Monday, January 13, 2014

PSA: Poison

Yeah, did you know hops were poisonous to dogs? Me neither.

Saturday was a great brew day. R2-DBREW worked like a charm. I even remembered all the ingredients, and I didn't break anything! Fantastic!

Well, ok. I did forget to make a yeast starter. No matter though, I'll still get good beer in the end.

But this is where my day started, but at the time I didn't know it. I was cleaning out my kegs in the back yard, something I typically do in the front yard. I dumped my spent grain into a bucket to send off to my buddy's compost, and washed the rest of the grains out into the back yard. I also took my cop canister and tapped that out in the backyard (which in retrospect is strange because I usually add that to the compost as well). As I looked a the pile of spent brewing materials I knew I was going to be cleaning up dog puke later. I really couldn't think of a way to prevent my sweet dog Savannah from getting into the leftover ingredients. Not that I spent a lot of time thinking about it, she's got into them before. At some point, when I'm not looking, she eats some, and later she throws it up. No big deal.

As I was doing some evening gaming I stood up to get something from the kitchen. That's when I noticed the little pile of puke on the back door rug. I was thankful, having it on the rug made it very easy to clean. I picked up the rug, brought it out, hosed it off, and left it to dry. No big deal.

An hour or so passes and I emerge from my man room again to top off my diet coke. Savannah is laying on the ground (typical), panting (not so typical).  I laughed and thought, "silly dog, apparently hops give you indigestion and dry mouth." Made sense to me. Hops have a way of drying you out. No big deal.

Another hour or so passes, I emerge from my man cave to check on the laundry and watch some Hockey. Savannah is still panting. Poor girl. I'm going to post about this on facebook!


Not ten minutes goes by when I get a comment from an old friend that I haven't seen since 2002. Keying me into the fact that HOPS ARE POISONOUS. Yes, you heard right. Hops are poisonous. That's when I headed to a website talking about how 5 out of 5 greyhounds died from eating hops. Canine hyperthermia. Makes the dogs body temperature rise dramatically. 104 is dangerous, 108 you pooch is either dead or warming up on an Asian bbq grill.

Red flag. Savannah lying on the ground, still panting. Part of me still really isn't believe this. I take her temp its just a hair over 103. That's when I text my vet friend. I'm still half thinking "she didn't get into that much..." Vet says call animal poison control. Animal poison control answers and asks some questions. Puts me on hold for a quick 15 seconds and responds:

"Yeah, lets get your payment information really quick so you can get her to an emergency vet right away."

Well shit.

Now I'm panicking a little bit.

I get Savannah in the truck (11pm) and I start driving. 5 miles down the road and a damn spider crawls over my window, and I think, "really? now??" Well instincts kicked in and I atomized that spider with a swift left karate chop against the window.

One day I will break my window doing that. I hate spiders.

Then at that point I notice that my tank is on E. And I mean really on E. I remembered a that point parking it
in the driveway earlier that day with the empty light on thinking, "well I'll fill up the tank tomorrow." At this point I'm only a few miles from the clinic and I start going through scenarios where I run out of gas. The image that keeps running through my head is hanging Savannah over my shoulders while jogging barefoot (I was wearing flip flops) to the emergency clinic.

Well the story ends well. She did have an elevated temperature. But she's a big dog, and she only got into less than an oz of hops. I ended up getting home at about 1am. The clinic decided to keep her overnight. They gave her a catheter and did some other stuff as well, and she is alright. My bank account is a little lighter, but oh well.

Which makes me think, as they go over the price with me, they itemize everything, which is nice. Then they ask "how does that sound?" What am I supposed to say to that? No, do this, but I don't think that's necessary. I'm not veterinary expert. Just keep her alive!!!

So in summary, hops are very poisonous to dogs. Savannah managed to get into less than an oz of spent pelletized hops, and it was enough to see noticeable side effects. That's less than an oz. affecting a 65 pound golden retriever mind you. If your dogs do get into it, call animal poison control immediately. A lot of vets don't know about the effects of hops. Poison control will give you a phone number and a case number, so the second you get to the vet, they can call the poison center and the center will give the vets step by step instructions.

I almost killed my dog. On the off chance that I made a post on Facebook possibly saved her life. Thanks Nikki and Brandin from high school! If you're ever in central Florida you've got a place to stay.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Look Who's Back F*ckers

I know many of you were probably deeply concerned about me. I dropped off the face of the blogosphere so suddenly, it took a lot of you by surprise. I know I should have responded sooner. Let all of you know that I'm ok. But I didn't. However I do appreciate all the money you've spent in search parties, telethons, billboard campaigns, and printed condoms with my picture on it...

I am ok! AND I'M BACK INTERNET! Somewhat a different man than I was before. Better? Maybe. Happier? I don't know. Just different.

I've been waiting to write this post for a while. I wasn't sure how to present it. Whether it be on some epic day, or on my once typical Monday post. Write a song or write it in goat excrement. Maybe a Vlog (no, that would be creepy).

Like I said in my last post my equipment did not get run over by a truck. The house didn't burn down. R2-
DBREW did not fall in the pool. The truth is my wife, the SWMBO, hit me with a divorce that caught me completely off guard. It's been a difficult few months. I put down brewing all together. Hell, I haven't brewed since August 5th. To cope I went out and bought a Jeep, which I've been spending most of my daylight time with. That on top of saying yes to every social invitation has left me with very little time, and brewing just fell by the wayside. I've been talking about brewing for the past month or so, but now I'm finally, FINALLY, doing it! Tomorrow morning I fire up R2-DBREW and make a classic batch of my Clean Blonde Ale. I've rolled him out back. I've hooked him up, replaced his rocker switches, and gave him a full functionality test. Sit rep is green, Houston we are a go. Just as I was doing the tests the rush came back to me, the inspiration came back like an Australian boomerang. It was time. It was time to come back to...

A Tale of Two Brewers.

How am I doing? I thought you'd never ask. Things are... ok. The ex wife moved out about the same time as my last posting. So it's just been me in the house for the past 4 months. Well, with the dogs of course, thank god for my sweetheart brewing assistants Sam and Savannah. They've been very supportive. Things have changed, for the good and for the worse I suppose. The guest bedroom is now full of Jeep parts, which from a man perspective is awesome. The house is a lot less complain-y. R2 DBREW now lives were he works so I don't have to haul him back and forth from the garage anymore. I have a god damn JEEP! And now I can grow my homebrewing business without answering to anyone... Stainless Fermenator here I come!!!

But really, I am good. Unless you want to donate money because you pity me. In that case I'm having a tough time. And my paypal button is on the sidebar to the right. Thanks.