“Oh, what’s the trouble with your dog, Mr. Mulligan?”

He raised a questioning eyebrow and put a hand to his ear. I tried again with a full blooded shout.

“What’s the trouble?”

He looked at me doubtfully for a moment. “He’s womitin’, sorr. Womitin’ bad.”

That’s a passage from All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot, my favorite and the greatest animal care book ever written. It chronicles the adventures of a young country vet with quite a few stories I’ve lived myself as a country farmer in charge of a herd along with a menagerie of dogs and other animals. There’s a lot of talk of herd immunity these days but the accomplishing thereof can be seen nowhere better seen than being in care of a herd, or, a pack in our case today.

What goes around comes around and what’s going around right now is womitin’, er, vomiting. In spite of our rigid, daily sanitizing regiment, when symptoms such as these arise, we go into high gear, doubling our efforts. Long before it became part of everyone’s new normal, our normal normal was buying cases of alcohol, Lysol, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes from Costco. I was even accused of panic buying for my regular shopping list!

Our normal normal is to wash and clean, bleach and sanitize everything in our facility, even our yards, on a regular basis, multiple times a day: Floors, doors, doorknobs, walls, windows, gates and bowls. Our outside yards are scooped constantly and treated with a pet safe sanitizer that is effective against a wide range of pathogens including “Distemper Corona Virus, Giardia, Leptospira,
Listeria, Corona Virus, Feline Herpesvirus, Canine Parvovirus, Distemper, Feline, Calicivirus, Feline Panleukopenia, HIV Virus, MRSA, Hepatitis Virus, Polio, E. Coli, Salmonella, Swine Flu, Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Parvo.”

You might think I’m being defensive, and I suppose I am. When dogs get sick, daycare seems to be everyone’s favorite easy target. “Dog is sick, dog was at daycare: daycare made dog sick.” It’s easy to become offended and get defensive when we are always on the offensive to defend against pathogens. From our perspective it’s, “dog was sick, dog came to daycare, licked everyone in the
mouth: dog made everyone sick nullifying all of our rigorous efforts.” *sigh*

The nice thing about being in the animal care business as long as we have is that we’ve got friends who’ve been in it just as long. Friends who started out as young and as green James Harriot. Friends you’ve known since before they were in vet school. Friends who have cared for herds and packs and seen it come around and go around. Friends who reassure us it’s not just us, we’re all seeing it together. Friends who point out causes we hadn’t thought of or overlooked due to our offensive.

“We see all the diarrheas after the rain.”

“Even vomiting?”

“Aye, womitin’. Womitin’ bad sorr.”

*sigh of relief*

It’s nice to have friends.

If your dog is sick, please keep them home form daycare, consult a vet like ours, scoop, clean and sanitize like we do and know we always do everything we can to keep your dogs safe when they’re with us.

The Dogs Unleashed Staff.