When Your Dog Has a Substance Abuse Problem

Addiction is hard, especially when it is your dog. For starters, there is the language barrier, which makes intervention really difficult.

The following events are a 100% TRUE account of my former foster dog, Ace*

* Name changed to protect the innocent

When tragedy strikes

When tragedy strikes

Ace was surrendered by his owners. They said they were moving and couldn’t take him with them but, in hindsight, they were probably sick of trying to help him clean up his act.

Ace was not neutered and if I have any rule in my house it is that testicles are not allowed under my roof. A rule that Calm-ass Husband vehemently protested, but I think he hardly misses them.

Unfortunately Ace would not leave his empticles (the empty sac left behind after a neutering – that is not a an actual medical term) alone after his neutering. Even with an e-collar (what most of you know as “the cone of shame”) he managed to disturb his empticles to the point where we had to do more surgery to repair them. I don’t want to get too graphic for any men who are reading this – but let’s jus say they were a horrifying sight. At that point we decided to just keep him consistently sedated until his empticles had time to heal.

And that is where things went down hill.

We used a sedative called Acepromazine – better know to junky dogs by its street name, “The Zine.”

I kept Ace consistently gorked out of his mind because the minute he started to snap out of it, he immediately went for his empticles. As more time passed, he needed a higher dose of the Zine to be effective. And me, being an enabler, gave it to him.

One night I had to leave the house for a bit and so made sure Ace was comfortable. I fed him, flipped on the TV for him,  adjusted his cone, and gave him his dose of Zine. I figured between the food coma and the drugs, he’d be out for awhile.

Big mistake.

I came back an hour later and slowly opened the front door. Immediately I saw dog food strewn all over the floor. On top of that, there were beer cans littering the floor. Some still full, and some with puncture marks in them, leaking on the floor. Ace had dragged them in from the kitchen, and tore into the food bag. On the TV, I’m not even lying, was the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. And sprawled out on the couch, snoring loudly, was Ace. Passed out.

It was his rock bottom.

Needless to say there was a lot of anger and frustration. Mostly at the wasted beer all over my living room floor.

And for the record, there are no methadone clinics for dogs, and the human clinics don’t treat dogs. I called to check. They just hung up on me. Compassion is lost in today’s society.

Luckily we got Ace cleaned up, his empticles healed, and he was adopted by a family who loved him and accepted him – checkered past and all.

But let this be a lesson to you: don’t ignore the warning signs. Your dog’s cry for help could be happening right under your nose.

wiseass wife


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