A Rough Couple of Months

September 9, 2009 at 5:31 PM 17 comments

A week or two ago, when I started recounting our trip to the States, I mentioned that there weren’t really any good surprises upon returning to Germany. It’s finally time for me to write about all of that.

We were so excited to get home and pick Béni up from the kennel. We hurried over there as soon we we could make the drive from the airport. We arrived at 10 AM, and all the dogs were in the yard playing. Béni walked up to the fence, sopping wet and extremely dirty and just stared at us like he didn’t know us. Blank expression. No wagging tail. Our hearts were broken.

We walked into the kennel and an employee let him inside. He ran past us looking for his food. She said normally when he gets let in, it’s time to eat, so he was looking for food. Still, he did not come see us. The rest of the time until we got to the car is a blur. I was upset. John was upset. The sweet puppy we had dropped off before our trip was not the same anymore. (We also asked the employee if he’d been fed yet, because he was acting really hungry. She said no. Our instructions were that he was to be fed every day at 7 AM and 6 PM, and they said no problem. Apparently, they weren’t following our instructions at all.)

On the drive home, Béni rode in the backseat like normal. Every time I tried to put my hand in front of his mouth for him to lick, he blatantly turned away from it. He wouldn’t look at either of us, and he was extremely quiet.

We got him home and fed him immediately. Then we had to get him in the bath. He was disgusting. We washed him once and knew that wouldn’t be enough, but it would suffice for the time being. He was shedding terribly too. I doubt he had been brushed since we dropped him off. So much hair was falling off everywhere.

John brought his kennel back upstairs. Béni’s kennel is his room. He loves it. We had taken it to the kennel for him to sleep in at night if he wanted even though he had a room with 1-2 other dogs. When John brought the kennel up, we noticed how dirty it was, and Béni’s bed inside was filthy. It had been a cream color, and when we looked at it post-kennel, it was basically black. It also smelled like urine. We threw it away, and John went to the pet store to get Béni a new bed.

We began the long process of re-acclimating Béni to being at home and to the both of us. Then, the upset tummy came. The first night back with us, Béni threw up. We thought maybe it was because of all the stress, but the next morning he started having diarrhea. It got worse and worse (it got explosive…so bad). On Monday, we took him to the vet. We had to go to a German vet, though, because the vet on post was closed until Wednesday. A big vet bill later, Béni was set up with 3 different medications, and we were hopeful he’d get better.

Things were looking up until Wednesday night when he threw up twice more. In the morning, he wouldn’t eat his food. He just looked at it and backed away. John took Béni to the vet on Friday. He went to another German vet, because the vet on post was closed again and we didn’t like the vet we had gone to earlier in the week. This vet was much better. She gave Béni an IV to rehydrate him and put him on an antibiotic and one other medication (she thinks it was a stomach infection). So, another big vet bill later, we’re hoping he’s on his way back to normal.

He had a follow up appointment last week on Tuesday, and we thought he was ok. However, Wednesday, he was acting funny with his food, and started refusing to eat again. Thursday he spent all day (8:30 AM – 9 PM) at the vet and had around 13 X-rays. Finally, the vet decided that he has a severe bacterial infection, and we had not been treating it aggressively enough or long enough. He did great on Friday with the new regimen of meds, so with our third vet bill, I think we’re finally done with the frequent vet visits. He has continued to do well, and we’re really pleased with this vet’s care.

As for his relationship with us, he’s back to normal. He definitely loves us and loves being home. The 2-3 day transition back was hard, though. He didn’t want to give us kisses, which is completely out of character for him. Bottom line is we’ll never leave him at that kennel ever again. Hopefully we’ll never have to leave him at any kennel again — we’re hoping to find friends who want to watch him while we’re on any trips in the future.

Coming up tomorrow: we spill the beans on where we went over Labor Day weekend.

**Edit: A couple people have asked the name of the kennel, and I figured it might be helpful to include that information. The kennel is called Hundehotel Neckartal, and it’s on Dilsberger Straße in Neckargemünd.**



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All the Leaves are Brown and the Sky is Grey Riiiiiicola

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chelsea Hurst  |  September 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM

    Oh my gosh. That’s awful!! And I was so jealous of the kennel yall found. You need to write a review so that when others review it, they see that. It’s hard to leave your pup behind, you want to know they are in good hands.

    • 2. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 9:54 AM

      Yeah…a review is a good idea. However, I don’t know what sites the Germans use (nor could I write it in German). *sigh* My time here hasn’t been what I thought it would be. I really thought Johna nd I would be nearly fluent in Germany by the time we left.

  • 3. CN Heidelberg  |  September 9, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Poor puppy!! I’m so glad it’s gotten better!

    • 4. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:03 AM


      Also, sorry we weren’t around to make plans for the castle illumination. Did you guys end up doing anything for it?

  • 5. Mom in High Heels  |  September 9, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    Oh no! Poor baby! What kennel was it? (I don’t want to go there!) What vet did you go to? We go to Dr. Mauer’s office, just across from the entrance to Patton. I do NOT like the American vet. Every time I’ve taken my dog in there they say we should put her down. WHAT? The first time she was seen there was 11 years ago when she was 2. She had health issues and they recommended putting her down. I took her to Dr. Mauer (we’ve lived here 3 times) and they said she had a virus, gave her some meds and now she’s 13. She had to go to the vet today because she has a virus too. OMG, it’s horrible.
    I hope your baby is better soon. BTW, it was great meeting you the other day, even though I looked just awful!

    • 6. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:02 AM

      It was great to meet you too. And I didn’t think you looked bad at all! Truly!

      The kennel we used was the Hundehotel-Neckartal in Neckargemuend (http://www.hundehotel-neckartal.de/).

      We first went to a vet in Leimen. He wasn’t so great, and we haven’t been too pleased with the care at the place across from Patton, because it’s such a big practice that it’s not very personalized. We ended up going to Dr. Bay at Rathausstraße 44. She’s freaking awesome!

      And I agree about the on post vet. Besides, they told us they focus only on preventative medicine. Uhh…excuse me, but animals get sick just like humans and they need medicine! Anyway, I’m glad you found someone other than the on post vet to take your dogs to, and I hope your dog starts feeling better soon!

      Also, that’s crazy that y’all have been here 3 times – you must really know your way around!

      • 7. Mom in High Heels  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:45 AM

        HA! I KNEW it had to be that hundhotel! We have a neighbor who loves it, but I am so not a fan. We use teh Rex Kennels just across the river (near the zoo) and they are wonderful! They groom our dogs too and do a great job. If you ever need to kennel him again, I highly recommend them. I guess we get more personal service from Dr. Mauer’s office because we’ve been going there so long. They have records on Pepper back to 1999 and Dutch back to 2002! They know our dogs and I like that they have their history.
        Yes, it IS crazy that we’ve been here 3 times! We were shocked to get HD again last year. We’ve always lived in HD! We’re just making the rounds of MTV. 😉 We should get together. Let me know when you’re free!

        • 8. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 7:26 PM

          We’re hoping to be able to avoid all kennels the rest of the time we’re here and just leave him with friends, but if we get stuck in a bind, we’ll definitely check out Rex Kennels. Thanks for the suggestion!

          I’d love to get together sometime. Week days are pretty busy between work, making dinner and household duties, but my weekends are usually pretty open. I’ll send you an email tomorrow.

  • 9. Vesper  |  September 9, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    Im glad everything is ok now.

    • 10. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:02 AM


  • 11. Lilly Frost  |  September 10, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    Sorry to hear about Beni being so sick 😦 It’s so hard to find a good vet that you can really trust. I drive 45 minutes to my vet because I’m don’t trust anybody else, haha. SO glad he’s back to his old self now!

    • 12. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:03 AM

      Thanks, Lilly! What kind of dog do you have?

      • 13. Lilly Frost  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM

        I actually don’t have a dog. I have two cats. My mom has 6 dogs though, haha. And 4 of them are labs. We use a vet in New Braunfels even though my mom lives in SA and I live in Austin now. We’ve had so many problems with other vets, that we’re too scared to take our animals elsewhere. The vet, Dr. Fisher, was actually my mom’s college sweetheart 🙂 Trust him 1000%.
        Granted, that won’t do you much good in Germany, but if you ever make it back to Texas and need a good vet, he’s the best.

  • 14. Veronica  |  September 10, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Yikes!! That doesn’t sound like fun. Poor Beni! Glad he’s doing better though. So sorry it has been a rough couple weeks 😦

    • 15. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 7:26 PM

      Thanks, we’re really glad too 🙂

  • 16. purejoy  |  September 10, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    i had visions of béni chasing squirrels and sleeping in the lap of luxury as someone scratched him behind the ears while he lounged around watching lady and the tramp. i’m so sorry he had such a miserable experience, and i can only imagine your heartache when you got the silent treatment upon your return. (lower lip protruding)
    so glad he’s better. what doggy drama!!

    • 17. osarah  |  September 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

      Aw, this made me tear up a little. I wish his kennel experience had been better. Now I REALLY don’t want to leave him anymore. Hopefully we’ll be able to arrange for him to stay with friends in the future. Once we’re back in Texas, we have plenty of family to watch him, but being over here is a little more difficult.


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