Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Ozzy eats rabbit
Yesterday I went on my usual walk in the forest with my fried, MN, and her two Australian shepherds, Vichy and Koko. Uneventful walk. MN and I chatted about this and that. The usual meaningful and not so meaningful stuff. Then towards the end of the walk, the situation turned. Ozzy found a dead rabbit on the path leading back to the car. Koko had spotted it and MN called her dogs back to put them on the lead. I called Ozzy too but too late. Ozzy had smelled or seen the rabbit. He grabbed it in his mouth and shot off in the opposite direction from where we were standing. I called Ozzy. Gently and calmly. I rattled my little box with dry liver bits in it. No reaction from Ozzy other than he looked at me with the rabbit in his mouth. You know like these hunting scenes where you have a picture of a hunting dog with a pheasant in his mouth. Now what? I called again and against my better judgement I went after him. Of course he ran away even further. I called him again. Not so gently this time. Nothing doing. Ozzy started chewing. I saw him chewing and heard the bones crunching. I decided not to do anything and to wait. Meanwhile MN, who had started walking back to the car, came back towards where I was. By this time Ozzy had finished eating the rabbit. All of it. Teeth, bones, fur and all. MN just walked up to him, grabbed him by the collar and put his lead on. We all walked to car as if nothing had happened. Ozzy let out a huge burp. His chops were bloodstained. He jumped into the car as usual as if nothing happened.
MN and I had a discussion on the subject before we both went our merry way.
“Did you see the state of the rabbit?” she asked.
“Yes, it was fresh but it had no ears.”
“Is Ozzy vaccinated against rabbies?”
“Yes. I am not worried about that because Belgium is free of rabbies.”
“I think you should call your vet when you get back.”
“I will. I am really upset about this. I am upset Ozzy did not come back when I called him.”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s his instinct.”
With these wise words we parted and I drove home. A few more burps from the back!
We came home and Ozzy produced some bits which he obviously could not swallowed. This happened in my office under my desk. Lovely.
I called the vet and explained.
“What’s going on here? Ozzy is a shepherd dog. He should not be chasing rabbits.”
I explained the rabbit was on a path, dead and fresh. And that it had probably been picked up and dropped by a crow or an owl or a fox. I assured her the meat was fresh and nice and red and succulent. I asked her what I should do?
“Give him a tablespoon of paraffin oil and mix some boiled leeks in his food to help his stools and to give his intestines sufficient bulk. Check his poops. He might vomit. He might show signs of being unwell. He might have stomach ache. Do this and give me a call in the morning.”
“How do I know he has stomach pains? How do I know he is unwell?”
“Don’t worry. You’ll know.”
Off I went to the chemist to buy the paraffin oil and to the supermarket to buy leeks.
“Are we having leek soup?” asked Mr Eurodog.
I put the oil on a spoon and opened Ozzy mouth. The nature of oil is that is oily and slimy so as soon as the spoon was in Ozzy mouth, he spat the lot out. On himself, on me, on the floor and on the kitchen counter which I had used to lean up against.
I then adopted plan B. I mixed the oil with his dried food and the boiled leeks. I put his bowl down and he sat patiently as we do at every mealtime. This time he waited and waited and looked up at me with enquiring eyes. “Do I really have to eat this?” I put a little beef bouillon on my hands and rubbed the contents of his bowl. He ate everything. Slowly, very slowly. And went into his basket. Mr Eurodog was going to take him round the block but he was given the mission to check the content of his poop. “Perhaps you should walk him. It’s dark and you know about these things.” We walked. No poop, no vomiting.
Off to bed.
This morning Ozzy greeted me with less enthusiasm than usual but was happy when Mr Eurodog showed him his lead. Mr Eurodog was reminded of last night’s brief and off they went in the pouring rain. Mr Eurodog reported that Ozzy had produced two large normal poops. Paraffin oil, boiled leeks, dried food and beef bouillon awaited Ozzy after his walk. He sat, looked up at me and ate. Normally.
I called the vet at the appointed time and told her about the food, the poops.
She said it was all going well.
I told her Ozzy was very subdued and very quiet. In his basket and asleep.
She said he was sleeping off his Christmas dinner.