It all started on a Tuesday night, when I came home from work to an unmistakable absence. My brown-and-white pitbull mix, Maizey, wasn't at the top of the stairs to greet me. Instead, she was in her bed, shaky and confused.
When I tried to get her up, she stumbled, nearly falling over while standing still. Walking to the vet, she leaped like a puppy chasing imaginary balls.
Later, at the 24-hour veterinary clinic in San Francisco's Mission District, the staff ran tests and determined Maizey was in no immediate danger.
Instead, they wagered a guess that Maizey was simply high. On marijuana.
HOW ARE DOGS GETTING HIGH?
"Dogs will get into anything and everything," said veterinarian Dorrie Black of the San Francisco-based veterinary clinic Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services.
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now have legalized pot in some form. And since Colorado ushered in recreational marijuana in 2014, nine more states and D.C. have followed. As weed has become easier for people to get, it has also become a hazard for dogs.
Black said dogs ingest marijuana by eating the remainder of a joint, or getting into someone's edible marijuana, either at home, on the street or in parks.
Another unsavory source in San Francisco -- and other cities with high numbers of people living on the streets -- is human feces tainted with marijuana. This is, in fact, what we think happened to Maizey. She had spent quite a bit of time in the park bushes the morning she got stoned.
"Dogs love that (poop) scent; to them, it's perfume," said Black.