Our house came with a really wonderful yard. Wonderfully full of lavender bushes. Wonderfully full of bees that are attracted to blooming lavender. Henry thinks this is wonderful. Henry likes to try and chase the bees, to try and see if he can catch them with his mouth. The End.
Did you really think a Henry story would be so simple? Of course you didn't, this is Henry after all.
When I first saw him out in the yard chasing bees, I thought it was pretty dang cute but that I should bring him inside before he got stung. I went downstairs to open the basement door and arrived just in time to see him shake his head as if he'd eaten something sour...or gotten stung by a bee. He came in the house right away, moping like he'd just lost his best friend. I examined him but couldn't find any evidence of a sting.
I returned to my chores in our kitchen. Henry hopped up onto the couch with our friend August (who, by the way, Henry adores).
"What's that face Henry is making?" August asked after a few minutes. "He looks really weird."
Henry looked like his cheeks were being pulled down and back in an eerie, grimace-like way. Every muscle on his head seemed tensed.
"Does he seem really red to you too?" August asked. We both stood and stared at him. Right before our eyes, hives started to appear all over his body. After about, oh 30 seconds, of watching as a grimacing, red, bumpy Henry rolled on his back and wiggled, wiggled, wiggled.
I finally snapped out of my confusion and started to panic.
It had started to rain and I am sure we made a silly picture to Jensen as he came home. I had run out of the house carrying Henry and August followed me carrying his shoes and socks.
"Henry tried to eat a bee. He's having some sort of reaction. We need to get him to the vet!" I exclaimed. Jensen turned the Malibu around as quick as he could and sped towards the emergency vet. Henry sat on my lap and after a minute or so, rested his head on my shoulder. Jensen glanced over and a look of panic appeared. Henry resting his head on my shoulder? In the car? This was not typical Henry behavior.
Henry and I were rushed right into a room at the vet hospital. I sat on the floor next to where Henry had flopped down and watched as he continued to get worse. He started to get puffy. His tongue no longer fit in his mouth. He started to wheeze.
The doctor finally came in. He listened to Henry's lungs. He pulled up one of his lips and pressed on his gums with his finger. Where he pressed stayed white for a while before the blood returned.
The doctor knelt there and repeated, "Wow, he's in very bad shock. I've never seen a dog in this bad of shock before."
He pressed on Henry's gums some more and then finally seemed to get over his shock. He called in his assistant and told me that Henry would be fine but that he would keep him overnight.
Jensen and August were sitting outside of the hospital on a bench. I stood in front of them and just as I was about to tell them Henry's status -- I burst into tears. Judging by their faces, they probably assumed the worst -- who wouldn't? Luckily, I was able to force out, a barely understandable: "He's ok."
When I picked Henry up, I asked the vet if we should have an epipen on hand. He told me that if it happened again to just give him some Benadryl and bring him in.
He has since been stung by one other bee (same circumstances, except this time I was chasing him yelling "nooooooooooo!") but without the anaphylactic shock. So, apparently he is allergic to one kind of stinging bee-type thing but unaffected by another.