Anyone else can't stand their pet? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First let me say that I would never be mean to an animal. I would never do anything other than care for it, make sure it has the best vet care, healthy food, exercise, play etc....

But, I can not stand my dog. In fact, I dislike her so much she has taken a former dog lover and turned me into someone who will never again own a pet.

She is a 90lb lab who steals food off the counters all the time. If I'm making the kids breakfast and I turn my back for a second, she gets up on the counter and steals the food. If I'm making their lunch and I leave the loaf of bread on the counter while I go do something else, she steals the loaf of bread, takes it upstairs into a back bedroom and eats the entire thing.

If every cabinet and pantry door isn't shut tight, she can get in and steal food.

With 5 people in the family, it's nearly impossible to make sure every single piece of food is being supervised or locked down at every moment.

In the past two days, she's stolen 3 loaves of bread and two bags of goldfish crackers :

And the cheese! I adore really good, expensive cheese. I only buy a small amount and I savor it. But, I don't buy it any more after she stole it twice!!! I was slicing a bit of cheese, the phone rang and I walked away to get it and within 20 seconds, she has stolen the entire brick of cheese.

My kids can not walk around with a cracker or cheese stick in their hands as she is so big she can just take it out of their hands. I can not tell you how many times a day the kids come to me crying because the dog stole their cookie or cracker right out of their hand. We talk about keeping it up, sitting at the table etc.... but, the freaking dog is everywhere!!!

I try to put her outside and she barks and barks and barks and howls at the door. I have neighbors. So, I can't lock her out while I'm making food.

I try to crate her or put her in another room - again the howling and barking....I can not take it!

I know I need to make sure she's no where around when I'm making food but, with a family of 5 - there always seems to be food out somewhere.

Again, I will care for this dog til her dying day. I will give her attention, exercise, medical care etc.... but I swear, I will never, ever have another animal as long as I live.
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#2 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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You sounds like a seriously frustrated and stressed out pet owner.

What I can say is, all of these things *are* correctable with the right information, training and strategies for success. If they move this post to the pets forum (which I expect they will) you will get a lot of good information to help things get better. It's much less about the dog, and much more about the training.

Though, personally I'm a cat person because I know dogs are so much more work and cats are mostly self sufficient. Dogs don't default to "normal well behaved dogs", that's why they're so much work. It's all about training, exercise and a knowledgable pack ruler (or whatever the dog lingo is...it's been a couple of decades since we had a dog in our family)!

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#3 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Me! I'm not a animal person, I hate animals. I'm sorry, I just dont dig them.

Unfortunately, my kids and husband love them and I'm outnumbered on that one. We have a lab and a cat. The dog thinks he's mine. Only listens to me most of the time and insists on sleeping on my side of the bed. If he's scared its me he comes running to. What gives? lol. We don't have issues with stealing food or anything like that though, he's pretty well trained.

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#4 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've done so many training classes it's not even funny. She can sit and lay down with the best of them but other than that, she's not remotely interested in any of her training.

We practiced and practiced and practiced with her but, she just would never do it.

I think right now, we're just trying to survive her. We're probably not going to do anymore training - it's been a waste of time and money. Now we just need to survive........
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#5 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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Sneaks quietly in and sits on the bench next to you.


I don't like my dog at all. I love her, but I don't like her. She's a great watchdog, she lets the kids do anything to her in the name of love but man I am not meant to be a dog owner. Dh brought her home when ds was 6 months old, we were moving and both working. We did not have time for a dog. As a result she spent a lot of time outside When we moved she became an inside dog, but since we never really trained her she steals food and is awful on a leash. But she has to be on a leash outside, because she runs away. She's a puppy school drop out because dh stopped going. She's such a good dog despite her lack of attention. The kids play with her all the time, I walk her daily, ds makes sure she's fed and watered, dd gives her treats and lots of snuggles.

I try, because I know she loves me. She knew I was pregnant with dd before I did, I swear. She suddenly started sitting at my feet all the time. Followed me around the house constantly. It was really weird. Then when dd was born she was like Nana from Peter Pan. If dd cried she ran right to her. Once when ds was small someone came to our door that we didn't know, ds was sitting near the front door and I was in the bedroom at the end of the hall. She got between ds and the door and started snarling at the guy at the door to protect her baby.

But I really don't like her at all.
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#6 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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This makes me really uncomfortable.
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#7 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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Some of the time I hate my cat, and DH does even more. I'm allergic, she bothers us at night trying to get attention, swats or scratches DS, pees on things, and often pukes after eating.

But, when my allergies aren't acting up and she's being friendly I don't mind petting her. And she's been peeing on stuff less often lately and I got the stink out of everything. I feel it'd be irresponsible to give her away so, she's staying.
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#8 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
This makes me really uncomfortable.
Why?

I would think it would make you uncomfortable if I said I wasn't going to care for her anymore or that I was trying to give her away.

The problem with dogs - especially ones you get as a puppy - you have no idea if their personality is going to mesh with your family. You hope and pray that it does but, it's a crap shoot.

I've owned lots of dogs before and I've never had one so overtly disobedient. I've never had one who could not be disciplined, who didn't care at all about rewards and training etc...

This dog just doesn't mesh with our family. It happens. But, even though she tries my patience every day, I will care for her, play with her, feed her, make sure she has vet care etc.... and my kids adore her.

She has no idea I don't like her and I would never do anything to show that I didn't like her.

Well, I guess other then write a vent post about how I'm so sick of all the food stealing. Other than that, no one would know how I feel about this dog.
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#9 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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You need to read The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell and The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. It will give you tons of insight on why your dog is acting like she is and how to correct. Dogs are a lot of work and need constant training.

I hope this doesn't come off harsh but your dog is acting this way because you let her. Please spend some time reading and training so you can fix this relationship. You owe it to her.

\m/

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#10 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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Try two cockatiels for truly annoying pets!

Sure, they are pretty to look at and it is interesting having them sit on your hand or shoulder. Even their annoyingly loud chirping isn't constantly a bother. Other than that, birds make fairly dull pets.

However, they put out so much damned powder dust and feathers it is amazing. I have to dust my living room every. single, day. I have to vacuum the living room every. single. day. (Thank goodness for Roomba, at least I don't have to drag-out my big upright daily). Go on vacation for a week and it is frightening to see what the room looks like!!

They get bathed regularly, have an excellent diet and I change their cage twice a week. It is just their nature to produce this fine white powder that clings to every surface, horizontal or vertical!

Add to it, they live very long lives................I'll be cleaning up their powder and feathers for, probably, 20 more years.
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#11 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some of the time I hate my cat, and DH does even more. I'm allergic, she bothers us at night trying to get attention, swats or scratches DS, pees on things, and often pukes after eating.

.

Oh heavens! Do I feel your pain about this.... Our dog sleeps in our room and probably 4 out of 7 nights she wakes me up because she wants to go outside and pee. Or, she starts heaving. She is a very pukey dog - probably becasuse of all the food she steals. But, I will wake up to the sound of her heaving and I have to jump up, drag her by the collar down stairs trying to get her outside before she pukes. All the while she is spilling green bile out of her mouth all over the carpet.

Yes, I have taken her to the vet. There is nothing wrong with her - she is just a pukey dog. The vet said labs tend to be pukey because they are notorious food stealers.

Just last night she woke me up 3 times to go out and pee, to get back in our room and then to go out again. I am exhausted.
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#12 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You need to read The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell and The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. It will give you tons of insight on why your dog is acting like she is and how to correct. Dogs are a lot of work and need constant training.

I hope this doesn't come off harsh but your dog is acting this way because you let her. Please spend some time reading and training so you can fix this relationship. You owe it to her.
I haven't read that particular book but, we have done several rounds of training starting at the time she was 6 months. We've done clicker training, we've had someone come to the house - we've done a lot of training. She has absolutely no interest in training, rewards mean nothing to her. We really have tried training. In fact one of our trainers said that some dogs are really, really difficult to train and we have one of them.
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#13 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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My dog pukes up water every time she drinks. It makes me insane. I don't hate her though... She annoys me less than most kids do.
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#14 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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Actually, I feel sad reading this thread too, because so many of the things that people are describing here are either behaviours that can be corrected completely or seriously helped to the point where it doesn't cause so much stress their lives.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#15 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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I feel sad for any creature living in a family where s/he isn't loved.
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#16 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I feel sad for any creature living in a family where s/he isn't loved.
I love my dog... but I dislike (and sometimes hate him, lmao) him as well. And he is definitely loved by everyone else in the house. Some people just aren't animal people, or there are matches that aren't right. Doesn't mean they are unloved or uncared for.

And as much as I dislike my dog, I couldn't really picture him with anyone else or not a part of our family.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#17 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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There's a lot more to training than teaching a dog to sit and roll over. It's an attitude, and there's so much more you can be doing. Simple things like feeding and walks can be changed around to show your dog who's boss. Stealing food is not cool, and sets up some more bad behaviors.

Also, why not crate the dog in the same room for the time being? The dog should stay more quiet, and food isn't stolen. I don't allow my dogs in the kitchen while I'm preparing food or eating, and it makes it a much more peaceful experience. I also don't leave any food where a dog (or cat) can get to it while I'm not around. It's just the way it is.
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#18 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I feel sad for any creature living in a family where s/he isn't loved.
She is very loved. The children shower her with love - the play with her constantly. And, when it's not 110 outside, we walk or ride bikes with her every day.

I give her attention as well - she lays by me and I rub her and scratch her ears.

She is not a neglected dog.

Like the PP said - not every dog meshes with every personality. This dog doesn't mesh but, she will be loved and cared for until her dying day.

And, again, we have tried training. We've spent and enormous amount of time and money on training and we have practiced and practiced with her.

Some dogs are very difficult to train. According to a trainer - we have one of them. It's just how it is.

And the crating thing - we've tried crating her in the same room - she barks and howls no matter where she is in the crate. She always has - from puppyhood on. Even if she can see us, she still freaks in the crate. The noise is deafening and I can not take it.
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#19 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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Baby gates are awesome too. I don't like crates, the thought of being put in a crate freaks me out, so I couldn't do it to the dog either. (I'm kinda clausterphobic) We got baby gates instead and while training him quaranteined areas that we didn't want him in and he couldn't steal food and such either.

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#20 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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You had to know that the dog people would come over to this thread .

I want to say that it is totally OK, and totally normal, to have different levels of attachment to different pets. Since I have multiple dogs, and will always have multiple dogs, and since I keep puppies based on their suitability as show dogs rather than my emotional connection to them, there are definitely dogs that I have not had a heavy deep and real connection to. In my house right now the dogs are VERY different and I know which one I would save first in a fire.

So don't feel like you have to be *in love* with your pet. Some of them you do get that level of attachment to and some of them you just don't.

However, what I'm reading isn't about not connecting to who the dog *is*; I'm reading a hatred of what the dog DOES. Which is totally different, and absolutely 100% able to be solved. Every dog can be trained, and where they cannot be trained they can be managed (in other words, physically controlled with objects like crates, fences, etc.).

This isn't the thread or the board that would be appropriate for giving training or management advice, but I would love to see any dog-haters (or cat-haters) over at the pets board (it's way down deep under "Green Living," somewhat to my dismay--I think it should be on the same level as the parenting sections). We really will bend over backwards to help your pet be happier and more obedient.
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#21 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amcal View Post

Some dogs are very difficult to train. According to a trainer - we have one of them. It's just how it is.
By the way--if a trainer told you that, he or she should be completely ashamed of themselves. That's like saying to the parents of a struggling kid that some kids just don't learn, so live with it. NONSENSE. There are so many methods, so many ways of connecting with the dog, so many "buttons" to push with dogs, that someone who can't creatively solve a VERY simple problem like counter-surfing doesn't deserve to call themselves a dog professional.
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#22 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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I'll echo the amazing help given on the pets forum. Our dog was the bane of our existence for a while & now after a LOT of hard work she's become rather irreplaceable. Dogs can get on peoples nerves, that's a given, they are high maintainence.

I also second the baby gate idea. It's been a lifesaver for us. Our dog can see us when we're doing things we'd prefer her to not be in the middle of like eating or food prep, but she's close enough that she doesn't cry about it.
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#23 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I feel sad for any creature living in a family where s/he isn't loved.
Exactly, me too. Plus I guarantee that those pets know how you feel about them
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#24 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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By the way--if a trainer told you that, he or she should be completely ashamed of themselves. That's like saying to the parents of a struggling kid that some kids just don't learn, so live with it. NONSENSE. There are so many methods, so many ways of connecting with the dog, so many "buttons" to push with dogs, that someone who can't creatively solve a VERY simple problem like counter-surfing doesn't deserve to call themselves a dog professional.
very true. OP - if your dog does not care about rewards (I'm thinking you mean treats) find what does drive her. My GSD is very prey and toy driven and we use this to our training advantage. Our other dog is very food driven so we use that to our advantage in training.

I truely usrge you to read up on pack structure and positive training methods. Little nuances can make a HUGE difference, i.e. NEVER let your dog eat or go out a door before you do. Take her back to square one like you would a puppy - leave the leash on at all times (and connected to you whenever possible) until she earns the right to be trusted. If you are interested, I have a multitude or websites, books, and other forums where you can receive some great tips and support - PM me if needed.

Good luck.

\m/

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#25 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Exactly, me too. Plus I guarantee that those pets know how you feel about them
She has no idea. I'm her favorite person in the house. I walk her, I play with her - when it's just the two of us in the house, we talk etc...

And, there are 3 children in this house who give her tons of love and affection.

I seriously doubt she's feeling any sort of pain from the knowledge that I can not stand the way she steals food, pukes, whines, wakes me up all night etc...
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#26 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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My dog eats diaper poo, shreds (used!) feminine hygene products, leaves tonnes of hair everywhere, dumps the garbage, steals food, barks loudly and snores.

I love her, though. But I feel ya. Animals are so... animal-like sometimes!
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#27 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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By the way--if a trainer told you that, he or she should be completely ashamed of themselves. That's like saying to the parents of a struggling kid that some kids just don't learn, so live with it. NONSENSE. There are so many methods, so many ways of connecting with the dog, so many "buttons" to push with dogs, that someone who can't creatively solve a VERY simple problem like counter-surfing doesn't deserve to call themselves a dog professional.
I know plenty of dog people who rehabed supposedly "untrainable dogs." My sister and BIL actually own a supposedly "poorly behaved and untrainable dog"...well that is, the dog was untrainable when he was living with BIL's sister and their family .

Somehow, miraculously the dog became trainable when BIL took him in. And, nope, my sister isn't "madly in love with the dog" but she deeply cares for and loves the dog. I do think you can still love and care for an animal without them being that "love of your life" perfectly matched pet to you. I agree with Joanna's last post about different levels of bonding. I've had a couple of cats in my life which I have been madly in love with and will forever be deeply rooted in my heart, and others that I loved and was fond of but we never had that perfectly in tune connection.

It really helps too, with bonding to have some shared positive experiences with your pet too. You *will find* that once you have some of those positive shared experiences that you will feel more bonded to them.

And, I second a visit over to the pets forum for people who are having particular behavioral problems. There are a lot of knowledgable people over there, and many pet professionals even who frequent it.

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#28 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the suggestions. Maybe I will head over to the pet forum.

I really just posted to vent because I went to make the kids lunch only to discover that the bread was gone - again - and the wrapper from the last loaf of bread was shredded - again - upstairs in the back bedroom. Next to the shredded bread bag were the remnants of several boxes of raisins and a shredded bag of goldfish crackers - again. I almost lost my mind - again. So, I just posted to vent.
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#29 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I'm going to start by saying I love all 4 of my animals and can't imagine them not being with us.

However, right now my hound is in the midst of one of her semi-annual weird phases and is driving me nuts. My Cheasapeake ate most of a trash bag dh left out last night that I got to clean up this morning. They annoy the crap out of me sometimes but I love them to death.

You sound frustrated understandably, not a bad dog owner. I'd definitely second some of the suggestions in this thread.
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#30 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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Yes, she's a Lab. That kind of behavior is so characteristic of Labs that I can honestly say that I'd worry if she DIDN'T try to steal food.

But it's also just "dog." Dogs are built with a big seething "if it's visible, eat it" gland in their brains. In a pack, you never know when the next meal is going to arrive, so you pack yourself as full of food as you possibly can, each and every time it's available. As an aside, that's why there's such an obesity epidemic in dogs in developed countries--the dogs act starving all the time (because, to a certain extent, they ARE starving all the time) and people feed them because they feel like it must be cruel not to.

I once got a big order of chicken, five or six 40-lb cases, put them on top of the freezer, and didn't realize that I had left the door open to the room the freezer was in. I had two 6-month-old Dane puppies go down there and eat easily 30 lb of chicken between them (a normal amount for each would be 1/5-2 lb per day). They came upstairs with stomachs the size of drums; I was hysterical with fear that they were actually bloating (a serious disease in Danes) and was rushing around looking for medication when one of them burped a big chickeny burp in my face.
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