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Monday, June 11, 2012

Singer in the Sky with Diamonds

Yesterday The New York Times had an article about how animals like to get high. Really. And it was written by a doctor! Who has written a book in collaboration with a veterinarian! She has this theory that animals are a lot more like people than originally thought. She even had a fancy name for it, zoo…something or other. Latin for animals and then the last part of it was for people. Pretty cool.

So, I was thinking. We judge people pretty harshly for using drugs, right? We think, they had a choice, they could’ve chosen NOT to take that first pill, or snort, or drink. Then they get hooked, and get into trouble and become a drag on society. Now we know that animals like to get high or drunk, too. Researchers have determined that animals wait until the fruit on the bushes has become “winey”. Then they gorge themselves. Or in one case, there’s this cocker spaniel who was always scratching the door to go out. The owners decided to follow him to see what was so enticing. They lived in the country, apparently, because little cocker spaniel beat a trail to a pond where a bunch of frogs lived. They watched as the little doggie started sucking frogs until the skin color came off, then spit them out. He would quickly slurp up another one and do the same thing. The frogs are of a certain species that have a toxin on its skin that is hallucinogenic. Little barkster would go home thereafter, and lie around, spacey and glassy eyed for hours until he would do it again. And again. Interesting. Now we need rehab for doggies?

We used to have an old diabetic dog who loved to eat the raspberries. We worried about his blood sugar, but maybe he was actually waiting for the alcohol effect?

Singer seems to be more like a dope fiend these days. She loves to get out to hunt her chipmunks. She can’t wait sometimes to get out there and scout out her backyard. It’s funny. Today, we woke up with her snuggled between us—she was worried about the thunder and lightening, which didn’t wake me up, but apparently she heard it. I groaned as I got out of bed, seeing the rain. How would we get her to go outside before we have to leave for the day? I got the umbrella and she slinked out the door after much cajoling. Then she sniffed some hostas, not really interested, as the rain pelted her. She tried to become interested, but just couldn’t. I called after her to go potty, several times. But she just couldn’t. So I let her in, wiped her off with a towel and decided to get ready. She followed me like rocks rolling down a hill. I couldn’t get rid of her. Then I remembered that during our last vet’s appointment, I had mentioned Singer’s severe thunderstorm phobia and Dr. Pam gave me some sample pills to try. They were over the counter natural “herbal remedies”--tryptophan, theanine, and some other stuff in them. I gave her two pills and decided to wait. She paced. I finished breakfast and took a shower. She was looking outside longingly when I came out. It had stopped raining so we tried again.

This time she patrolled her yard in a more natural way, with her head up. I hated to see her slinking before, such an unnatural pose for her. She went to all the usual spots and didn’t sniff out any chipmunks, then came directly when I called. She had not gone poop yet, but she did pee. Whew. I think the pills were starting to work.

So I thought about it. She knows that she was supposed to go potty, but she couldn’t help it. Her nervous system had become hijacked. I wonder if Singer would become a drug addict if she were allowed? Probably.

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