As if in response to my last blog post about her, Shug has gone above and beyond.

“Oh, you think I am a naughty eater, do you? I’ll show you naughty eating.”

Sherpa and I came home to his house after what had already been a stressful night, trying to help a friend navigate a bad situation. We were exhausted and ready to sleep – we had a 55-mile ride planned for the morning.

I got a little snack and sat down at the coffee table. He was about to join me when he stopped, looked down, and said, “Uh oh.”

An empty plastic bag. Chewed open. How could this be? We had even made a sweep of the whole place for food before we left.

“Oh NO!” he said, “It was the chocolate-covered coffee beans from my bike bag.”


He and I start checking our phones to see what people say about dogs eating chocolate-covered coffee beans, and I see people saying “Get to the vet right away!” and he sees people saying “Feed her peroxide!”

I’m not giving my dog peroxide just because the Internet told us to, I say.

By now it’s 11PM, of course, and so I call the emergency vet, again. I was too embarrassed to tell them who I was, because it was the SAME vet on the phone who did the last two emergency procedures for her. First he told me that caffeine is more poisonous to dogs than chocolate is (who knew?!!) and that’s what he was most concerned about. He wanted me to bring her in and hospitalize her for observation after they induced vomiting. Ka-ching! Is what I hear, so I ask if I can get her to vomit myself. He says, well you can try feeding her peroxide, but it doesn’t always work. He says jog her around a bit, so it foams up.

Score. Two seconds later, Sherpa’s tires are squealing (OK, fine, so it’s his brakes, they just need to be adjusted) outside and then we’ve got peroxide. I can’t believe I’m doing this… I smell it. Smells like nothing. Sherpa takes the bottle and sips it (Why? No idea.), then spits it out. “Ew.” Guess he had a case of the “That’s-hot-don’t-touch-its.”

I pour it into her bowl and add a few kibbles, because in order to get to the kibbles she’s got to drink it all, and she does. I take her out and jog her around a bit. She gets tired and stops. She’s so lazy, and I guess to her credit, I’ve never asked her to jog at midnight. I sit on the curb with her and sort of, gently, shake her belly. You know, just foam it up a bit, right? We still had to do a second dose, though, and that did the trick. Fo sho. Fortunately she did the deed right under the light of a streetlamp.

“Get me a stick. I need to count the beans,” I said.

Oh yes, I counted the beans. There were at least 30 whole beans. Called the vet back. He said that of course it was his medical opinion that she should be evaluated by him, but if I was sure that she’d gotten them mostly out, Sugar would be OK.

We were still awake all night, listening to the dog grinding her teeth and breathing heavy. He felt terrible, I felt terrible, and we made it through the night just focusing on the dog. She finally crashed from her high at around 3AM. She popped out of bed in the morning, wagging her tail and asking for breakfast. “Hello!” she said.

“Oh, good morning.”

Sherpa and I plodded through our morning, getting ready to ride, just completely demoralized. But we needed to get a ride in, since we’re slated to do a 175-mile ride in a few weeks. So we sucked it up and tried a new route that Sherpa had mapped.

15 miles in, I was just about it tears from the number of hills we’d already climbed. We had climbed 2,000 feet already, with climbing just as bad for the foreseeable future when we finally stopped to check the elevation map. To put that in perspective, I climbed 4,500 feet during the 100-mile ride through the mountains around Lake Tahoe.

We bailed and went straight back to the house. I was glad to get home and check on the dog anyway. We stopped for lunch after that, before another flat 20 miles on the bike path, and while we were eating I joked that he’d tried to kill both the dog AND me in one day…

At least we managed it all successfully, and the dog is fine.


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