A few weeks ago in church, one of the men brought cookies to share - yummy cookies that Nate came home and gushed about.
(And Nate's not even a 'cookie person', so that's really saying something.)
Cookies with Andes' mints melted on top, he told me.
Cookies so rich and so chocolatey, in fact, he wouldn't stop talking about them until I promised I'd get the recipe.
So I Googled it.
And HERE it is.
And they were truly amazing!
Amazing enough that I considered keeping the recipe all to myself so that only I would know how to replicate their delicate goodness and other people would think I'm the *ultimate cookie baker*.
And then I felt guilty for my selfishness, because something that awesome needs to be shared.
So, naturally I posted it on Facebook, because that's what you do when you want to get the word out to 247 of your closest friends.
And when Nate and I went to Costco the other day I tossed a $10 4-pound bag of semi-sweet Nestle Morsels into our cart without batting an eye so I could make many, many more of these delightful cookies.
So, yesterday morning when I heard the familiar crinkling sound of a plastic bag from the other room, a sound fairly common around here thanks to a faulty door latch on our pantry, I really wasn't surprised to walk in and find Thelma with something. She does it often, but she usually can't open bags and brings them to me hoping I'll help her out.
However I was surprised yesterday to see it was the large bag of chocolate chips I'd just bought and that not only had she managed to open the bag, she was gleefully inhaling the contents.
My first thought:
'NO!!!!!! That crazy dog's defiling my chocolate!!'
(and then my second thought)
'Wait, isn't chocolate supposed to be poisonous to dogs?'
And so I Googled that. And turns out it is. Especially really large amounts of semi-sweet chocolate that come out of 4-pound bags.
Trying to get a good idea of just how much chocolate the Beast had inhaled, I weighed the remainder of the bag on my kitchen scale and realized there were only 3 pounds left.
In a matter of minutes, 'man's best friend' had snarfed down a pound of 'woman's best friend'.
And Thelma had the biggest grin on her face to prove it.
So I called the vet who instructed me to haul my chocolate gobbling dog into her office right away.
Chocolate has this chemical called theobromine that increases the heart rate and can lead to seizures, coma, and death. The darker the chocolate, the higher the level of theobromine.
Because of her little chocolate buffet, Thelma had to spend 8 hours at the pet hospital guzzling a hydrogen peroxide solution to induce massive vomiting, and later charcoal, to absorb leftover toxins. She also had her heart rate and liver monitored, and was hooked up to an IV.
When she finally got home, drained and exhausted, she guzzled some water and promptly barfed up inky black solution in several places on the carpet and tile.
She awoke at 4:00 this morning vomiting in her crate, this time tinged with blood. I cleaned it up and laid a towel down for her to lie on, and Nate said a prayer for her while I cried.
Before long, she perked up, headed downstairs and stood in front of her bowl, begging for food. (That's the Thelma we know and love.)
Another check up at the vet this morning, and she's doing much better. Her heart rate is normal but she's on a medication for a few days to help her stomach heal.
And the bill?
(And that's because she has the health benefit plan, otherwise it would be more.)
Moral of the story? Learn from my mistake. If you have a pet, treat chocolate like you would a cleaning solution or prescription and keep it up and out of reach. If you have a giant dog, that might mean putting it on a top shelf.
I also spent the morning learning how to make the latch on my pantry door close properly by sanding the strike plate with my Dremel, thanks to YouTube.
Rumor has it she's officially sworn off chocolate.