When we think of a day at the beach, it’s all sunshine and relaxation. And what better way to spend a day like that than with your bfff (best fur friend forever) by your side? It’s the weekend, you’ve got water, you’ve got waves, and you’ve got wags! What could possibly go wrong?
Well, when a man took his precious pooch out for a beach day he found out that the ocean packs more of a punch than he ever imagined. During a nice afternoon out by the sea with his best bud, nature struck and left this man forever changed…
After Chris Taylor, a 29-year-old student at the University of South Florida, adopted a black Labrador named O.G., the two instantly formed a deep bond. Chris even said the dog was like a son to him.
On a beautiful day in July, Chris took his number one pooch out for a day at the beach. The two dear friends spent hours splashing around and soaking up the sunshine…
Labradors like O.G. were originally bred for sport, retrieving the game for hunters once it was down. In particular, these dogs were known for their ability to retrieve waterfowl.
True to his breed, O.G. loved to swim. So this ol’ salty dog was no stranger to long bouts in the blue stuff! We can only imagine O.G. had Chris schooled when it came to the doggy paddle!
But no matter how strong a swimmer you are, there are always other dangerous elements to consider. As the two best friends were on their way home from their day at the beach, it became apparent that something had gone wrong.
Shortly after returning home, O.G. started vomiting and having diarrhea. Chris worried that he had eaten something at the beach when he wasn’t looking, after all, our oceans are polluted more now than ever before…
In hopes that whatever was wrong would pass, Chris comforted his sick pup the best he could and by the next day the vomiting subsided. Things were starting to look like they were in the clear for O.G.
Unfortunately, whatever had taken ahold of O.G. silently persisted and within a few days, the dog became extremely lethargic. He was non-responsive and walking around the house as if in a complete daze.
Chris became increasingly concerned about his precious pooch and when he saw him looking like a lost puppy in his own home, he knew something wasn’t right. Feeling helpless, Chris rushed O.G. to the vet.
Laying O.G. on the exam table, Chris explained all his weird symptoms starting from their day at the beach together. The vet worked quickly and was able to diagnose what was wrong with Chris’s dog, but by then it was already too late.
The vet explained to Chris that O.G. had ingested a significant amount of saltwater during their day at the beach. Saltwater in large quantities can become poisonous to any animal, and dogs are no exception. As far-fetched as it sounds, a day at the beach had turned life-threatening for O.G.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, saltwater poisoning in dogs and cats can take on many forms, from vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy — all symptoms O.G displayed. When untreated, it can develop into more severe side effects such as tremors, seizures, and even a coma.
The veterinary clinic treated O.G. as diligently as they could, pumping him full of fluids through an I.V. Sadly, the dog was displaying no signs of improvement and Chris was left feeling hopeless as he held his friend.
Days after an innocent outing at the beach, O.G. was convulsing on the table at the vet clinic. Unable to help his pal, Chris asked the vet if O.G. was in pain. The vet replied that at this point, the dog probably wasn’t even aware of where he was.
Unfortunately, O.G. passed away and although Chris is heartbroken over his dog, he desperately wants his story to be heard. This tragic end is not an isolated incident and many people go on taking their pets to the beach, completely unaware of the dangers of saltwater poisoning.
Experts recommend that pet owners should limit their beach time to two hours or less when their furry friends are in tow. Getting fresh water every 30 minutes is especially important and can help stave off dehydration around so much salt.
Chris remembers his Labrador fondly and in his honor, he is helping to spread the word about the dangers of saltwater for animals. All dogs go to heaven, and we know that O.G. is resting in puppy paradise, looking down on Chris with his tail wagging.
Sure, your dog may like the beach more than most of our feline friends… most! However, no pet is completely safe to enjoy the briny depths alone.
Chris and O.G. would just like to remind us all to practice safe and conscientious pet/ocean etiquette. If we’re all aware of this, than fun at the beach can remain just that!
Though tragic, Chris and O.G.’s story has created awareness for pet owners everywhere. And hopefully it will continue to do so, preventing any saltwater fatalities in the future.
What a sad ending to such a happy day. Chris and O.G.’s story is a heavy reminder that even though they can be our heroes, our pets aren’t invincible. And the men and women who work with animals for a living are used to seeing it all.
Rescue dogs especially can suffer from some unusual maladies, and the people who care for them are hardly, if ever, shocked by a condition or injury. Every so often, however, there are some things that still surprise them.
As dog owners, we want to know our furry friends are as healthy and happy as possible. Besides only wanting the best for our beloved companions, caring for animals with health problems can be difficult.
That being said, there’s absolutely no reason a dog with a special condition—who may look different from others—can’t be provided with proper care and affection! That was certainly the case with one sweet dog named Cuda…
When animal control officer Julie LeRoy responded to a call about the abandoned puppy, she realized she was unlike any she’d ever encountered. Cuda had a serious underbite (just like her namesake), and that wasn’t all…
Julie knew if she didn’t adopt her, the dog would likely be euthanized. So, that’s exactly what she did! As soon as she brought Cuda home, the dog immediately fell asleep next to her cats. Julie immediately knew Cuda felt safe in her new dwelling, despite her strange deformity…
At first, Julie’s husband was hesitant about adopting Cuda since the couple already owned several pets, but after spending some time with her, he knew it was the right choice for their family. Cuda didn’t take long to warm up to them, either!
Julie began to research Cuda’s strange appearance, which she suspected had to do with inbreeding. She began a Facebook page in hopes it would lead to some information about Cuda’s condition…
Still trying to understand her adopted pup, Julie attended lots of events over the next several months. She even entered Cuda into the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition! She thought Cuda’s unique shape would certainly be the talk of the contest.
Cuda didn’t end up winning the competition, but Julie introduced Cuda to lots of people while she was there. Everyone who met little Cuda absolutely adored her, and no one cared that she didn’t look “normal!”
After the competition, Cuda’s Facebook page became more popular. Eventually, people all around the world began to reach out to Julie about her dog’s condition, hoping to help answer her questions. That’s how Julie learned about Quasi, a dog living in Italy who looked a lot like Cuda…
Quasi’s owner told Julie that the condition was known as “short-spine syndrome.” Dogs affected by it are born with shortened spines and ligaments. When Quasi was born, she was unable to move her head and needed ligament surgery in her knees.
Quasi’s owner revealed that her pup actually won World’s Ugliest Dog in 2015. That’s right—she took home first place! Cuda was in better company than anyone suspected, but there was still a lot Julie wanted to learn about the condition…
Quasi’s owner directed Julie to an academic paper entitled “Historical Evidence of an Unusual Deformity in Dogs (Short‐Spine Dog).” Apparently, the condition had been documented as early as the 17th century!
An artist named David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl even painted several dogs afflicted with what he believed to be quite the bizarre deformation, referring to the animals as “monster of wolf and dog” and “monster of fox and dog.”
In South Africa, dogs with this genetic mutation were known as “baboon dogs” because of their shape and the similarly hunched posture that both animals seemed to take while they walked…
This rare genetic phenomenon was also discussed in a series of articles written between 1956 and 1961 about a Japanese dog with the syndrome. It seemed that, throughout history, this condition fascinated all who saw it.
A paper by Elaine Ostrander called “Genetics of the Dog” (published in 2001) confirmed what Julie suspected all along: short-spine syndrome was linked to inbreeding. It not only affected the dogs’ quality of life, but females’ ability to have puppies as well.
As time passed following Julie’s discovery, more and more people reached out to her about other special pups with short-spine syndrome. One such pooch was named Mojo, a dog who lived in Ohio.
The owner of another dog with short-spine syndrome, Pig, from Alabama, connected with Julie. Before long, Julie realized she’d brought together an entire community of dogs and their owners thanks to Cuda.
Most dogs like Cuda can live long, happy lives despite their condition, but inbreeding is a dangerous practice that puts these poor animals’ lives at risk. Thankfully, Cuda and her friends were adopted by loving humans and can live the life they deserve…
Despite Cuda’s physical maladies, she was still a loving and amazing dog, and Julie wouldn’t trade her for the world. Short-spine syndrome might look startling at first, but these animals just want what every other dog has: love!