ARK Log: Day 1

ark-survival-evolved-1920x1080-09There is a new survival game out called ARK: Survival Evolved. It’s currently in Alpha, but is the MOST polished Alpha I’ve ever played.

The concept is that you are a hungry, thirsty, naked (or nearly) human deposited on an island filled with (mostly) horrible dinosaurs just waiting to eat you. You have no food. No water. No tools. No shelter. It’s up to you to figure out how to survive and evolve from the life of a simple caveman to a high-tech dino killing machine. Beyond the survival aspect, there are lots of other fun things like construction, dinosaur breeding and taming, etc.

There are a few little glitches here and there, but this game is simply fantastic. For the past year or so we’ve been playing zombie-based games like 7 Days to Die, Dead Island, State of Decay, and possibly a few more. In between the zombie games we’ve played Elder Scrolls Online and Lord of the Rings Online. We are hooked on ARK, obsessed in fact, and can’t wait to get home, eat supper, and play every night!

First Impressions

My husband and I bought this game on sale through Steam. We paid $17.99 each for the early access Alpha. It was in incredibly long download and we were nervous about being able to play the game on our machines. The reason for this is that some games play great on our laptops, others don’t. There doesn’t seem to be rhyme nor reason to it. But, we figured that at $18 a pop, we couldn’t even get pizza, bread sticks, soda, and a movie, so what the hell.

That next morning hubby left for work and when I got out of bed I immediately ran to the computer to try it out. Character creation is complete shit currently. But, since most of the game is played in 1st person, it’s not a huge concern. I did find it strange, looking over at my husband’s screen, and seeing my character in all of her fugly glory, though. And it was weird seeing my husband’s hulking, muscle-bound character, too. This is something that will definitely change so it didn’t spoil my game play.

So… I chose a public server (PVE) and chose a spawn location. All of the spawn point are on the outside edge of the island. I thought that was strange. We’ll leave that thought for another blog post or if I have energy, later on in this one. You could chose from three fairly large areas in each of the directions, North, South, East, and West.

I chose East 2, I think, for my first location. I landed on a sandy beach. I could see turtles and trilobites, dodos, and triceratops. I had no idea if these animals would aggro me on site, so I did the stupid thing and ran. Running in this game, in my opinion, isn’t helpful. You can never simply run to a safe area. If you aren’t being killed currently, the area is safe. If you are erring on the safe side and run away from what you think you might kill you, you will definitely die. It’s kind of a rule of thumb to go by.

So I ran a little ways and then I saw this cute little dinosaur that approached me and I was like, awe! And then these frills popped out from behind his ears and my screen went black and green. What??? A second later I see in big red letters “Bett has been killed by a Dilo.” Ouch. That kind of hurt. It didn’t look dangerous. Oh well. Let’s try again.

So, I respawn the same character in a location near to where I did the first time but a little south. I land on another sandy beach. I see the same types of animals. I decide that maybe they weren’t out to kill me after all. So I adventure a little bit, within reason and I see that someone has built a few structures nearby. I assume they are unfriendly so I avoid their bases. I follow the beach up to a shallow inlet and it starts to get dark. Yikes! I stuff myself inside a shrub and crouch. It’s pitch black and all I can hear are footsteps around me. I’m waiting to be eaten. Or worse. But what actually happens is that a Trike lumbers over to me and I get stuck inside his body. As daybreak approaches I realize that my crouching character is being dragged along everywhere he walks. I decide that this is a good way to explore without attracting the notice of predators. He plods along. Plods along. Doesn’t make much progress. I get bored and decide to climb out of the belly of this beast. Wrong. I’m stuck. Really bad idea to press mouse buttons at level 1 when stuck inside a Trike. Instant death. Respawn.

Oh it’s so pretty in this new location. There is a narrow stream running inland. I think I’ll follow it. Oh, look, dragonflies! They’re so pretty. Dead.

Respawn.

Well this looks different. Mangroves. I must be near a swamp. Dead.

Respawn.

Mangroves here too? Dead.

Respawn.

More mangr—- Dead.

Respawn.

Holy crap that’s the biggest— Dead.

Respawn.

Snow. What’s that weird icon on my lower left screen? I wonder what that means. Oh look! Sea creatures. Wait… the only way to get south is to get into the water. Hopefully I can find a shallow spot. (Swam to other side. Character begins to moan. Screen flashes red) What the heck is killing me? Dead.

Respawn.

Oh god, not another frilled dinosaur. Fuck. Dead.

Respawn.

Goddamn it, it’s dark again. I’ll just sit here for the night and wait till I can see before I move. (time lapses) Red letters across the screen “You are STARVING. Find food fast.” What? Food? Where do I find food. (Runs around punching things. A few berries somehow end up in my inventory. I eat them. But it’s not enough apparently.) Dead.

Respawn.

How the fuck do you eat in this game? Black and green screen. Dead.

Respawn.

Mangroves. Fuck this shit. I’m fucking irritated.

Closes game. Starts new character. Chooses new server.

My character lands on a sandy beach and I get smart really fast and manage to make it to a series of boulders which I wedge myself into for safety. I see a man in a loin cloth walking towards me. I think I’m about to make a friend.

Then he starts punching me. Dead.

Respawn.

How in the fuck did someone kill me when I’m on a PVE server. Did I choose PVP by accident? No, there’s no way because I HATE PVP and would never have clicked on anything that said that. Oh look, there’s a server-wide chat. Wait, that’s the name of the guy that just killed me. And he’s complaining about someone killing him every time he respawns. WTF? Isn’t that what he did to me? Oh god, now there’s people hyper-whining back and forth about how their tribe got wiped out by a tribe they had an alliance with for no good reason. Lot’s of snarky comments. Drama. Well, this server isn’t for me.

Suicide.

Restart. Choose single-player.

Ahhhh. No more trolling in chat. No more butt plugs camping my corpse. No more spawning into an enclosure of dinosaurs, unable to get out.

It’s safe to say that the first hour or so I played ARK, I wasn’t getting the most out of the game. I waited until my husband came home for back-up, assuming that between the two of us, we’d be able to survive for more than a few minutes.

Hubby came home, all excited about the game. We decided to spawn in several locations to find the perfect spot for our base camp. This is kind of how that went.

Spawn on a sandy beach.

Hubby: So where do you want to go?

Me: Well, let’s try to get over to that other beach. How about we cross through the center of this land mass. I can’t tell if it’s an island or not.

One minute later – DEAD.

Wow, that was quick. Wanna try a new location?

Sure. How about that one on the southern coast.

Okay.

Five minutes later. DEAD.

I don’t have to go through it all again. I’ll give a brief synopsis instead. Hubby and I weren’t capable of getting to a safe location for roughly an hour. We spawned and died so many times we can’t even remember how many. Eventually we got to the point we could harvest berries to stave off starvation and craft some rudimentary stone tools/weapons.

Then we decided that using my husband’s computer to host a non-dedicated session for the both of us was causing too much lag. We saw an advertisement for a private server through Nitrado and I bought it the next day.

The server took forever to go live and in the meanwhile hubby and I played one final night with him hosting.

Once our server was live, we couldn’t figure out how to move our saved game there, and had to start from scratch again.

But, it’s fun so we weren’t super irritated about it.

To be continued…

 

Paraguard Paranoia

2014-12-15 14.28.25I recently had my Paraguard Copper-T removed and what I discovered was kind of shocking. So, doing what I do best, I hit the internet to look for people with similar experiences. Oddly enough, I only found one. I figure that I can’t be the only one, so I’m posting my own Paraguard experience in case other women like me need to commiserate.  Continue reading

Gilford, NH – The New Police State

police-state-enough-yetWelcome to America.

Land of the free. Home of the brave.

Oh wait. We’re talking about Gilford, NH here. Let me rephrase that.

Welcome to Gilford, NH. Land of the free. Home of the brave. Land of the controlled. Home of the cowards.

At least, that’s what I get when I watch a video taken of Gilford School Board Meeting on May 6, 2014. The video has two parts. The first captures the actual discussion and Dr. William Baer’s removal. The second captures his arrest and the reaction of the police officer and videographer. The second part is further down in this post.

This is the state of the Union, people. Get used to it. Gilford PD, in conjunction with the SAU 73 School Board, is making America safer, by arresting one parent at a time.

<sarcasm>It’s clear that this man should be locked in jail for the remainder of his natural life. I mean, come on! He had a fucking opinion and he expressed it using – ooooh, scary – WORDS –  that exceeded a two-minute time limit. Heil, SAU 73 School Board! You sure do know how to take care of business.</sarcasm>

Before discussing the videos, let’s talk about the reason for Dr. William Baer’s attendance at the school board meeting. He was there to speak up about the school assigning a book called “Nineteen Minutes” to the 9th grade class. The book has a pretty explicit sex scene in it and the parents were upset that they weren’t notified in advance.

Here’s my opinion on the sex scene. Teenagers fuck like monkeys and think about sex all day long as it is, so the words in the book probably aren’t planting any ideas in their head. I think that my issue is in the fact that is was required reading. If a teacher assigned the bible to be read during a literature course, oh my fucking god, the horrors that would have gone on. But they assigned, I guess… in a way… porn. It wasn’t a book a kid picked up and decided to read of their own volition. It wasn’t a book that a parent had the choice of allowing or disallowing their child to read. It was a very explicit book that the teacher decided was in the students best interest to read. I’m kind of torn about this. I don’t believe in censoring, but I do believe in choice. And, I can say that I would have been mighty embarrassed sitting in a classroom with twenty plus other students discussing a chapter that contained something so graphic.

Here’s the passage of concern. I have to say that I’ve read a few romance novels in my life and a lot of them never came close to this amount of detail. Detail that I’m not sure a 9th-grade student really needed to be forced to read and graded on.

Congratulations, Susie! You got an A on your pornography test! Good luck with your new job at Vivid Entertainment.

“‘Relax,’ Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach.

” … She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer.

“‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs. … (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.

“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”

Well that was exciting. Every 9th-grader needs to have a classroom discussion about the merits of hot, sticky semen and the fact that when it expels itself from the vagina it tends to pool on whatever is beneath it. Wait, they didn’t use a condom??? I have no problem with the book. I have no real issue with a teenager reading it if that’s what they CHOOSE or what their PARENTS choose. But how does something like this become part of the curriculum? Since when did the school system gain the ability to expose  underage children to literature that contains, what could be argued as, pornography?

What’s even MORE impressive is that according to this article, when Dr. Baer tried to read the excerpt aloud in front of the audience, he wasn’t allowed to. So… let me get this straight… The 9th grade class is required to read this book. Inside the book is a passage that talks about two teenagers fucking so furiously that the girl gets rug burns on her legs, and after they’re done it describes hot, sticky semen dripping into a pool underneath her. But the school board won’t allow the passage to be read aloud? What the fucking hairy fucking hell? Oh, I read a little farther into the article. Apparently since the board meeting was being filmed/covered, they COULDN’T allow the passage to be read because it VIOLATES FCC rules. Well, wow. The passage is so explicit it violates broadcasting and media rules, but it’s required reading for 14-year olds. I just pinched myself because I get the feeling that I have somehow stepped out of reality and into some dark surreality that I can’t comprehend.

But back to the other points. Since when did we lose our right to freedom of speech? Looking through the glass, darkly, I guess that what appears to have happened is that people following a higher moral path are punished, and those who oppose it rule. And because of the police-state that is fast becoming the norm, the average citizen has no way to fight what is about to happen. Terrifying.

You know all those sci-fi films set in a dystopian future. Where people are executed because they burped in public or they are herded around like cattle?  They’re not science fiction anymore, and this video proves it. When we arrive at a point in civic evolution where a School Board has the right to ensure that a parent no longer has the ability to speak their opinion without fear of being arrested and potentially having their lives ruined because of a criminal record, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

SAU 73’s School Board rules of order:

rulesoforder

SAU 73’s Board Powers:

boardpowers

Where does it say that they had the right to have a man arrested because he expressed an opinion. And a very valid opinion at that. Where does that leave us? It leaves us in a police state. Or at least a police state in its infancy. The hell with arresting real criminals like child molesters and murderers and rapists. The true threat is the educated, well-spoken individual who dares to express their opinion publicly. It’s clear that this is a scare tactic, one designed to intimidate parents into silence for fear of the consequences. 

  • Next week, someone will be arrested because they put a quarter into a gumball machine and it didn’t spit out their gumball so they shook it gently. The charge will be destruction of property. Gotta get them dangerous criminals off the streets.
  • Next month someone will be arrested because they ordered a pepperoni pizza and got a sausage pizza instead and they complained to management. Their complaint lasted exactly 2.67 minutes.  A clear violation of the Gilford Act of 2014.
  • Next year a five-year-old child will be given porn by a dirty old pedophile and the child will get arrested because he yelled for help. Most obviously a case of disorderly conduct. Imagine the gall of that child for hollering in public.

Really interesting considering that Gilford’s Mission Statement says:

gifordmotto

Does having a parent arrested for attempting to communicate with the school board seem to foster the skills described in Gilford’s own mission statement? Did arresting Dr. Baer promote personal responsibility? Nope. It actually showed the people in attendance that personal responsibility is an arrestable offense. What about promoting accountability? Don’t think so. The school board and police department obviously have no accountability. If they can, with a flick of their wrist, have a parent arrested because they talked out of turn, that’s a clear indication that they feel as though they have ascended to a new level where accountability is only used to persecute others. What about open communication? Dr. Baer was definitely communicating openly. The trouble is that the school board didn’t like what they were hearing. He exceeded a time limit. He talked out of turn. He said things they didn’t want to be held accountable for. What’s the solution? Well evidently it’s not finding an amicable resolution. It’s arrest.

People should be asking the Gilford School District, Board Members and Police Department some serious questions right about now. They should be called out on this atrocious act. Every parent in that district should be running scared right now because they’ve unleashed a monster.

Now onto other features of the first video which I find particularly enlightening.

Did you happen to notice the first man captured speaking in the video? How abruptly he stopped speaking? I think he had a lot more to say. I think  he would have continued, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he halted himself when he noticed the school board chair motioning for the cop. This is just my opinion, but the guy went from arguing for the rights of his children to shutting up far too fast. Is it possible that the residents of Gilford have seen this type of school board police-state behavior before and he sat down before they could decide that his opinion was excessive and arrest him?

Before you discount that theory, look at the people surrounding Mr. Baer. Do you notice something pretty strange? They ignore the entire event as it unfolds. They all know what is about to happen. They all know that it about to violate the very tenants of our constitution and civil rights, but they just sit there and pretend that it’s not happening. What the fuck, people? It could be you next. The lady sipping her water is wide-eyed but she says nothing. The lady in the brown suit-coat scans the room looking for something else to make eye-contact with. I assume this is because she can’t bear to face the man sitting behind her that is about to be arrested for talking out of turn. It isn’t until Dr. Baer is outside that a handful of people follow him out. Was that because of morbid curiosity or because they felt the need to take a stand or at least witness what the future police-state looks like? I didn’t hear anyone except the reporter speaking up and the woman who said that it should be the people who assigned the book in cuffs isn’t even speaking up about the fact that an atrocity was occurring before her very eyes. Kudos that she said SOMETHING, which is more than the rest of them, but they should all have jumped out of their seats when that cop walked over to him in the first place and protested. The point might have been made if that uniformed retard had to cart a whole room full of people to jail for “Disorderly Conduct.”

Look at them. Look at them all. The majority just sit there. I don’t know whether it’s in disbelief or whether they don’t want to be next. I can’t believe my eyes. Every time I watch it I want to scream, “Say something! Stand up for this man!” STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES. Complacency will be your own undoing. Allow shit like this to happen and it will keep happening and it will get worse. You might think you are immune because this time, THIS TIME, you got out unscathed, but it WILL happen to you. Gilford residents – don’t you know your rights? Don’t you know the difference between right and wrong? Can’t you tell what is disorderly conduct and what is not? This was WRONG, wrong, wrong, yet you ignored it. And by doing so, you tightened the grip of the institution around your OWN necks. It will come back to bite you. It may not be today or next year, or even in your lifetime. But imagine what kind of society you are creating for your children? Scary, scary, scary.

And the school board. Ugh. Don’t get me started. They should NOT have this much power. They are a bunch of parents and residents ELECTED to ensure the education of your children. Why are you giving them this much power? Not only did that meeting and arrest prove that they are the ultimate authority, but that they have unlimited power. They don’t like what you have to say? Off with his head! Don’t want to be challenged for a poor decision? Put him in stocks! That school board needs to be dismantled and never reassembled. They are a danger to society. And so is the arresting officer.

Let’s look at the second video.

Interesting to see the facial expressions of the arresting officer. There are a few times where you see him frown deeply. I can only hope that this is an outward expression of his inner shame. He should be very ashamed. When you can trump up charges on an individual because they spoke out of turn or for longer than two minutes at a fucking school board meeting, the fall of society has reached maximum velocity.

When it becomes a priority to arrest parents who speak up at a school board meeting, and allow rapists, and murderers, and child molesters to go free or lightly punished, there is no more hope left. Casey Anthony murders her daughter. She is free. George Zimmerman shoots a teenage boy. He is free. Politicians accept bribes and commit heinous crimes that get covered up. They are free AND running our country. So that actually starts to make sense. When our lawmakers and law enforcers are the true criminals, it only makes sense that they would go after the people who are the voices of reason.

Disorderly conduct.

I used to think that this meant someone who was creating a ruckus and was scaring people or threatening violence. Like someone who walks into a bar and starts throwing around tables and smashing bottles. After watching the videos, I realize that in today’s America, disorderly conduct means expressing your opinion at a public meeting for longer than two minutes or out-of-turn. I’m not a religious person, but Heaven Help Us! Where are we heading? What is next?

If we allow things like this to be brushed under the carpet. If we continue to elect officials that pervert rules to prevent civil liberty and constitutional rights, we’re no better than them and we deserve to sleep in the bed we’ve made. And what a dirty bed it is.

The arresting officer defended the arrest, saying:

“It’s not at all unusual to have town or school officials ask to have us present if they think there is a potentially hot topic,” Leach said. “There was no conspiracy, Mr. Baer just got out of hand, and I had to arrest him.”

He got out of hand. Out of hand. Think about that folks. Dr. Baer spoke just a few sentences. Used no profanity. Didn’t yell. Didn’t threaten. And that was considered out of hand to the point where he had to be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Think again the next time you express your opinion in public. You could end up in jail.

Reading through some of the comments on the articles I found I noticed that some people are adamant that Dr. Baer should have been arrested. I disagree. They are saying that because he talked out of turn and was asked to leave and refused to and continued speaking, arrest was the only option. Think about this for a minute. If every time in your life someone else wanted you to stop talking about a touchy subject they were able to have you arrested, how many times would you have been in jail. If every person was arrested for talking out of turn, there wouldn’t be anyone left to fund the government through taxes. Yes, he challenged them to arrest him. But was it necessary? No. And by the time the officer grabbed his hand, Dr. Baer had stopped speaking and the woman in the front was talking to someone in the back. Baer shut up. He was still removed. Still arrested. This whole incident could have been handled differently. Was he truly a threat? The threatening voice of dissent? Argh. At the very most, I could see the cop bringing him outside and telling him to go home and cool off. The arrest was the final abuse of power. It’s kind of like the saying I’ve often heard about raising kids, “Choose your battles.” This was a battle that could have gone outside and gone away and there wouldn’t be such an outrage about it. And I also disagree with the comments that he was throwing a tantrum and yelling. I can’t imagine what some of these people would think goes on at one of my family’s gatherings because I’ve seen ten times the disorderly conduct at Thanksgiving and it no one got arrested. Unreal.

Related:

Dr. William Baer’s daughter responds to the school board after her father’s arrest.

 

 

Nuts and Bolts

Nuts' nuts

Nuts’ nuts

Continue reading

On The Possession of Superpowers

I discovered last night that I possess superpowers.  Please don’t tell anyone.  I would rather not end up in some government facility being autopsied alive or living out my life in an endless series of experiments.  I’m sure my secret is safe with you.

Throughout my life, I’ve often noticed things, things that make me different than others.  And by others, I mean men.  At first I thought it was just sensory, but after many years of careful analysis, have decided it goes far beyond my eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.  It extends into the realm of foresight, intuition, and reasoning.

What was it, you ask, that prompted this realization?  Nothing more than a nondescript, and rather filthy garbage can.  But not just any garbage can, a garbage can brought to planet Earth many generations ago by super-intelligent aliens from the Orion Nebula.  It’s has a cloaking mechanism that actually allows normal garbage, once it’s been in contact with the rigid, plastic polymer that coats it, to become invisible.

Yesterday started off like any other.  I worked until about 4:30pm; my boyfriend worked until 2:00pm.  He came home, played on the computer.  His little brother, Santos, watched Spongebob.  When I got home at about 5:00pm I walked through the front door into the living room and set my things down.  Dan and Santos both went into the kitchen and I followed them.  This is where things began to get hinky.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a great and terrible pile of trash.  Spewed out along my newly stripped kitchen floor were coffee grounds, egg shells, wrappers, bottles, cans, baggies, you name it.  All sporting a fresh coating of grunge.  Santos stood at the sink, rinsing out a cup.  Dan was digging through the dishwasher to get a plate.  Both were within five feet of this indoor landfill, yet neither seemed to notice.

“Do you see that?” I asked them, first looking at Santos, then Dan.

“See what?” Dan replies.  He looked at Santos as though asking, “What could she possibly see on this immaculate kitchen floor that I don’t?”

“Santos, do you see it?” I ask, this time  directing his gaze, with my own, towards the pile.

“No.”

I look at the pile, back at them.  They stand, dumfounded, acting as though I might have finally flipped my bic.   When I don’t question them further, they go back to doing what they had been before our conversation.

And that’s when it dawned on me.  I’m the only one capable of seeing it.  I… I have… Oh my God!  I HAVE THE POWER!  These mere men, so lousy in design, don’t possess the powers that would allow them to see the invisible trash pile sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor.

Life’s mysteries were finally being answered.  Not  only did the new understanding of my superpowers allow me access into the male psyche, it showed me why every man I’ve ever been with has called me irrational.  If this garbage is invisible, how many other things in the house  are as well?  How many relationships have I sabotaged because of this lack of knowledge.  When I used to get pissed at my ex-husband for leaving dozens of piss filled soda bottles all through my house, he must have been thinking, “What kind of drugs are you on?”  Evidently, these piss bottles were of the same ilk as this garbage can.  Invisible, and therefore incomprehensible to the inferior, superpowerless male.

I glanced around the rest of the kitchen and started to see more clearly.  At the bottom of the sink sat a grisly, decaying pile of watered down food particles, all trapped in the strainer.   Every day of my life I used to bitch about this, now I know that they weren’t deliberately not cleaning it.  They just couldn’t see it.

The surface of my glass-top stove was covered with a thick film of grease, burned on food and other particles.  I see now  that when I used to say, “make sure you clean all the surfaces in the kitchen”, that they weren’t neglecting it because they didn’t feel like it, it was just that to them, my stove looked like four burners that hovered in mid-air, seemingly defying gravity.

I immediately made my way to each corner and crevice in my kitchen, examining the dust and dirt that was collecting.  Fingerprints on the switchplate, on the fridge, on the cabinets.  Dust on the trimwork, grime both on the edges of my cabinet doors and along my kickboard.  I needed further confirmation.

“Do you see this?” I asked, pointing towards the wall separating the kitchen and living rooms.  It was littered with fingerprints, smudges, and splatters.

They looked at the wall, puzzled.

They looked at each other.

They looked back at me, perplexed yet again and cocked their heads to the side.  Like dogs do when they hear strange sounds.

“See what?”

I  knew it.  They can’t see anything!  By now I’m beginning to  worry though.  What evil plans must the aliens have for our planet if they’ve turned all dust, dirt, fingerprints, garbage, and grease invisible?  It’s V, but real.  The aliens are trying to turn us against each other.  Instigating a revolution of the sexes. They figure that if they make women do all the cleaning, that eventually we’ll get so pissed off that we kill the men off.  Completely.  Entirely.

Then half the work is done for them.

 

 

Chocolate + Dogs = Bad

I must have broken a mirror, no a dozen mirrors, a while back because it seems like my life has been cursed since June of 2008.  It’s like I can’t get a break, something always has to be terribly wrong.  What happened today you ask?  My dog ate chocolate.

I have two Miniature Pinschers named Duke and Duchess.  Duke is 7 years old and weighs 12 pounds, Duchess is 5 years old and weighs 9.  Neither of them have any sense and both have pica.  They will gorge themselves until they puke and nothing is off-limits.  They will eat the most atrocious rot you can imagine and gladly go back for seconds.  Over the years they’ve survived a number of near fatalities that stemmed from things they ate.

In 2003, Duke got into a full bag of Raisenettes that my ex-husband had left out.  Somehow, once inside his digestive tract, the raisins rehydrated and became grapes again. I woke up to screams and wails coming from my kitchen at about 4am.  When I went out to see what was wrong, I found him hunched over like he was taking a dump and ky-eyeing like someone had gutted him alive.  On the white linoleum floor behind him  was a trail of grapes and diarrhea.  Duke wasn’t too happy and I can imagine, for his tiny little asshole, it must have been like given birth to centuplets because there must have been a hundred (not really) of them.   I never realized how very sick he could have been until the other day when I got a spam email from Dan’s mother warning of the dangers of raisins in dogs. Who would have guessed?

That same summer Duke decided to eat sand.  Not like a little bit of sand, but several mouthfuls.  He was sick for two days, puking up a mixture of sand and water.  And something bright green.  To this day I have no idea what it might have been, although I could venture a guess that it might have been gum or melted icecream???  I just remember seeing him driving his snout down into the dirt and scooping it up like a doggy-excavator.  Yum!

About a year later Duke managed to find a garbage bag that, I assume, a wild animal had dragged into the woods.  Inside it was a six-month-old roast that was more of a petri dish than meat by the time he got into it.  I couldn’t imagine what he was doing in the woods and all I could hear was him snuffling and scuffling in the leaves.  When I got out behind the shed I found him neck deep in mega-rot and loving every minute of it.  I grabbed his depraved ass up and put him inside.  I had to wear a special suit just to re-dispose of this bag!  Well, needless to say, that night Duke’s belly grew to epic proportions.  It was like he had the Ripley.  The bigger his gut got, the worse stench was seeping out of his mouth. It was like it was in his lungs or something. He got really sluggish and just laid around, not moving.  The next day he had taken to grunting and farting and still wasn’t moving.  I opened his mouth to find that his entire tongue was covered in these tiny dark reddish purple spots.  I still have no idea what he contracted, but it took him a full six days to recover.  There were a few times I thought I had lost him.

A few years back my retarded ex-husband had acquired some pot laced chocolate chip cookies.  He had fed them to some of his friends and when they ended up practically comatosed, he decided not to eat them himself.  I don’t smoke pot and I kept telling him to get rid of them.  One day they disappeared so I assumed he’d found a new victim to feed them to.  I hadn’t seen the paper announcing any unexpected deaths, so I didn’t worry.  He and I went out to dinner one night and we came home to a dark house.  When I walked into the living room I flipped the light on and heard the most agonized screaming coming from the spare room.  I just about had a heart attack it scared me so bad and before I had a chance to find the dog making the sound, she barreled out of the spare room and up the hall towards me.  Duchess was just running around, crashing into things, wide-eyed and frothing at the mouth. Not to mention shrieking like she was on fire.  I was terrified she had broken a bone, eaten a sharp object or something.  I couldn’t calm her down and Josh and I went through the house to see what might have happened.  I couldn’t find anything out of place.  I sat with her on the couch and she just sat there, panting, sweating, this horrible stench coming from her entire body, but mostly her mouth.  She couldn’t stand up straight and was flailing around like she didn’t know where she was in space.  As I was getting out the vet’s number Josh came back in to tell me that he’d found out what was wrong.  He held up an empty baggy.  At first I had no idea what he was referring to, then I realized what had happened.  World War III ensued.  He refused to take her to the vets.  He told me there was no way I was getting the dog out of the house, that he wasn’t going to jail.  So, I stayed up with my dog all night.  Watched her seize and stop breathing, pant and gasp for air, tremor, you name it.  So many times I thought it was her last breath.  Cried, unc0nsolable.  Hating my husband for his part in the whole episode.  By morning she seemed better, though she was acting strange and still couldn’t walk or balance.  She acted like she was drunk for three more days before she regained her balance.  I’ll never forget that night and never forgive it either.

Which brings me to tonight.  I hate chocolate.  I don’t eat it.  I don’t crave it.  I’m weird, I know.   About a week ago, my boyfriend Daniel brings home an extra large bag (24oz) of Hersey’s Semi-sweet Chocolate morsels.  Over the next few nights, he gnawed away at it and last night scurried it away into the computer room.  I didn’t realize this.  Because my dogs are my life, my life pretty much revolves around them.  They are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing before I fall asleep.  Most nights, I wake up periodically all night if I hear sounds, worried they might be crying or something.  Obsessive I know, but I don’t care – I love them.

So Dan leaves this open, partially eaten bag of chocolate near his computer.  He did close the door, but never informed me he’d left a poisonous substance within paw-shot.  This afternoon at 1:30pm I took a shower.  Halfway through, Duchess started barking like a  freakshow and I got out, covered in soap and water and the first room that had a window overlooking the driveway that I could get to was the computer room.  I opened the door, looked outside, found nothing and then continued my shower.  I got out, got dressed and worked on some homework for a while.  At about 2:00 – 2:30 I heard one of the animals playing with a plastic bag.  Since they’re always into something, but I am secure in knowing I haven’t left anything bad out, I didn’t worry overly.  I hollered, “What are you into?” and Duchess came, licking her lips and all perky.  I never gave it a thought.  A little bit later I hear the plastic bag again and this time I get up to see what they’re into.  To be honest, what I envisioned was that they’d gotten into the bathroom trash.  I figured the plastic was a tampon wrapper.  Serious.  They do shit like that.  What I found instead was Duke, in the spare room, with his nose inside a bag of chocolate chips.  I yell, go over pick up the bag and realize that it’s empty but for about 6 chips.  At first I assumed Dan had just left those few so I texted him.  He tells me that there was about 1/4 of a bag left.  I freaked out.

I immediately look up chocolate toxicity levels in dogs and how to calculate a toxic or fatal dose.  According to ‘most’ sites, semi-sweet chips have about 150-160mg/oz of Theobromine (what makes them sick).  One really nice site actually reported it as 137mg/oz.

*** Duchess jumped down from the bed a few minutes ago and she didn’t come back when I called so I had to go out and look for her.  I got to the kitchen doorway and she barked at me but I couldn’t see her.  I walked in, turned on the light only to find her in the litter box, shoveling cat litter/shit into her as fast as she could  swallow.  I hope this is an indication that she’s feeling better.

Back to my story… Some sites list the levels at a whopping 230mg/oz.  This site scared me!  Most of them say that chocolate becomes toxic at 100-200mg/kg.  Duchess weights 9 pounds, which is roughly 4kgs.  This means she could consumer 400-800mg of Theobromine before it became toxic.  Guestimating how much was left in the bag I figured about 3-6oz.  At the median level of 160mg/oz, this meant that she consumed between 480 and 960mg.  Toxic dose either way.  Now I’m panicking for real.  I tell Dan that if my dog dies, he might too.

I try to find a way to make her vomit and all I can come up with is Hydrogen Peroxide.  One site says to give her 1 tsp per 10 pounds of body weight no more than twice.  I shove two rounds of 1/2 tsps down her throat, but much of it ends up in her fur.  She doesn’t vomit.  Dan finally gets home at 4:00-4:30pm.  Duchess is acting fine still.

I decided to give her another dose of H2O2 just in case, though.  This time I had Dan to help hold her still and I was able to get a full 3/4 oz into her by holding her lip up and pouring it in over her gums.  Within about ten minutes she vomited.  It had a tiny bit of melted chocolate in it.  I assumed most had been digested and since she didn’t act like she was going to vomit again, worried that we’d missed our opportunity.  A few minutes later she jumped onto the back of the couch and yacked down the cushion and onto Santos’ backpack.  This had a little bit of chocolate in it again, but nothing major.  She acted uneasy for the next few minutes and went outside.  We watched her go through an awful commotion shitting.  It wasn’t solid, but dark and liquidy.  She ran around hunched over for five full minutes before she came back in.  She ran around the living room briefly and then back towards the dog door.  Right in front of the door she hunched over and puked.  I have to add that all of her pukes were quite strategic.  The first ruining her new dog bed, the second on Santos’ stuff, and the third and most voluminous, on the ONLY white shirt that I own.  I had dropped it in the hall when I brought laundry out today.  I went to investigate and saw that she’d barfed up the mother-load.  The amount of chocolate in this batch scared the crap out of me.

Over the next hour or so her heart raced like the dickens.  She was breathing kind of fast and was very restless.  Well, she still seems restless in fact, though her heart isn’t go quite as fast as it was.  They say the half-life of Theobromine in the dog is 17.5 hours.  Humans metabolize it in less than an hour. Dogs don’t.  That’s what makes it so dangerous.  They’re getting a massive dose of speed and it lingers in their system for almost an entire day, or more if you consider the fact that only half of it comes out in 17.5 hours.

I’m not saying she’s out of the woods, but since she hasn’t declined I’m hopeful.  I’ll follow up in the morning, when hopefully, she’s up and about and acting like her old self.  Until then, don’t buy chocolate, or date men who are careless.

UPDATE:

Duchess IS back to normal, thank God.  I didn’t get much sleep last night because she was just up and down and up and down all night.  At about 3:30am she woke up panting and breathing  really heavy and hard.  It kind of made me nervous so I stayed up with her.  She did settle back down though and by 11:0oam her heartbeat was just slightly higher than Duke’s.  I think she’s out of the woods at this point, being that her symptoms haven’t increased and it’s been about 22ish hours since she ate it.

STATISTICS:

  • Dry cocoa powder = 800 mg/oz
  • Unsweetened (Baker’s) chocolate = 450 mg/oz
  • Cocoa bean mulch = 255 mg/oz
  • semisweet chocolate and sweet dark chocolate is = 150-160 mg/oz
  • Milk chocolate = 44-64 mg Theobromine per oz chocolate
  • White chocolate contains an insignificant source of methylxanthines.

Based on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APPC) experience, mild signs occur in animals ingesting 10 milligrams of theobromine per pound of body weight, severe signs are seen at doses of over 20 mgs per pound of body weight, and 70 mgs/pound of body weight is a fatal dose for both dogs and humans. Just 2 ounces of baking chocolate or 4 ounces (1/4 pound) of dark chocolate contains a fatal dose of theobromine for a 15-pound dog, and death can occur within 6 to 24 hours of ingesting. If your pug eats as small an amount as 1 Tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips, it may be fatal. Death from heart failure can also occur after a few days of chronic cumulative exposure (smaller amounts of chocolate eaten over several days). (source)

(table courtesy of)

Dog’s Weight Amount of Milk Chocolate Amount of Unsweetened Chocolate Approx. MG of
5 lbs. 4 oz. 1/2 oz. 200
10 lbs. 8 oz. 1 oz. 400
20 lbs. 16 oz. 2 1/2 oz. 900
30 lbs. 1 1/4 lbs. 3 3/4 oz. 1300
40 lbs. 2 1/2 lbs. 4 1/2 oz. 1800
50 lbs. 3 lbs. 5 1/2 oz. 2250
60 lbs. 3 3/4 lbs. 6 3/4 oz. 2700
70 lbs. 4 3/4 lbs. 8 1/2 oz. 3400

Telekinetic Pica (Video)

My final project for ART270: Digital Art I

267 photos and clay!

~Stacy