probably going to throw up all over the place. But I decided to look up dogs eating bread dough just to make sure. It’s a good thing I did. What I read sounded like it could be pretty bad. So I called the emergency vet and they told me to bring him in right away.

Greg had a turkey in the oven so he needed to stay home, so Dylan offered to go to the vet with me. We took A.J. in, and they brought him in back. There was another dog in the waiting room when we got there; he had eaten chocolate and peanut brittle. They asked if it was okay if they gave A.J. something to make him throw up. Since that’s what needed to be done I of course said okay.

About 10 minutes later they showed us to an exam room. The vet came in to talk to us.

“He threw up a lot of dough, and maybe some sausage?”

“Yes, he got some breakfast sausage this morning.” (I knew Dylan had given him some. However, when I later asked him how much, I was surprised to find out he’s given him three whole sausages. I wasn’t especially pleased with that. This is a 42 pound dog who’d already eaten a full breakfast. And bread dough.)

“It was a pretty large amount of dough.” (The vet showed me about how much.) “And sausage.”

“That looks like about the right amount of dough. It had mostly risen.”

It was good the dough had risen so it didn’t start to rise in his stomach. But the vet said the yeast could still be toxic and cause some major problems due to ethanol poisoning. She said normally they’d keep him overnight, giving him fluids, making sure his system got flushed out and keeping an eye on him. She said she should recommend leaving him there, but if it were her dog she’d take him home. It looked like he barfed up everything, and we got him there quickly enough that it probably didn’t have time to really get into his system. She then had to go back and do some research to see if she needed to give him charcoal. She decided not to give him charcoal, and I decided to take him home.

So A.J. spent his first Christmas with us getting a shot at the vet that made him barf up sausage and bread dough.

It’s now the morning of the 26th and I haven’t seen any ill effects. A.J. ate his dinner (and a few treats) last night, and ate his breakfast this morning. I also found part of the plastic squeak from his new toy, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t find all of it. Now I worry that he has plastic stuck in him somewhere. Sigh.

AJ Christmas 2013
A.J.’s first Christmas with us.