There’s nothing quite as awful as having to stick a tube down a beloved pet’s throat and force-feed her 3% hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. My tiny Chihuahua puppy, who has given me nothing but love, ran across some Ibuprofen that somebody else had allowed to fall on the floor. Having seen the spill earlier, I’d cleaned them up and I thought I’d gotten them all. I was wrong.

After an evening walk, I spotted my little Chi-dog chewing on something she shouldn’t have had. I made her drop it, and it was an Ibuprofen pill with the coating already licked and chewed off. She was carrying a second one in her mouth. With no way of knowing whether she’d chewed or swallowed more– and of course this happened after 9 PM– I had no choice but to induce vomiting. I may have been overly generous with the peroxide but it took the little dog the better part of an hour to start barfing.

I’m pleased to report that she’s thrown up the reddish-orange dye they used to color the outside of the pill, along with everything she’d eaten today including the pit of a small plum that she must have picked up and swallowed during our daily walk. It appears to me that she didn’t actually swallow a pill, and so her only discomfort is due to throwing up the hydrogen peroxide. She showed no signs of ibuprofen poisoning, for which I am extremely grateful.

Little Honeybits is sleeping now, curled up in a little bagel-like ball that resembles a smaller version of those neck pillows airline travelers sometimes use. Her little sides are softly moving up and down as she breathes in and out, dreaming her sweet little puppy dreams.

Even when I was forcing an emetic down her throat, she struggled like Dumbledore during the lake scene of the sixth “Harry Potter” movie but she never bit me. Truly she is the sweetest, gentlest, most even-tempered little pup in the world. She loves and trusts me, even after the eyedropper incident. Between vomiting sessions she’d come and snuggle up, shivering with the effects of nausea. But it was better that than to allow the part of the pill she ate to enter her small intestine. I hope I didn’t overdo it with the hydrogen peroxide. That gorgeous little pup doesn’t deserve a gastric ulcer.

This is the precious little creature who nearly died today. She’s actually a little bit older, and her ears stand up in little tender peaks just waiting to be softly petted. She weighs about two kilos soaking wet, which isn’t much for a dog. This means that even a tiny amount of poison will have a devastating effect on her little puppy system.

Honeybits is the light of my life and I truly don’t know how I could get through a day that didn’t have her in it. I average three hours a day with her, playing and sometimes just hanging out. She’s my little doggie buddy. When I travel, which isn’t often anymore, I think constantly about where she is and how she’s doing: whether she’s getting enough petting and snuggling, and whether she’s got enough of the right things to chew on. Overall, I probably rely on her more than I should for emotional support. She’s the first and only dog I’ve ever had, and I absolutely adore her. At about nine months of age, she’s become such an integral part of my life that I can’t face the idea of losing her.

Anyway, the point of all this whining is that when you share a house with somebody, your actions affect that person in a way you don’t necessarily expect or anticipate. I wasn’t the person who spilled the pills, and I did my very best to clean them up but obviously missed a couple under the dining room table (which wasn’t an obvious place for pills to be). If you have children or pets, make sure to select the kind of tenant who knows how to clean up after himself or herself, and who thinks it’s important that low-riding house creatures don’t nibble on their mistakes and poison themselves.

My little Honeybits will live, mercifully, but this was a very close call.