Dog lover and owner James Gunn, writer-director of "Guardians of the Galaxy," has a cautionary tale for fellow animal enthusiasts after his beloved pooch Von Spears accidentally ate some weed-infused chocolate coffee beans. (Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images for A&E Network)

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director’s smart rant: Keep dogs away from edibles

While some marijuana-based products are created specifically for dogs — often non-psychoactive CBD-infused dog treats — most cannabis products are not meant for animals.

And yet stories of accidental (and sometimes-intentional) K-9 ingestions are becoming more and more common in legal and non-legal markets alike.

We’ve talked with veterinarian experts who advise against pet owners dosing their domestic animals. We’ve talked with other medical experts who agree that it’s a bad idea. Then we talked with even more vets who flatly said: Don’t do it.

We’ve also shown you a disturbing video of a Siberian Husky “awkwardly losing control of its own body, his absent-minded tongue woefully askew (until his owner physically places it back in his mouth), his hind legs uncontrollably jolting, his eyes seemingly absent from his surroundings, his front legs stiff as if rigor mortis had set in, his neck unable to support the weight of his own head, which rolls further and further back until his owner catches it.”

Dogs and THC don’t mix. Someday, perhaps. For now, not so much.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” writer-director James Gunn wrote about his terrifying experience with dogs and THC-infused edibles on his Facebook page this morning, and it’s an eloquent, and scary, tale of what can happen when your pup meets your stash — or your friend’s stash. It’s worth a read — so much so that we’ve copied his entire story here.

Consider it a cautionary tale:

The night before I was supposed to leave Atlanta, my dog Von Spears went into seizures. He started walking in circles and falling and twitching arrhythmically, as if he had lost all neurological function. I was terrified – my dog is everything to me. But I become an automaton in crises so I immediately packed him into my car and headed for the animal emergency center about ten minutes away from my house in Atlanta. As he spasmed in the seat beside me, I stroked him and said, “Don’t worry, buddy, I have your back.”

I ran inside South Atlanta Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center. The woman at the front desk saw him having seizures and two vet techs ran out and brought him into the back with them.

It’s hard for me to tell you how much time passed by, as, now that it was out of my hands, the panic and the fear started to overtake me. But it seemed like it was only a minute before one of the vet techs ran out and said, “Listen, no judgment – whatever you do is okay, and we don’t have to report it – but has your dog been around any marijuana or marijuana-type stuff?”

“No,” I told her. “I don’t smoke pot.” And that’s true – I don’t do any drugs, or even drink alcohol.

“Because that’s where I’ve seen symptoms like this,” she said.

I remembered a friend of mine had been visiting, and she had a small bag of weed in my basement. Both of my assistants live in the house with me. I texted them:

“Is there any chance Von got into pot? I know there was some in the basement.”

My assistant texted me back that he got rid of that and that he didn’t think there was a way for him to get into pot.

I told the tech, no, it wasn’t possible. This seemed to worry her more – which worried me more – and she moved toward the back.

However, in that moment, my other assistant texted back and said that his ex-girlfriend had left some edibles – weed-infused chocolate coffee beans – in his nightstand. He has been packing to go and he threw the coffee beans into a trash bag – which Von Spears had torn through and gotten to the coffee beans. About four of them. A human would get stoned off one. That sounded about right to me – my dog has a sixth sense for anything chocolate. He once ATE THROUGH a piece of Tumi luggage to get to a giant chocolate bar I had brought home from a wedding. He had had his stomach pumped then and a couple other times before I pretty much stopped letting chocolate in the house, because he’d always find a way to get to it.

I yelled back to the vet tech, “YES! HE HAD EDIBLES!” She looked at me (as did everyone else in the clinic). “Four weed-infused coffee beans,” I said. “A human only needs one.”

As it turned out, the fact that he had edibles was good. The clinic had dealt with it a lot. When the tech told me that he was probably going to be fine, I broke down in tears. When I told Von Spears I had his back on the way to the clinic, I knew that meant I would either get him out of this fix, or I’d be here with him at the end. I was grateful it was the former.

The clinic had to keep watch on him for twenty-four hours, pumping him with fluids, but he was fine when he got out. Better than fine, really – he was playful as a puppy with all those life-enriching fluids.

“So, James, why did you tell us that long-ass story about your dog almost dying?”

Well, partially because I had an open half hour this morning.

And also because, in sharing this story with friends afterwards, I discovered nearly everyone I know has a story about a dog getting into edibles. Dogs that go into seizures like mine, dogs that walk around for days on end stoned and confused and unhappy, and even some dogs that have died due to large doses. It’s incredibly common, and yet I had never heard about it.

So, just, whether you partake in edibles or your friends do, be a little more careful with keeping them in a safe place if you have pets.

Probably babies too. If pets OR kids are ever around your home, keep your edibles safely stashed away.

If not, then leave them out lying wherever you want.

Hope you have a great day.