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Dog Diaries

Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective: The case of the Runaway Tummy

by Ron Powell

My name is Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective. I wasn't always a detective. I was a racer once, before I retired. My track name was Occam's Razor of Lightspeed Doom. You can call me Prince. Most of the humans around these parts do.

The day started out pretty much like any other day for me. I watered mom's flowers, replaced the missing holes in the garden, nose poked Dad, found the missing goods for the 523rd time, made sure the house hadn't been stolen and checked on the sun to make sure it was in the right place. It's an awful lot of work, but that's what Greyhound Detectives do. Don't thank me, the tummy rubbin's, treats and couch cuddles are thanks enough.

Anyway, the day was completely uneventful till around dinner time. It was the day before Sleep-in Day. I know this because Dad brought home Volcano Mucho Grande burritos again. He does this every week on the day before Sleep-in day. Just as he was sitting down in front of the tv, there was a loud noise followed by one of the little humans screaming. Dad and Mom took off like a track 'hound chasing a rabbit. Dad really loves me, because he let me have all three of those burritos. I love those things! When he came back, he was SOOOO happy that I ate my treats like a good boy. You can tell from all the big noises he made. Man, was he ever HAPPY! I dunno why dad wanted to go out for a car ride after I had my treats, but he did and brought more burritos back with him, too. Mom was happy to see him return cuz she laughed for a long time when he came in the house with that new bag of burritos. Evidently, these new ones he just got weren't for me because he wouldn't even let me have a sniff to make sure they were good for him to eat. They must not have been good 'cuz he kept looking at me and grumbling. Hey, Dad, I tried to help!

After dinner I nosed around looking for any dangerous food scraps running around, shared mom's glass of water (this made Dad happy - you can tell by how he was laughing), filled in the empty spots on the couch and presented my tummy for the appropriate amounts of rubbin's. It was then that my tummy made the weirdest noises. Sort of a cross between a trumpet and an angry bear. I figured I'd have a stern talking to it later. It was disturbing my quiet time on the couch with Mom and Dad. Only, the noises kept coming. Then Dad must have made some sort of smell because Mom waved her hand in front of her nose and gave Dad a nasty look. It wasn't me, I swear. For whatever reason, though, my tummy felt a little better for a while. Who knows? It's a mystery, for sure. Between you and me, though, I was impressed.

A little later we all went to bed. I found my spot on the floor and went to sleep. Some time later, I was awakened by a strange need to go outside. I nose poked Dad, but he wouldn't budge. When the cold-nose eye-poke doesn't work, there's only one thing that a greyhound can do. I went over to Mom's side, stuck my head under the covers and stuck my nose in her armpit. That worked like a charm, as usual. She sat up, and elbowed Dad. He likes that just about as much as the eye poke! You can tell by all the noises. Anyway, Dad let me outside, I sniffed around, found a spot and... world exploded in pain and noise and colors. I howled at the night and my tummy tried to escape the only way it could find and all I can say is Dad was sure surprised. He yelled at mom, who must have heard my agony from all the way upstairs. She came running down to the yard. I don't know how long it lasted but between the pain in my tummy and the howling I couldn't stop, it was just NOT a fun time AT ALL. Once my tummy stopped trying to get away from me and I could stop yelling, I was so weak I just had to flop down in the grass and pant for a while.

Mom and Dad talked for a bit. "I don't know what to do, he's never made that noise before. Should we take him to the emergency vet?"

"Maybe we should. Those burritos must be the problem. We're always telling the kids not to leave their food unattended and you run off and leave him to eat three of those gut busters!"

From my resting place on the lawn, I could tell they weren't fully trained Greyhound Detective Assistants. Clearly the burritos were not the problem. How could something so yummy be bad for me? pffft.

"Hey, I know, let's call our greyhound buddy."

"We haven't had to call her for ages. I feel kinda funny bothering her at this time of night after all this time."

"I hear you, but let me try anyway. Do you still have Adrienne's number?"

Mom went in to the house and came back with the talky box and a piece of paper. She rattled off a few numbers at Dad, who punched the talky box with his finger then started talking to it.

"Adrienne? Hi! I'm sorry to call so late... yes, it's me. I know it's late and we haven't called in a while... that's so kind, thank you, we felt kinda bad bothering you... yeah, Prince. He got into some burritos. No, no idea how that happened, but that's not important right now... so do we take him to the vet's? He's making a horrendous noise when he goes and it's really... yeah, the Big D. 'Greyhound Scream of Death?' huh. Never heard it before. Scared my wife something fierce. What should we... really? that's amazing. 1 liter of water, one handful of sugar and a three finger pinch of salt? really? Homemade sports drink, you say? Give him that to keep him hydrated and monitor him. If he doesn't firm up by tomorrow, see the vet. Gotcha. Thanks so much... oh, you're very sweet, we owe you big time!"

Dad punched the talky box again, and Mom took me inside and mixed up a really tasty drink for me. The rest of the night was pretty much the same, my tummy tried to get away, Mom made me more tasty drink and we kept going like that until the Sun came up. My tummy quit trying to get away and I felt much better by morning nap time. I never did figure out what made my tummy want to run away. Have no fear, though, with me on the case we'll have an answer in no time!

(Author's note - this one is definitely inspired by real life events. The first week we had Pepper, he had some nasty Big D, made the GSOD and scared me outta my wits. Adrienne, our excellent greyhound buddy, shared with me the recipe above and the advice to keep him hydrated, with hold food for 24 hours and start back with a bland diet until he firmed back up. It's such an easy thing to do for Greyhound with the Big D, I thought I would, with her permission, share the recipe once again!)

Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!