I noted in the prior post that we bought some fudge made-on-the-premises of the gift shop at Trees of Mystery in Klamath. I bought a pound of the plain chocolate and Cindy bought a pound of the maple walnut flavor. Both were excellent and we were very much looking forward to sharing them with everybody back at the hotel that night.
As you can tell from the title of this post… thereby hangs a tale.
From the overlook at Klamath, we headed back north to Crescent City, where we decided our last evening meal on the North Coast was going to be at the Good Harvest Cafe. It was a delightful place, filled with a warm and inviting interior and truly excellent eats, so we talked and tarried and ate and enjoyed the company of one another for one last time — knowing that the following Friday was going to be a serious hammer down the coast to get to San Francisco in time for our flight out early Saturday morning.
So we lingered there in the restaurant for at least an hour and half before finally settling the bill and heading out to the car.
I was tail-end charlie and hopped in to find my Dad laughing so hard that I thought he was going to lose his just-eaten dinner. He was finally able to choke out that he “could always tell when people weren’t accustomed to being around dogs” before exploding into more howls of laughter.
And there on the floor beside my seat was the bag from the gift store back at the Trees of Mystery. The same bag that had my pound of excellent high-quality chocolate fudge in it.
The very same bag that was now utterly empty and lightly smeared with chocolatey-smelling dog drool.
I was aghast.
Whiskey-tango-foxtrot. Double whiskey-tango-foxtrot.
Dad didn’t know that chocolate was very deadly for dogs to eat, specifically the theobromine that is contained in the chocolate (you can read more about the effects of theobromine on dogs here). Cindy and I knew about the dangers of dogs around chocolate, but had completely forgotten about it since our old dogs never ate anything we didn’t give them permission to eat. We hadn’t had any issue with Maggie eating anything other than what Kate had allowed her to, so we let our guard down and stupidly left the fudge within easy access of Maggie while we were leisurely enjoying our meal in the restaurant.
And now she had eaten an entire pound of it.
My chocolate fudge. Not Cindy’s maple walnut fudge. My fudge. And Maggie didn’t share ANY.
We drove back to the motel (a little over a block away) to figure out our next course of action, with Cindy frantically using her iPhone to look up the effects of chocolate on dogs. By the time we had everybody present and accounted for in the motel room, Cindy knew that Maggie had eaten a fatal dose. Given her size of 55-pounds, Maggie might have been able to survive a tablespoon of ground chocolate or a small fun-size Hershey bar, but not a full 16+ ounces of decadently loaded chocolate fudge.
And Maggie was already showing the classic signs of theobromine poisoning.
Via the marvel of the Internet from her cell phone, Cindy was quickly able to locate a nearby vet (yay Google!). They weren’t actually open since it was the end of their closed-door training day and everybody was about to gather their things and head for home. The vet asked over the phone if we were sure that Maggie had eaten an entire pound of chocolate fudge and Cindy told him some of the details. The vet responded with “Get her down here now — we may be able to save her!”
And with that, Dad, Cindy, Kate and Maggie headed for the vet.
I stayed back at the motel, sick at heart that I may have killed my sister’s dog due to negligence on my part.
After awhile, I decided to clear my head and walk down to the beach. It was a fine evening and the light was beautiful. At one point I stumbled across a scene we don’t have on the east coast — a large redwood log had washed ashore as drift wood.
Then I finally go the call.
With the help of apomorphine injections that the vet had given her, Maggie had vomited all of the deadly chocolate and was expected to survive the night.
Below is the image Cindy sent me from her cell phone. That brick in the container is the entire pound of chocolate fudge and the white is the wax paper that it was wrapped in. Maggie didn’t even bite it into manageable pieces; she just downed the entire thing in one massive gulp.
Seeing my sister’s smiling face in the image made everything kinda watery for me for some stupid reason. I told Cindy that we were paying for the vet bill since it was my fault that Maggie had access to the chocolate in the first place.
So now you know why chocolate fudge is soooo expensive around those parts.
Oh, and here’s the last sunset shot of the trip — taken after I learned that Maggie was going to be okay.