I Am Thankful for the 3 Hour Wait for the Vet

A story with a happy ending

Brenda Mahler
5 min readMar 1, 2022


Dagney cuddled in her blanket feeling lethargic. Image from author’s photos.

Obviously, something had her out-of-sorts but there were no obvious signs of the cause.

We had spent the day outside pruning the tall grasses to prepare them for the new growth that spring promised. Dagney had frolicked and enjoyed the warmest weather we had experienced in months but in the early evening, she wasn’t her normal self. I noticed she was drinking more water than usual, and several times awakened with a raspy dry cough.

Since 9:30 p.m. is her bewitching hour, we decided to go to bed and monitor her throughout the night. Unfortunately, there was a lot of monitoring going on. Her cough grew more persistent and repeatedly she jumped from our bed to get a drink. Each time, I got up with her without any ideas of how to provide relief.

The next morning, I mentioned that it seemed like she had something caught in her throat. My husband wondered if our baby girl might have swallowed some cheat grass. I did what any concerned mother would do and searched Google for information about the harms of cheat grass.

“When a grass awn is embedded, the body responds with inflammation. Cells begin to wall off the area to contain a potential infection, forming an abscess. . . Embedded grass awns can lead to serious infections and other complications.

If you notice these or any other signs of illness in your dog, contact your veterinarian right away. Let your vet know if your dog has been around tall grasses. The sooner a grass awn is found, the easier it is to treat. Do not wait for the problem to resolve on its own.

If your dog is having respiratory issues, digestive problems, or other general signs of illness but a foreign body cannot be found on the exam, then X-rays may be needed. Blood and urine may be tested to see if there is an impact on organ function or blood cells. An ultrasound may also be needed to visualize the inside of the body.”

- The Spruce Pets (This link provides some helpful information.)

For future reference, Google searches tend to provide enough information to sound alarm sirens in the brain. I closed the laptop with the declaration, “We are going to the vet.”



Brenda Mahler

Real life person sharing real life stories. Writing about travel, dogs, and healthy lifestyles.