Tag Archives: dog vomit

Making the dog sick

This morning, Deb and I were having a discussion about dogs and logistics. It wandered, much like Fabius’s mind. Fabius is the elder of her two dogs (black Lab). Leonidas, the junior, is a miniature Schnauzer. I’m not a dog person, though I accept my obligation to assure that they have humane conditions and care as needed.

Anyway, the original understanding was that she would take care of all dog needs wherever humanly possible, and with her being laid off from work for some months, clearly this has been humanly possible. Unfortunately, Fabius has settled upon some very inconvenient latrine areas of late. One definition of an inconvenient latrine area is ‘anyplace I [J.K.] like to be in the yard.’

I decided that it was time to bring this issue up, especially after some unfortunate footwear events last week when I happened to be walking around in the yard. In fact, I was drawing something of a line in the grass, complaining about the issue and asking her to stop promising and start picking up. Fabius was farrowing on the floor (his favorite posture looks very much like that of a sow with new piglets, on his side, legs out), while Leonidas sat on a folded blanket, on the ottoman in front of Deb, following this dog-related discussion with interest.

Just as I articulated to her that I would determinedly resist any notion of getting any more dogs if the situation did not improve, Leonidas assumed the vomiting posture. Before I could complete my little rant, he indicated his dissent by throwing up on the blanket. The look on Deb’s face was priceless.

While the issue will not simply vanish in a small pile of slightly used dog food, that at least tabled it for the time being. For one thing, I couldn’t stop laughing.

The costs of marital compromise

This holiday season I find myself in a frame of mind to tell funny stories.

Deb and I got Fabius, a black Labrador retriever puppy, within a few months of buying the house. Most of you know that I wouldn’t willingly share my house with dogs if it were up to me. However, it’s not just up to me. Marriage means compromise or it means divorce. You can die on any hill you wish, but the problem with choosing a hill to die on is that you die there. One of life’s lessons is to learn which hills to live on rather than die.

I chose not to die on Doggy Hill. We got Fabius, who eventually grew into an 85-pound freight train of a dog with a tail like a police nightstick. If you wonder why the name, it is for Q. Fabius Maximus Verrocosus Cunctator (“Delayer”), Dictator of Rome. When we first got Fabius, he would not come on his leash at all, and I had to drag him until he got the idea: he delayed us a lot. Also, Fabius Maximus was a noble and brave Roman general who gave his all for his country, and would have given his life had it been needed. If we had to have a dog, I wanted him to see himself as Deb’s protector unto the grave.

Fabius has given us that, but he’s also given us a few other gifts he can have back. This story covers one such gift.

For whatever reason, in his middle years, Fabius was a puker. You’d find a large decoration of dog vomitus somewhere in the house, which was real bad for the carpet when his food contained kibbles colored red. Most of the time, this was Deb’s problem (that was our agreement: it’s her dog, she will handle the bulk of the care and cleanup). One night, it became my problem.

I tend to go to bed later than Deb, who insists that the dog must be permitted to sleep in our bedroom. She doesn’t mind the smell, which to me is worse than the Sunnyside feedlots. This means that when I come to bed, I’m making my way in the dark, my sense of smell overwhelmed by dog smell. I focus mostly on trying not to stick the square corner of a bedpost top into my thigh, which is very painful when you just want to lie down and go to sleep. I also react badly to sudden pains out of nowhere, simply because of a bad startle that’s been with me since my teens. Friends know not to come up behind me, for example.

So one night, I was groggy and ready to go to sleep. At that time, I did not happen to wear clothing to bed. I came into the bedroom, disrobed, and strode toward my side of the bed in the pitch darkness. All I cared about was avoiding a thigh injury. My bare foot splooshed into something cold, mushy and wet alongside the foot of the bed.

Before I could register my shock and disgust, I slipped in what felt like a square yard of dog vomit. I can’t even figure out where Fabius stored all that. The WHAM of my backside hitting the puddle coincided with the beginning of a yelled curse. I felt vomit splatter as I landed right in the middle of the stuff. Poor me, but poor Deb: awakened from deep sleep by bellowed husbandly profanity and a house-shaking impact, for I’m not a welterweight.

Of course, if she did not insist on having a dog, and did not insist that it be allowed to sleep in our bedroom, this would not have occurred. And in other fantasy worlds, if people would use their turn signals before changing lanes, a lot of accidents would not occur. We do not inhabit a fantasy world.

Deb jumped out of bed to assess the damage. There wasn’t any, except for painful bruising of my tranquility, buttocks and ego, and of course the need to get up and cleanse the carpet and surroundings of splattered dog ralph. I was not at my best husbandly composure and civility. In between vulgarities, I ordered her to clean up the offending substance and exile the dog to the kennel while I took a shower. I credit her for realizing that this was not the time for her to snarl “Don’t talk that way to me!” She kenneled Fabius and proceeded to deal with the present he had left.

I get a heavy adrenaline surge when startled, so I didn’t get to sleep easily. I didn’t laugh about it for several days. But I did learn that marital compromise does come with costs. The more important lesson was to step carefully going into the bedroom in the future.

Gods, but that was disgusting. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

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Postscript: just last night, marital compromise came full circle after all these years. I was indisposed, to put it delicately, atop the starship USS Sanitize. I heard a feminine yell of great, sudden dismay from the living room, penetrating walls and door. This is not a good moment, because while one will get up and rush to assistance if one must, one devoutly hopes the situation can safely wait for one to finish in an orderly manner.

“Are you all right, dear?” I yelled. No answer. Oh, damn. Louder: “Dear! Are you all right?”

From the vicinity of the hallway: “Yes. Leo just threw up all over me! He was just sitting there, and then he puked!”

That’s even worse than about three years ago, when she was on the floor sorting Christmas ornaments, and the insufferable little creature defaecated on the carpet–right next to her.

Now I’m worried it’ll be my turn soon.

Facebook chain sermons about animal love

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that a lot of folks find themselves deeply moved by some of these–and sometimes they even affect me.  Today I had a good rejoinder for one and was feeling self-promoting enough to share it, with the kind permission of Lisa, who gets props for being a great sport about it.  It accompanied a cartoon picture of a couple in bed, each perched on an edge, with several animals hogging the middle:

“IF I DIDN’T HAVE MY DOGS OR CATS:

  • I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety
  • My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated
  • All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture and cars would be free of hair
  • When the doorbell rings, it wouldn’t sound like a kennel
  • When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who got there before me
  • I could sit on the couch and bed the way I wanted without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
  • I would have money and no guilt to go on a real vacation.
  • I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college.
  • The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay and leave it ALONE.
  • My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
  • I would not talk ‘baby talk’. ‘Eat your din din’. ‘Yummy yummy for the tummy’…
  • My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.
  • My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
  • I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L, W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, O-U-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, C-O-O-K-I-E.
  • I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.
  • I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much
  • I’d look forward to spring and the rainy season instead of dreading ‘mud’ season.
  • I would not have to answer the question ‘Why do you have so many animals?’ from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an ANGEL as they will ever get.”

How EMPTY my life would be!!!

[last known credit:  Wanda Jones]

I thought about it for a moment, then replied:

“Well, I’ll be able to go along with that the day an actual angel uses my basement as a celestial urinal, or lays a holy steamer next to my wife while she’s decorating our fake holiday tree, or throws up angel yack on my bedroom carpet causing naked me (coming in late and in the dark) to slip and fall on my bare ass in about six quarts of angel vomitus.”

No, I wasn’t making that up or exaggerating.  It happened about six years back.  We have a Labrador Retriever named Fabius.  I named him for Q. Fabius Maximus Verrocosus Cunctator, Dictator of Rome, for a number of reasons.  The chief one was that as a puppy (he was primarily ears and paws), Fabius would not come on his leash.  He delayed us frequently.  Fabius Maximus’ epithet ‘Cunctator’ means ‘the delayer’ or ‘the procrastinator,’ depending on whether you are admiring his tactics of wearing Hannibal down, or grousing that he doesn’t immediately win the war for Rome…’Fabian Tactics’ remain the term for this in military science to this day.  I finally had to drag him along until he got the idea, thus, ‘Fabius.’

Anyway, around 1:30 AM, I came in to go to bed, shucked my clothes in the pitch dark, and worked my way along the base of the bed with caution for the Thigh Hunters–the square bedpost capitals that seek out an author’s quadriceps if he is incautious in the dark, causing him to hiss a curse.  It did not occur to me that Fabius might have cut loose with a spectacular vomit on the carpet, nicely cooled down by now.  I stepped right in it, barefoot, slipped, and landed on my butt with a thud and a volley of pain-pumped swearing.  While I realize this is not what my lovely bride wants to wake her up at 1:30 AM, you try falling on your nalgas in dog puke at that hour (without advance warning, mind you) in silence.

Let me know how that went.

I didn’t take it out on Fabius.  While certainly one shouldn’t, I still think I deserve at least a minor commendation ribbon for not losing it.

Feel free to share your funniest pet disaster in the comments.