"ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline. Because our services are free, we will need to charge you $60 for the information provided during this call. Please have a major credit card number handy. Dial 1 to speak with a case representative."
"ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline, this is Mary. Where are you calling from?"
"No, no. Tell me your state, please."
"Well, I'm in an agitated state. I'm definitely agitated and worried about my dog!"
Mary sighs. Asks a lot of questions about dog.
"So, what substance did your dog ingest, ma'am?"
"See, I was unpacking these lamps from Target, and they had these little packets of silica gel and one slipped away from me. I HATE silica gel. All I do is throw those little packets away and they're a nuisance. You CANNOT eat them. It says that on the package. What GOOD are they? My dog has EATEN SOME."
"How much has your dog eaten?"
"I don't know! It's a little package about 1" by 1". It's like a little PILLOW of silica. I don't know! Maybe a quarter of a little pillow--and some of it spilled--and the whole package is maybe a tablespoon? I don't know! I DON'T EAT IT!"
"Did she eat any of the wrapper?"
"Well, I guess so. She must have. She opened it with her teeth, so I think that' s likely. Not all of it. Perhaps the top 1/8th of the packet."
"Yes, yes, okay. I'm looking up information now. You do realize that you will be charged for this free advice, miss?"
backstory--I have already tried to look up info on the Web and have found everything from "YOUR DOG WILL DIE" to "THIS SOAKS UP ALL LIQUID IN YOUR DOG AND WILL FREEZE-DRY YOUR DOG" TO "MY BEAGLE LOVES SILICA! IT MAKES HER COAT GLOSSY!"
"So, what we are finding is that we are not concerned at all about your dog. She should be fine. Please watch her to see if she vomits. If she does, withhold food and water for two hours and then give her ice chips, gradually building up to small sips of water and food."
"Okay, okay, okay! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I bet you want my credit card now, right?"
"Yes. You now have a case file open, so if anything else happens you can call back and the information will be free."
"Okay. What else might happen? Is there anything else I should look for? Symptoms? Any symptoms?"
"No, no. We're not worried. Just the vomiting."
Who is we?
"THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!"
Silica gel: I hate you. Much like the ASPCA's advice you are free, and yet you cost me $60.