My dog, Maggie, the famed Pug, has a problem. I should have seen the warning signs, but maybe I didn't want to see them. As with any family member...I love her to a fault...I love my crackhead dog.
Hunger. When there's food around, she doesn't notice me anymore. It's like I'm not even there. What I mistook for stupidity was actually munchidity. Here she is seen after eating an ENTIRE cake.
Non-Responsive. When I ask her how her day went, she doesn't respond. I thought this might because she's a dog...and dogs don't talk...but no. I was wrong. It was the drugs.
Secretive. I should have been more curious about her hanging out, alone, in her room. I never thought to look under the bed...I wanted to respect her privacy. Every kid has his/her "porn" collection...but when I found bag after bag of Del Taco that she had stolen out of our garbage, I should have known.
Manic. She races around and around for hours at a time...usually after being in her room. I thought this was excitement. I thought she was happy to see us. I never put the crashes together with the bursts of energy. I did notice the extremes, but she's just a dog...my baby. How could a eighteen-pound teenager have a problem?
Vacant: The lights are on, but nobody is home. If you haven't seen it, here is a video of her during a drug-filled haze.
So, I'm an idiot. I never put all the signs together. It took a slap in the face to wake me up.
Three Nights Ago:
Maggie wanted to play and she kept doing lap after lap after lap around the house. Girlish exuberance, I thought...but when she stopped for a second, and let me pet her, her heart was racing...like a cocaine addict's. Tauni keeps her Coke out of sight, so Maggie can't get into it...but I knew something wasn't right.
When Tauni came home, I mention Maggie's odd behavior...and she looks in Maggie's room and looks over her stash.
Coke is still in there, so that's not it, she screams with relief.
She has some in celebration.
On further examination, though...we found the actual source of Maggie's problem. Maggie had gotten into Tauni's other addiction: Sports Beans, and was high as a kite off the caffeine.
This stuff is much harsher than Tauni's nose candy-like substance, so I don't even touch it. Tauni needs that extra high, though. She's on the edge. A Coke-Sports Bean edge. I never stopped to think what kind of example this set for our dog...Maggie was simply following in her mom's footsteps.
Caffeinated off the Sports Beans, Maggie didn't sleep the rest of the night. Neither did Tauni.
Me, the drug free one, slept like a baby.
Two Nights Ago:
I notice Maggie is acting strangely again...she is speeding around our house, and her heart is racing. More Sports Beans??? Tauni and I search her room, and we find nothing. We had taken away all her drugs...so we couldn't figure it out. We looked her in the eyes and asked her:
Maggie, do you have a problem?
She just stared at us, with her big puppy eyes. She refused to answer...so we took her silence as a "no." What a mistake!
We are getting ready to leave for work. This is normally a time of anxiety for Maggie. She usually starts to tug on our pants or socks to make us stay. Not this day, though...she seemed like she was finding another way to cope....she seemed distant, yet peaceful.
As I am about to walk out the door, Maggie walks by with something in her mouth. She is looking for a place to be alone. Tauni and I follow her and our worst fears come tumbling out of Maggie's mouth. We yell at her to drop whatever she has...and she begrudgingly does. With remorse in her eyes, she walks away...and we find MORE SPORTS BEANS.
Our Pug had hidden then around the house so that when she needed a quick fix, she could take some more. Mom/Dad are leaving -- Sports Beans. They won't take me to the park -- Sports Beans. They haven't cleaned up my poop mat for a day -- SPORTS BEANS. What an addict doesn't understand is that escaping from the problem isn't an answer...it's just a way of ignoring the real issue.
The severity of her problem was now very, very clear. She KNEW this was something she shouldn't be doing. She KNEW we would take them away from her. She KNEW that she might want the high again...so she HID the Sports Beans from us....and she took them out during a time of great need, when we would be leaving.
We talked it out with Maggie...and Tauni knew what she had to do. She vowed never to do Coke again...and to be more careful with her Sports Beans. Maggie has been going through withdrawals, but I know we will make it through...together.