This has been an unsettling day. It got off to a bad start and went downhill from there. This was my morning to sleep in, meaning I get up at 7:45 instead of 6:30. I treasure my sleep-in mornings. I am not a morning person. I'm not even a before-noon person. (I barely survived the sleep-deprivation of the baby years and live in mortal terror of having to suffer through that sort of torture again.) As a rule, I don't get up until I smell the coffee brewing, because until I have my coffee, I am a danger to myself and others. My husband accommodates this habit because he is a generous and wonderful man, and because he fears what might happen if I had to function without coffee.
This morning, I was not awakened by the smell of coffee brewing. Instead, I was awakened by the sound of someone pounding--loudly--on the floor beside my bed. My family is well aware of the folly of waking me before I absolutely have to get out of bed and would not do so except in the event of a dire emergency. Since the only thing I recognize as a dire emergency while I am sleeping is a fire actually in the bed, and I did not smell smoke, I was pretty sure no human in the household was responsible for the pounding. After several long moments of denial, I finally acknowledged that this might be something requiring my attention, despite the lack of caffeine in my system.
I rolled over and peered blearily in the general direction of the pounding noise, only to see my beloved dog Molly in the middle of a massive and violent grand mal seizure. She was lying on her side and had clearly been asleep, but now her paws were pounding the floor, her head was thrown back, and she was foaming at the mouth and panting so hard I was afraid for her heart. I put my hand on her side, and at that point, my husband, who had heard the noise from downstairs and at the other end of the house, came running in, and with him, our other dog, Sophie.
Now, seizures are not unusual in Golden Retrievers, and Molly had a few when she was much younger, but not for several years, and never anything like this. It was very intense and lasted for several minutes. Finally, she stopped seizing, looked at me, wagged her tail, jumped up, and abruptly attacked Sophie. I mean snarling, teeth snapping, going-to-rip-your-head-off attacked her. We managed to separate them and I pushed Molly out the door, keeping Sophie in the bedroom with me. I figured Molly was just disoriented and didn't know what she was doing. So I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and opened the door to go downstairs. Molly was waiting right outside the door, and when I opened it, she promptly attacked Sophie again. Once again, I separated them, this time with Molly inside and Sophie out. Molly flopped down on the floor next to me and rolled over for a belly rub. After a few minutes, I tried to get out the door again, and once again, Molly went for Sophie. This happened over and over again for the next hour, every time Sophie came within ten feet of Molly. Finally, I put Molly in the laundry room and called the vet.
Apparently, there's not much we can do. It is common for dogs to display odd behavior for several hours after a seizure. I suppose trying to rip out the throat of a pack member constitutes "odd behavior," but it seems a bit extreme to me. I can't leave Molly alone with Sophie, and even though Molly practically raised our boys, I'm afraid to let them get near her while she's acting this way. When they got home from school today, she looked at them like she had never seen them before and stood very warily while my older son petted her on the back. I am hoping she'll return to normal after a good night's sleep, but what if she doesn't? Do dogs get senile? If anyone has any experience with this sort of thing, any advice would be welcome.