Annie and the Chocolate

Not for dogs!

I like chocolate. In fact everyone likes chocolate in our house. We try not to have it too much, because it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but sometimes you just need a tasty morsel of gourmet chocolate to melt in your mouth while you moan in pleasure. You know you do it. There’s no need to deny it. We’re all friends here.

Since we all love the stuff, I buy my girls a tower of heart-shaped boxes filled with a variety of tasty gourmet chocolate every Valentine’s Day. Sure I eat half of them, but that’s not important right now. What matters is that I care enough to buy my girls the chocolate they deserve for no other reason than I like it too. Chocolate defies both logic and grammatical protocols you see.While chocolate is a wonderful treat for humans, it contains a chemical called theobromide that is toxic to dogs. I’m no chemist, but I am a know-it-all nerd with too much time on my hands, so please excuse me while I pontificate. When a dog consumes chocolate, the amount of chocolate consumed is especially important in relation to the size of the dog. If a Chihuahua were to eat an entire Hershey’s Special Dark bar, he might be in mortal danger. If Guinness, my 140 pound Newfoundland, ate a bar, he would likely just develop a bit of gas. Experience has shown this to be a threat only to those of us who share breathable air with him. At any rate, as a concerned dog owner, I must warn you to never leave chocolate where your dogs can get to it. I should add that some dogs can get into places that would surprise you. Some dogs are also just bad dogs.

Last year my girls got their tower of chocolate, and all was well with the world. We went out later that day for my friend John’s wedding rehearsal and had a grand time. Upon our return we were welcomed by Annie and Guinness — two psychotic beasts who seemed to have scored some amphetamines. I figured that Annie had used a pencil in her mouth to dial the phone in order to hook up with her dealer. That seemed reasonable given past experiences.

Annie’s apparent drug connections and new-found ability to dial the phone didn’t explain the carnage of destroyed chocolate boxes and torn wrappers all over the floor. I tried to find a reason for the sudden lack of chocolate, but I couldn’t concentrate because Annie was running in circles in the family room. She wasn’t chasing her tail — she was literally running in circles within the room while Guinness gave pursuit. I let them both out so I could think and so that my home theater speakers might survive the hurricane of drool and hair.

All we know for sure is that the dogs ate the entire contents of five heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. We don’t know which dog ate what chocolate, and we don’t know how much was consumed by which dog. Given the many hours of manic dog behavior we had to endure, we assume that Annie ate most of it, then probably got shoved aside by Guinness, the Alpha dog. They might have shared the rest, but we’ll never know for sure. Guinness was probably only a third as nuts as Annie that day, but at the time he was probably a third heavier as well. After many hours, both dogs calmed down and slept off their chocolate bender with no obvious side-effects. Well, none except for the gas. I still have nightmares about the gas.

For what it’s worth, these boxes were closed, some still sealed, and they were in the center of the dining room table. For those in doubt, that’s not good enough with a dog like Annie in the house. In order for her to have taken these boxes down, she would have had to climb up onto the table. While not a stretch given the fact that we’ve caught her sitting on our patio table, I am somehow unsettled by the idea that Annie has stood on the table where I eat my dinner.

This year I forced Annie into rehab by not providing any chocolate towers. Instead my kids got Celtic necklaces so that they might celebrate their heritage. Annie fought back by eating my special Valentine’s Day bagel from the kitchen counter when I wasn’t looking. Maybe we should install higher counters in the kitchen.

Please note that while this is a funny story, chocolate, especially baker’s chocolate, can be fatal to dogs. We were lucky because most of what Annie ate was milk chocolate, and she was a very big girl. That much chocolate might well have killed a smaller dog, so please keep your chocolate away from your dogs. Thanks, GAD

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2 thoughts on “Annie and the Chocolate

  1. If I remember correctly what a vet told me many years ago for dark chocolate 1 oz consumed per pound of dog can be fatal. Thus a fairly small dark chocolate bar could kill a little 5 lb Yorkie or such. For our Newfs of say 150 pounds that’s 9.375 pounds of chocolate. Not sure even a Newf could consume that much. This is not to say we don’t need to be careful around our Newfs, I’m sure a lesser amount could make them very sick.

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