From Tank

We watch the morning news at our house. It pretty much bores me to sleep, but you have to admit, that’s not a bad thing for an early morning routine. From the couch, laying with my eyes closed, I barely hear, “The pet poison hotline announced today that there has been a 400 percent jump in the last two years, in pets being poisoned by e-cigarettes.” My eyes pop open… POISONED??  E- cigarettes, what’s that!? Do we have any? I jump up. Dad opens the front door and out I dart; there’s my Jolly Ball. My tail won’t stop wagging. This big orange ball with a rope going through it can make you forget about all your worries. I brought it to my dad. He threw it and I wrestled it down time after time. I think we both got tuckered out, so we came back in and took a nap; boy, I love naps.

Later that day they packed up their bags like they were going somewhere and I started to worry; where are they going? After all, what if I’m home alone? What if I get poisoned or something? They kept piling up luggage, so I had no choice; I jumped into the back seat of the truck, first chance I got, to make sure they would not be going without me. I laid with my head down on the back seat, hoping nobody would notice me. They finally got in. Whew! I don’t think they saw me at all. We headed down the road and I had to wonder, “Are they dropping me off at Auntie’s?… or are they taking me somewhere else? What if I get poisoned?” After a little bit of a ride, I knew I was going with them (whether they knew it or not).

Soon we got out and I had to wear a leash. We went inside this huge building and stood in line with all the suitcases. My eyes were watering; there were lights everywhere, and lots of buzzy sounds and bells; and, well, it felt like my throat was closing in. I coughed a few times and so did the little poodle in front of us. She was having a terrible time. I know I’m a bit of a worrier, but I had to wonder, could we be being poisoned? Then  I heard mom say it, “That man should put out his cigarette.” WHAT? Did I hear that I am indeed being poisoned? I motioned to the little dog in front of us to take cover. I laid down and put my paws right over my eyes. “No, not this! Not poisoning!” Then some lady in a black suit came and asked him to get rid of that thing. It took a few minutes, but it felt like everything was going to be okay after all. We headed up one of those elevators where we have to sit still, and made our way to a room. Mom turned on the news again and there it was, more about pets being poisoned. “Dr. Rubin says, it’s not just e-cigarettes that pet owners need to watch out for, but also traditional tobacco products like cigarettes, and nicotine gum.” That was it; that terrible choking feeling came from a cigarette. It sounds like all of those things are very dangerous for pets. The doctor said she believes that 25% of pets are affected by a nicotene-related disease. They say in some dogs, eating one cigarette butt could lead to death. Boy I’m glad there’s no cigarettes at our house.

The next morning we come home. I got busy playing with my Jolly ball and I was feeling good again. It was a frightening trip being exposed to poison! Next time they go there, I HOPE I’m staying with Auntie.

My advice to you pet owners is please don’t smoke around your pets, even those e-cigarettes, and be sure to keep all your nicotine gum and other junk like that out of the way of pets. And if they are a worrier like me, buy them a Jolly Ball.

Sources: CBS 13 News (Sacramento),,