(Posted by Mother Mary for Mary Ricksen)

We've had five dogs since the year 1973. Every one was special in its own way. Every one of them were smart. Dogs can pick up a cue from a person and read their faces better than some humans can. They're always there when you need them.

King was exactly what his name indicated, he was the King. He was a wise man stuck in a dog's body. I would tell him what to do and he would do it. From "go get your dish", to "gimmie a kiss", he obliged. He would greet people at the door. No matter where he was. At other people's houses he was very well behaved, so we took him everywhere. You could walk down the middle of a super highway with him next to you, and he'd not move more than a foot away. Heel, come, sit, whatever you asked of that dog he listened and complied.

One time he got into a bottle of medicine that a relative had left on the dresser. He never went into anything before. He'd never gone in the garbage, He'd never chewed anything up. He was so well behaved and that's why we were so shocked. He ate every bitter pill in that brown plastic bottle. Turns out it was a tranquilizer that he'd eaten. Sixty of them, and he got very stoned. So affected that he tripped over his own feet as he bumped around the room.

We took him to the emergency room. I have no idea what they did but it was costly and they gave him a shot of something telling us to go to our regular vet immediately. When the vets office saw him, they made us leave him, because they were afraid he might stop breathing. They told us the medication could take weeks to clear out of his system. So for three weeks, we called and waited. King got a little more balance back every day. But still they would not let us take him home.

After three weeks I went in to check on him. He greeted us at the front door. Us and everyone else who came there. Turned out that the staff at the vets loved him so much they didn't want to let him come home and leave them. He had the run of the place. I thought it was strange when they told me they weren't charging me.

So finally King came home. It took a few more weeks before he was back to normal. And we never left a pill container out again. Who knew he liked pills, the dog gave me such a hard time if I wanted to give him one.

So never leave your pills out, you just never know.

Posted by Mary Ricksen at


  1. Beth Trissel // June 30, 2008 at 10:16 AM  

    I so enjoyed this post, Mary. I love dogs too but mine aren't nearly that well behaved. I had a really great dog once, a collie/shepherd cross named Dee Dee. Man, I miss that dog and have spent years trying to find another like her. So far, no go.
    Maybe if we'd stop getting hyper lab mixes it would help.

  2. Nightingale // June 30, 2008 at 10:48 AM  

    Mary, that happened to me. My thyroid pills are made from bovine thyroid and my aunt's dog ate them. For caution's sake, we had his stomach pumped. Maybe we should have let the Peek-a-poo become a Great Dane!

  3. Mary Ricksen // June 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM  

    Every one of them has a personality just like a human. Perhaps that's why we love them so much. To this day I make sure everything is put away.

  4. Mary Marvella // June 30, 2008 at 3:43 PM  

    Dogs do rule. Ask my daughter. Hers own that home. She has a fit if she thinks one might have found a vitamin.

    How many times have you had to force a dog's mouth open to see what he/she is eating? (Note I didn't say its mouth) I've done that for the granddogs. One was chewing on a piece of gum.

  5. Lisa // June 30, 2008 at 6:04 PM  

    Maybe it's all in the name, lol. When I was a kid, my best friend had a Dalmation named King, and he was the smartest, best dog ever. Once I thought he was baring his teeth at me, but my friend explained that he was just smiling. And she was right, that dog really did smile!

  6. Mona Risk // June 30, 2008 at 8:25 PM  

    Mary, I enjoyed your post. Poor King. My dog and my cats were well behaved, but it's my daughter who swallowed a bottle of cough syrup at three. When she started sleeping the doctor sent us a police car to take us to the ER. I didn't have a car at the time. I don't know what they gave her. We came home home after four hours. My son (7 at the time)was delighted to ride in a police car, especially when the policemen let him operate the sirene.

  7. Mary Ricksen // June 30, 2008 at 8:33 PM  

    Just like a brother, more interested in the noise of the siren than his own sister.

    King was one super dog. I have so many more stories. He saved a baby's life once.

  8. Nancy J. Cohen // July 1, 2008 at 5:21 AM  

    That's interesting, Mary. I never heard of a dog eating pills before, but I guess they can get into anything left around.

  9. Lyn Armstrong // July 1, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

    King sounds like a great dog, Mary. I've got a chow/german shepard that I absolutely adore. He gives me the best company when I am writing at my desk.
    You can't beat a dog's loyality.


  10. Kristin Wallace // July 1, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

    We had a frizbee dog (border collie) growing up. She'd catch them in mid-air. Whenever we'd get in the pool she'd run around barking like crazy until we pushed a raft to the edge so she could get on it. She wasn't much on swimming, but loved to float on the raft. She got into a box of chocolates once. Not pretty.