The Time I Almost Killed The Family Dog

When I was seventeen, I almost killed the dog. I really did.

I know I mentioned this the other day, but I feel like I left a few things unsaid and don’t want anyone to think I was some sort of teenage dog killer or something. What happened that day could have happened to anyone, anywhere, and although Derby is no longer with us today, I’m happy to announce that he died at a very old age from natural causes about three years ago.

He was a good dog with excellent taste for Hershey’s syrup, dark chocolate truffles and challah bread dough, and I have to think that he is enjoying all of these things to the highest power in doggie heaven right now. It’s honestly a miracle he lived as long as he did!

So, here’s the story—start to finish. Read at your own risk then go bake some naan. Just take my advice and keep it far, far away from family pets…

It was a Saturday and like any normal seventeen year old girl, I was busy baking bread from scratch. This was about the time in my life when I was convinced that I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, and often times channeled her spirit by baking homemade bread and washing my clothes by hand.  I was skinny, awkward and wore thick glasses. I had yet to discover how to be social (wait…I still haven’t really discovered that yet…Help?), and spent the majority of my time reading old cookbooks and concocting creative baked goods in the kitchen.

I had found this recipe for a beautiful braided Challah loaf in one of my mom’s old cookbooks and decided to give it a go. I carefully mixed and kneaded the dough by hand (Laura never would have used a Kitchen Aid!) and then set my lovely creation on the washing machine to rise.

Then, I went with my mom to the bookstore. When we got back an hour later, the dough was gone.


Of course I freaked out completely and ran screaming upstairs, convinced my little brother had played a trick on me. Sort of like the time he gave me water from the dog’s bowl to drink or put gum in my hair.

But then I heard a noise. A sort of low, retching coming from the other room….

“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!” I shrieked as strings of my Challah bread hung amongst slobber and foam from Derby’s mouth.

“Oh.My.God. Jennifer, get Derby and put him outside! Fast!” Mom was always the cool, calm and collected one in situations such as these.

Over the next hour, we watched as poor Derby’s stomach grew bigger and bigger and bigger as the Challah continued to rise inside of him (gross right?! I never promised you a pretty story!). We all watched him in horror and I stroked his big, floppy beagle ears, remembering all the good times and convinced that this was the end.

Finally, when it was clear that he was not going to get all of the dough out of his system on his own, mom wrapped him up gently in a blanket and carried him to the car where we proceeded to drive seventy on the shoulder to the nearest vet.  I was in the front seat sobbing that I had killed the family dog and my brother was in the back seat dissecting regurgitated Challah dough. Can you picture it?

Two hours and a stomach pump later, we were home. Derby ran inside the house, straight to his food bowl and licked it clean. Then he lived happily ever after.

The end.

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  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    October 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Oh my!

    I love how you tagged this “awkward humor.” Hah!

  • stepf @ dailyspark
    October 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Now that I know this story has a happy ending, it’s hilarious in only a way that a fellow blogger/baker would appreciate. Poor little guy! And poor you!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    October 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Haha…this is sad and funny all at the same time. Poor Derby!!

  • Exercise and Eat
    October 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I loveeeeeee your writing style!

  • MMiller
    October 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Dog’s will eat anything! Glad he went on to live a long life! Loved this story!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    October 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    What a great story! I wish I had something that good! The worst story we have was when our dog ate all my grandpa’s chocolate exlax. It was good time 😉

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    October 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I can’t get over this!! I mean, my dough ate an entire pan of 7 layer bars right out of the oven… but dough?!?

  • Kristina @ spabettie
    October 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    poor pup !! glad it turned out okay… one of our dachshunds got into some chocolate once, and he swelled up so big and was miserable… same thing, we rushed him to the vet for stomach pumping and he was fine.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    October 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Wow. Intense story!! Glad you took him to the vet and he died of natural causes instead of delicious Challah dough!!

  • D
    October 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Sorry I missed that. Sounds like a good time! Wow!

  • Carolyn @
    October 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Oh, man! I’m glad your dog was okay. I would have been devastated! My dog once ate a sock and we thought he was going to have to have surgery. He eventually “expelled” it, but it didn’t look comfortable, let me tell you.

  • Marina
    October 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Oh, thank god it all turned out ok. I wonder what the vet thought at that moment :))
    Well, I’ll probably see stuff like that in a few years, when I become a vet

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    October 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    ok…last year i was making french bread from scratch and my friend amy brought her dog levi over to play with bunker. we went out to the car to get some boxes (we were supposed to be packing) and when we came back in half of the dough was gone. bunker was fine, but after about an hour levi was struggling around the kitchen. the yeast was turning to alcohol in his stomach! needless to say that was an expensive evening for sweet amy…

  • Marie-JourneyToBodyZen
    October 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    too funny! glad he was oK!

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    October 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    omg that really is disgusting

  • jenna
    October 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    after all these childhood stories i’m begining to feel really bad for your poor mom!! Should we send her an award? lol 😉

  • Sarah
    October 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    That’s a terrible (or terribly funny? I can’t figure out which) story about your dog. If my cat ever had to get her stomach pumped I don’t think I could make it to the vet without having a mental breakdown. I’m so glad everything turned out okay.
    Also I love challah.
    However, what I really wanted to say is that I too refuse to use a Kitchen Aid because Laura Ingalls didn’t have one. Also no electric beaters and no food processors. And I have attempted every recipe mentioned in the Little House books, including the one where they make candy by pouring hot maple syrup onto snow, which sounds like a really amazing idea but sadly hasn’t really worked out for me.
    All of which is my way of saying that reading your post made me really happy, in spite of the pet disaster.

  • Alexia
    October 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    and i think that my cats avocado eating is weird? ummm?!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    October 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Woah. That could have been really bad. Poor thing. I bet he never ate your concoctions again, though!

  • Marie
    October 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    oh my god!!! Is it bad to say that’s funny? eeek!!! Also, I wrote about Laura Ingalls Wilder tonight and was thinking of your blog when I did it! You’d appreciate the craptastic stove I have here in London I think!

  • Erin
    October 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    Poor Derby! Isn’t it funny how resilient some dogs are? Our family dog loooved chocolate – he once ate an entire bag of chocolate chips – but he lived to a ripe old doggie age. Tough little guy!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston
    October 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    OH my gosh!! Thanks for explaining the story–what a memory!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    October 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    oh my – crazy!

  • Chicago Cuisine Critique
    October 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Cute story. Glad the dog made it through. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Camille
    October 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Hahaha, oh my gosh!
    What a story!

  • misszippy
    October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Wow–what a tough lesson for a 17-year old! Glad it had a happy ending. It’s also a great lesson for us adults. I have a whippet who is infamous for his food snatching…you never know what could harm them.

  • Crunchy Granola Gal
    October 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    how terrifying… but hilarious? who knew that challah could kill?!

  • Erinn
    October 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Haha!! Hilarious and disturbing all at the same time! Now, I will go make some naan. Yes, ma’am.

  • Laura
    October 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I feel like I’m inviting some bad karmic debt for laughing at this! Poor Derby.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution.
    October 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    That happened once in my family!! We had to give the dog salt water to make her throw it up!!

  • Michelle
    October 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Hilarious especially knowing that it has a happy ending…but it sounds vaguely familiar. I ate too much raw dough once when I was around 7 or 8 and ended up with a terrible stomach ache. I can sympathize with Derby a little.

  • Chelsea
    October 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    haha. wow. this post made my life. i did the exact same thing! it was Easter morning and my mom and i were making homemade bread. we left the bread to rise while we were at church, and when we returned, our 9 month old lab had eaten the entire bowl of bread. When we took her to the vet, they decided she would be okay and would pass the dough over a couple days and would be fine….

    …fine she was, but drunk for 1.5 days, she was also! our house smelled like a brewery and the poor puppy was intoxicated from the yeast fermenting in her belly.

    glad neither of us killed our dogs – what silly animals they are! 🙂

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    October 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    One Valentine’s day the family dog ate a pound of Sees chocolate w.o us knowing it… I was SO scared she wasn’t going to be ok, but she pretty much threw it all up all over the office floor… all was well!

  • chrissy
    October 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    poor derby, glad it ended OK!! my dog ate a Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownie mix (box was sealed.) and i spent an entire night on the phone w/Ghiradelli customer service finding out the exact measurements/types of cocoa in the brownie mix….. needless to say, my girl survived but it wasn’t the prettiest of nights with her….

    • Leah
      May 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Chrissy,
      Just had a friend have his 45 lb dog, Zoe eat an entire batch of same Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownies, already baked. What did you find out from the customer service folks? Please give more details of outcome and treatment (major or minor intervention?). He is having Zoe spend the night at the emergency vet hospital after having her throw up and receive activated charcoal. Glad to hear your girl made it through!

  • Amber K
    October 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Poor him and poor you! I’m glad he was still able to live a happy life.

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa
    October 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Ha! Excellent awkward humor.

  • Laurab @. Foodsnobstl
    October 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Oh my. Why do pets manage to eat the worst things possible? So glad he was ok! My dog definitely ate my crayons when I was little. He didn’t have to go to the vet, but lets just say he had some interesting poo afterwards.

  • sam
    October 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    OMG I almost started crying just now! I’m so glad he was ok and got to spend the rest of his dog on life with you guys!
    XOXO Sam

  • tieghan
    October 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    CAn we have the bread recipe????? Sad story with a good ending!!!!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    October 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    oh. my. gosh.

    i just got a mental image of your dog’s stomach growing triple in size – and I wont lie, I had a good chuckle. I’m sorry you almost killed your dog, but I am SO glad I got a good laugh.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    October 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    This is awesome. Can I safely say that since Derby was alright in the end? 😉

  • Angela
    October 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Same exact thing happened to my dog. She ate donut dough and had to be rushed to the emergency room. She was actually drunk because the yeast was fermenting in her belly. She had to have two enemas, an iv and an overnight in the ER. She smelled like booze (and so did my car) for weeks after. One of the worst days of my life. I cried so hard I almost vomited at the vet’s office.

  • Sara @
    October 12, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Hilarious, but only because Derby lived (obviously). That’s going to make a great Christmas Eve story for your kids one day. Also, love the tag.

  • Christina
    October 12, 2010 at 6:21 am

    My grandmother was an amazing cook and every holiday was filled with her treats. For Easter, she loved to make us homemade Easter baskets… suckers made from dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter cups, chocolate bunnies – all made from scratch with love. One year, I woke up the day after Easter and my basket of deliciousness was gone. Our Siberian Husky had EATEN THE ENTIRE THING. Every last piece of Chocolate gone. ;-( We had a dog door and he had carried the basket into the backyard and tried to bury the evidence. I was devastated! Meanwhile, I wasn’t a child…this was just a few years ago. (This is the same dog that snagged an entire raw pork roast from the kitchen counter. He tried to bury that packaging in the backyard as well).

  • Jessica
    October 12, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Ugh. Our golden retriever once ate an entire pan of eighteen rising cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. She was miserable and we were hungry!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef
    October 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    oh my goodness! glad your dog was ok & you didn’t have to live with that guilt… so sad! once my dog ate a 6×6″ hunk of fudge… foil & all. it was not pretty but she was okay!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat
    October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Oh my gosh! Dogs can be so silly. I’m pretty sure my beagle would do something like that if she could get to anything (she’s got short legs, haha). Glad the story had a happy ending 🙂

  • Allison
    October 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    haha – sounds like something my dog would do 😉

  • Pure2raw twins
    October 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    omg, glad to hear Derby is okay.

    It amazes me sometimes what animals will eat. I have seen it all from my own dogs plus my sisters…crazy.

  • Running Betty
    October 13, 2010 at 5:36 am

    My mom bakes the best Challah ever. Seriously. Anyone who ever tastes it asks why she hasn’t opened a shop. It was kind of a joke when I was growing up tha tsomeone knew was coming for Sabbath lunch so we were going to have that bakery shop conversation again. You totally have to knead it by hand. In fact, she has one section of countertop in her custom kosher kitchen lowered just so she can knead dough (she’s 5′, so regular counter height is uncomfortable for her back, which is already an issue with her H-cup bra.) Next time you’re in Ft Laud, let me know and she can give you the best challah lesson you’ll ever have. You may have to call her “Bubby” after that. (Yiddish for Grandma, and much more endearing.) – and don’t forget to add chocolate chips and cinnamon if it’s someone’s birthday!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    October 13, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Aww I’m so happy Derby was ok (and so appalled that someone would insinuate that you would purposely hurt a dog).

    P.S. Don’t Beagles just have the softest ears? 🙂

  • Homeshuling
    February 1, 2011 at 6:11 am

    I love this! I just have to share that I am working on a children’s book about a dog who repeatedly steals the family challah before shabbat, based on our real life experience with our yellow lab/golder retriever mix who never steals any food. Except the challah.