By Mick Holien
Those of you who hopefully are listeners and readers of this corner are no doubt aware that I had to euthanize my Yellow Lab, Skyy, sending her across the Rainbow Bridge where she’ll be looking to romp in the tall flowers among seemingly endless fields.
She just loved to be the first aboard the unique design of the Vox vessel and would swim at her spot in the Flathead River fetching a stick or whatever.
Like most Labs she was relentless and although I had heard the Wives tails that labs will fetch or run till they drop I really didn’t give it much credence
Some time back when I was spending summers in an RV park south of Elmo there was a small swimming area surrounded by a rope attached to a set of buoys.
Well Skyy decided her job was to bring the red buoys to me and swam out, grabbed one and tried to pull it to shore.
She was so strident in her efforts I was afraid she was going to drown trying to bring it to me. I finally had to swim out to her and physically convince her to stop.
It was then I realized what people were talking about and remembered a time living on the Blackfoot River.
My roommate had a brown Lab, Scout, who used to chase a stick, taking in to consideration the angle needed to vector to the stick given whatever the time of year and current.
But as the day wore on Scout who weighed some 140 lbs. became more than spent but just kept bringing the stick back until we stopped.
I really didn’t give it much more thought until I ran across a story in the Missoulian about these folks who lost their dog after a rambunctious time in the water.
He suffered from hyponatremia or water intoxication, an uncommon malady affecting an animal that loves the water but doesn’t realize its limits and unintentionally drinks water while lunging into it.
According to Simplemost magazine, symptoms include nausea and vomiting, a loss of balance, weakness and lethargy.
Just a two-year-old the dog became lethargic and died even though they gave him CPR on the way to the vet.
While some dogs recover with IV fluids and medication to reduce the swelling of the brain, many succumb.
Be careful and mindful. It is your responsibility.