If you have this plant, kill it.

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Was house sitting for a friend this past weekend; leaving my dog Vegas in the care of my parents to run around with their dog Rocky II and get in to all sorts of trouble and have fun. Before leaving for the beach Saturday I swung by to say hello, get jumped on and have my dress muddied, and take mom to get nails done. Made a run by the bank where I took some cash out and was disappointed to find that the teller gave me fifties. Wasn’t there a note on my account or something? Debated going inside and exchanging them out, but the beach was calling, and really – it’s a superstition. I mean come on. I could break them quickly. Buy a bottle of water or something.

I still have them.

Easter Sunday, sporting a SMOKIN’ sunburn with convertible seatbelt tanline I head to the parents for dinner. I notice Vegas is absent from the greetings and am told he ate a plant in the backyard that my father had dug up, then threw up a little after. Oh, that crazy Vegas. Always something with him, right? Still, odd for him to not rustle from his bed upon hearing my voice… I went to check on him and find he’s been sick again. Throw out the bedding, clean him up and the cage. He’s got zero energy and just lays on the living room floor. It’s at this point that we begin to wonder… perhaps that plant…?

I grab the iPhone and hit the Googles and then panic. The plant is a Sago Palm – and if you have one, get rid of it immediately. In our case, it was a gift from our landscaper – no one knew how toxic they are to pets and children. Fatality rate ranges around 70%. We took Vegas to the vet immediately, where they were optimistic due to him having done his part on getting it out of his system so quickly, but still cautioned on the roller-coaster ride most people go through with pets who have ingested these plants. Apparently they’re quite common in Houston – vet had just seen 3 cases in the last week. I was too scared to ask the outcome.

I joke that Vegas has a stomach of iron; I’m hoping that he’s also got a liver to match AlCantHang. So far it’s promising – his first blood tests had him in completely normal range, second one today were only a little bit higher but that’s normal given the IVs he’s been on. Took him in for another round of IVs today and he’ll do another round of test tomorrow. Apparently if that comes back normal, he’s good. I imagine I’ll insist on another one just to be sure. I’m pretty much eating Ramen for the next two weeks anyway.

And those fifties? Breaking them on the first beer vendor I see at Minute Maid tonight.