Most Friday mornings you will find me at the local farmers market. It's close enough I could walk or ride my bike, but my husband likes to go, too, so we drive. And, anyway, we end up buying a lot. Or at least we did before our crop, from the church's community garden, was ready for harvesting. Anyway, I still go to the market for items I am not growing: sweet onions, Spanish onions, broccoli, fruit jams, and locally made cheeses.
Last Friday we bought a couple of ears of sweet corn, picked fresh that morning, their sign announced. I also bought beets to roast on the grill, delicious in salads. Arriving home I left the corn, in the plastic grocery bag, tucked up high and back on the counter, along with the beets, and a bowl of fresh fruit. Later that afternoon my husband and I took a walk to the nearby summer festival called, Dearborn Homecoming, it's a big deal around here. The park down the street was filled with carnival rides, food tents, artists tables, and two bandstands. The streets between our house and the fair are lined with temporary fences to keep the pedestrian traffic out of yards and on the sidewalks. Dan and I walked the grounds and made plans to return as the weekend progressed, and then made our way home, through the throng of people, amidst the sweltering heat. We were grateful to arrive home, anticipating a cold glass of iced tea. But we were greeted by a huge mess in the kitchen, our dogs had managed to pull the corn off the counter, open the bag, ripe off the husks, and consume two ears of corn, cob and all.
A quick search on the Internet and a call to our vet informed us that corn cobs are difficult and slow to digest, they can cause intestinal blockage requiring surgery and may lead to death. It may take months for all the cob to be eliminated. We had a pretty good idea that one dog, Ruby the Vizsla, was the primary suspect, but it was also possible that our youngest, Emmy, may have "helped." The evidence that appeared on Saturday confirmed Ruby as the problem child, and eliminated the other two, who clearly couldn't have gotten a bite in, as Ruby snarfed up the cobs.
So, my weekend was spent on hyper-vigilant dog watch. Ruby was certainly feeling ill. And, shortly after my husband left for work, taking our only car, Ruby began to purge her belly. Vomiting is one of the symptoms of intestinal blockage. I spent the day walking her around the yard, short ten minute walk abouts, just to keep her system moving. One thing I have learned is that elderly people get intestinal blockages from being too sedentary. So I thought it might help to keep her moving.it also contained most of her elimination process to the outdoors. From the looks of it she was getting rid of the cob, which was in small pieces. I hope she enjoyed chewing those cobs, because she paying for it now. I admit there were moments on Saturday when I thought I was going to have to call someone to drive me to emergency vet. But, aside from the vomiting, she seemed rather normal, able to walk, jump, run, curl up and sleep. She did not seem to be in pain.
By Sunday she seemed much better and has managed to keep down her food and resume a fairly normal bodily function.
We never made it back to summer festival. I was afraid to leave her alone for even a moment. I am grateful she is well. But I have to wonder why, when a bunch of fresh beets, a bowl of tomatoes, apples, and bananas, were much easier to reach, she went instead for the corn, wrapped in plastic, and harder to get at?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she was bred and born in Iowa? Some remnant of memory of corn, and mom, and siblings? Well, whatever, I learned my lesson, all corn goes into the fridge.
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