Does Maisie have medical alert skills?

The strangest thing happened the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Every night I give Annie her eye drops.  She’s a heavy sleeper so I try to do this before she has started to wind down for the night but I don’t always remember to do so.  This was one of those times, so as she was snoring away in her crate I approached her and softly nudged her awake so that we could get it done and then go upstairs to bed.

I hold her chin in my hand, gently pry her eyelids open, because even if she is awake she will pretend she isn’t, and quickly squeeze the drops into each eye.

Just as I was trying to coax her upright to go upstairs she started making really strange sounds.  I thought she might throw up, but the noises she was making weren’t quite right. It seemed like she was gasping.  Did some of her saliva slide down her windpipe when she was getting her drops?  The episode passed pretty quickly but I had grabbed my car keys just in case she didn’t improve and we needed to run to the emergency vet.  With her, I have a tendency to immediately assume worst case scenario but fortunately that wasn’t necessary.

She was finally willing to stand up and leave her crate and then she let out a horrible sound.  She’s done this a handful of times since we’ve had her and I’ve nicknamed them her “old man noises”. It’s loud and guttural and I’ve never had another dog do such a thing.  She might be clearing her throat but whatever the reason it disturbs me every time and also sends me into fits of laughter.  It’s so unusual, and loud enough to send everyone else running with exclamations like “what was that” or “is everything OK” and there I will be, laughing uncontrollably!

So what does this have to do with Maisie? Well once Annie seemed to be back to normal we made our way upstairs for bed.  The dogs usually hop on our bed for 5 or 10 minutes and then get down and settle into their own.  My husband was already upstairs, fast asleep, so Annie and I attempted to quietly get in bed without disturbing him or Maisie.  Just when I was all settled Maisie started growling and then let out some deep barks and 5 seconds later Annie expelled another one of those horrible noises. My  husband woke up, muttering “what’s happening” and then Maisie started growling and barking again and sure enough, another horrific sound came out of Annie.  About 15 seconds later this routine happened again to which my husband is truly annoyed with Maisie and imploring me to get her to be quiet and of course I was laughing so hard I couldn’t talk.  This was not what he had in mind when he fell into his deep, snoring sleep 15 minutes earlier.

After the 3rd round, Annie let out one of her contented groans while stretching and immediately started snoring.  Maisie had exhausted herself with all of her outbursts and snuggled close to me, put her head on my chest and went to sleep and I just stayed still looking at the ceiling in the dark. What in the world just happened?  I have never heard Maisie growl before, I mean never and that bark was much deeper than her usual bark. I’ve heard it maybe once or twice when she’s been upset and protective. She was really worked up and it took a lot of soothing to get her calmed.  I don’t think she understood what had just happened either.  The only one who didn’t act like something was unusual was Annie, go figure!

I’ve added this post to the daily challenge of calm. It’s the opposite of calm but eventually we all did calm down and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

7 thoughts on “Does Maisie have medical alert skills?”

      1. I really don’t know what it is, I’ve been trying to document what sets them off, it’s been at least 3 months since she did it and she’s never done it more than one at a time. I think she’s clearing her throat. It’s very dramatic and she’s not a dramatic dog which is why I get the giggles when it happens.

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    1. I have talked to the vet, I try to write down what’s going on when it happens, it’s very infrequent and we think she is clearing her throats rather than coughing. There have been so many health issues that we are managing that I try to prioritize. It’s the next thing to investigate if it becomes more frequent. Overall, she’s happy, eats well and has good energy when she’s awake. For being a 10 1/2 year old giant breed she’s doing really well!

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  1. I imagine Maisie did try to tell you something was up with Annie. She probably heard or smelled the initiation of whatever was going on within Annie. Good girl Maisie! Hope it’s all settled down now.

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