Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sonya saves Lili's life: A heartwarming tale of courage and love for the holidays.

Sonya stands guard on a mountain top.
There’s a lot to celebrate this Holiday at our Homestead as we enter our 3rd year of operation of Petaluma Pie Company. We are (knock on wood) healthy and our cholesterol count in check despite our daily dose of pie we subject ourselves to for the purposes of quality control.

Lili (Left: Liliuokalani) and Sonya (Right: Sonya Sotomayor) sport the latest fashion sweater.

Above all, we are happy because Lili, our Chihuahua pictured above is still alive, thanks to Sonya, the other Chihuahua pictured above, who saved Lili’s life.

This all started with Lili’s favorite pastime of chewing on walnuts she finds in the garden.  Almost every home in our neighborhood has one walnut tree, a reminder of the fact that the area was once a walnut orchard. As you can imagine, walnuts are scattered everywhere in this neighborhood.

One day, while we were toiling away at the pie shop, trouble was brewing at home.

We got a phone call from our neighbor/dog walker, Chris saying Sonya had managed dig her way out of our heavily fortified fenced back yard and then break into Chris’s heavily fortified fenced backyard; A mind-boggling act for a little 8 pound Chihuahua.

Thanks to Chris’s dogs barking at the unexpected intrusion, Chris found Sonya sitting patiently in her backyard, waiting to be discovered. Like any good neighbor, Chris immediately brought our dog back to our house. (Chris, being our dog-walker, has our keys.)

It was then that Chris noticed that Lili, who normally barks joyfully anytime Chris approaches our house (usually with promise of outdoor fun and treats), was silent. Thanks to Chris’s hunch that something was wrong. Chris went looking and found Lili  laying on the ground in our backyard, shaking violently as though the dog was having an epileptic seizure. At that point, Chris called us at the store again, this time in panic, and asked that one of us come home immediately. Meanwhile, after getting off the phone, Chris rushed Lili to the nearby veterinarian. After a series of emergency treatments, the veterinarian informed us that Lili was likely poisoned from eating a moldy walnut hull which is very toxic and even deadly to dogs. She was hospitalized that night and closely monitored because her life was in danger.

Lili back to her usual self.
Two days and $1000 in vet bills later, Lili is back to being her vacuum cleaning self, sucking up everything that looks remotely like food (even walnuts!?)... But at least, we the humans learned to be vigilant now. We now take away walnuts as soon as we see one and we even cut down the tree for the safety of our dogs. (The tree was in the way of our gardening project anyway.) Sadly, it appears that Lili has not learned a thing from this harrowing episode... but still, we are grateful that she is back to her normal health.

Well, that is our heartwarming holiday story for you. We now have a renewed respect for Sonya. She is much wiser and resourceful than she puts on.

Keep walnuts (and moldy grapes!) away from dogs.  Happy Holidays everybody!

Lina and Angelo