Tag Archives: death

Doggie Danger

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Apparently, I’ve been (slightly) poisoning our beloved Buzz, The Garbage Disposal Who Walks Like A Dog.

In a recent column at the Huffington Post, I read about 12 human foods that were dangerous to feed to your dog. While I knew several of them, I was completely gobsmacked by a lot of the items on the list.

I thought I’d share them with you dog-loving dudes out there who might have been as ignorant about this as was I. Although, to be fair, several of these are new additions to the list.

It’s pretty well-known that dogs can’t abide chocolate and the darker the chocolate, the more the danger. That’s because chocolate contains  caffeine and theobromine, known as methylxanthines. Dogs eating this can experience dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly death. So, no chocolate treats.Cute puppy

Milk and cheese also make the list because they have properties that dog digestive systems can’t break down. These can lead to some pretty nasty consequences, one of which is bad gas. Now, if you’ve ever owned a dog, you know doggy poots are toxic even at the best of times. Knowing that cheese and milk can make mammals poot up a storm, we’ve been keeping these away from Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, just to be safe.

Onions and garlic both make the list for the damage they can do to the dog’s blood cells, leading to either death or a necessary blood transfusion to mitigate the damage. The dogs’ reaction to these foods can take a couple of days to show up, but include dark-red urine and extreme lethargy.

We don’t know what it is about macadamia nuts that hurts dogs, but it certainly is dangerous. Eating them can lead to hypothermia, vomiting, staggering and tremors.

The first big surprise on the list, for me, is grapes. Our dog loves grapes, loves to catch them and then eat them. So now that’s right out the window because I don’t want our cutie pie suffering from extreme and rapid kidney failure because he ate grapes or raisins.

Now, I sort of assumed that an avocado pit would be bad for a dog because it could block up all sorts of tubes. What I didn’t know was that the flesh of the avocado, which contains a toxin called persin, also was dangerous to canines . Eating guac can cause upset stomachs, fluid buildup in the chest and difficulty breathing.

I’d hoped I could get through this in only one post, but it’s not looking likely. So I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the list.

Until then, why not just give Fido food and snacks that actually are intended to be eaten by dogs. Keep the human food to humans. And those reptiloids masquerading as humans, of course.

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Charlotte Parent: Death

I’m pretty sure Stephen King’s book, Pet Semetary was taken from my life and only marginally creeped up to sell more copies.

My backyard is full of graves, both marked and unmarked. These graves hold the bodies, in varying states of decay, of the many, many pets that have moved through Casa de Dude over the years.

I’m running out of room. And that’s never a good thing.

Today at Charlotte Parent, where I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name, I’m worrying about how the zombie apocalypse might affect the graveyard in my backyard. Go over and give it a read.

It’s funny. In the same way a gaping wound is funny. When it happens to someone else and you can run away much faster than the wounded person.

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Answering The Unasked Questions

Death sucks.

Yes, I realize that I am courting the obvious there, but I thought we needed to restate where we stand on the issue. Sure there are some occasions, some deaths, where the cessation of breathing is cause for celebration and I would not try to argue that.

For the most part, though, people who die don’t want to die.

Again, blindingly obvious, but stick with me. I do have a purpose to this.

See, we as civilians only have to deal with death on a fairly irregular basis. It’s not like we see it every day as part of our job. Because we, as civilians, are not doctors.

Shara Yurkiewicz is a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical School where she’s learning what it takes to become a physician. She’s taking classes about anatomy, about chemistry, about diagnosis of disease and all of that.

However, it’s what she’s going to learn outside of the classroom that will determine how good of a doctor she becomes. My wife, known to many as She Who Must Be Our Best Chance, also is a doctor. She’s an OB/GYN and she’s one of the best doctors I’ve ever met. Not only is she a dedicated physician, who continues her medical education every day, but she’s also got a tremendous stirrup-side manner. She connects with her patients as people, as sometimes friends.

And patients appreciate that. She didn’t learn that in a classroom, but it’s a big part of why she’s such a great doctor. Shara Yurkiewicz has plenty of time to work on her bedside manner, but, right now, she’s still learning some powerful lessons.

Thankfully, she shares a lot of those lessons with readers of her Scientific American blog “This May Hurt A Bit,” which follows her trials and tribulations as a medical student.

In a recent column, Ms. Yrukiewicz transcribes a conversation she Diversity can be accomplished with tiny, little steps and it's not all that hard, now, is it?had with a patient following his hip-fracture repair. It offers we civilians a gripping view inside the real-world learning medical students must go through to become effective doctors.

She thanks the patient for allowing her, a medical student, to watch as the surgeons worked to fix his hip. It’s a relatively bland conversation and I began to wonder why it was in her blog. Until we neared the middle and things — through no one’s fault — began to go downhill.

Very badly downhill.

I watched as they kept your eyes shut and handled your body just as gently as they had a few hours ago.

I listened to the final zip of the body bag. I don’t know who had the time to switch off the radio, but I’m glad they did.

I listened as the nurse asked God to rest your soul.

I watched you leave in a different kind of bed, to a different place. I’m not sure where.

You can learn a lot from watching. Thank you for letting me watch.

We fixed your hip, sir.

The operation was a success, but the patient died. It’s not an oxymoron, but a notice that physicians must understand the different values for success.

To become a good doctor, medical students need to understand that patients are not simply a presentation of diseases and symptoms. They are people, with lives and loves and desires all their own.

What Ms. Yrukiewicz doesn’t mention in her post is the next most important lesson a good doctor must learn: How to learn everything you can about what happened so it doesn’t happen again and then move on to the next patient, fully confident that the surgery will be a success and the patient will survive.

Her blog provides an interesting look into the world of student physicians. I’d recommend you dudes and dudettes go and give it a read. It’s always interesting to learn what the person on the other side of the white lab coat is thinking.


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