A Dog’s Life

We have two labs. Both of them like to eat. A lot. They beg. A lot. They’ll try anything – they’ll sit perfectly still and stare at your food with a laser like focus, trying to will your food to their mouth via an intense Jedi mind trick.

The muppets high chairs are all set up in our kitchen now. The boys will usually sit there happily as we wolf down our food – I think they like to be at eye level with everyone. And recently, we’ve been putting them in the high chairs to give them gourmet rice cereal so they associate sitting at the table with mealtime. Their furry brothers have begun assuming the position – seated upright, begging, on either side of the dining muppet.

These dogs are going to LOVE their new brothers when they figure out how to fling food off the high chair tray to the floor.

Several years ago, shortly after Jon and I moved into our house, GrammaJ and GrampaTavo came up to visit. Normally our yellow lab, Cooper, is constantly underfoot; if he’s not begging for food, he’s begging for a toy (“Throw the ball. Throw the ball. Throw the ball.”) or encouraging a houseguest to scratch his bottom. But on this particular evening, Cooper was lounging in the hallway, not very interested in the people, toys or food around him. This was odd behavior.

Jon went over to where he was sprawled out on the ground. “He looks a bit round…” And he was very short of breath.

I opened the garage door. The lid from the dog food container was lifted and slightly askew. Cooper had managed to finagle his way into his kibble and had eaten as much as he could possibly reach. He didn’t stop because he was full; he stopped because his little head couldn’t reach anymore. Then he staggered back into the house – likely plotting how he could get to the rest.

We rushed to call the vet, which resulted in rushing a dog with a severe tummy ache to the emergency vet. Thankfully, we caught the pup’s mischief in time and no extraordinary measures were needed.

The official diagnosis: “Vomited a prodigious amount due to a massive overindulgence.” (I am not making this up.)

This afternoon I received the following anecdote. Allegedly, it’s an oldie but a goodie. But I’d never seen it before and it made me laugh. So for some weekend fun, I present the following canine chronicle. Sadly, I do not know the author.

**********

Unbaked Yeast Rolls

We have a fox terrier by the name of Jasper. He came to us in the summer of 2001 from the fox terrier rescue program. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of adoption, imagine taking in a 10 year old child about whom you know nothing and committing to doing your best to be a good parent.

Like a child, the dog came with his own idiosyncrasies. He will only sleep on the bed, on top of the covers, nuzzled as close to my face as he can get without actually performing a French kiss on me. Lest you think this is a bad case of ‘no discipline,’ I should tell you that Perry and I tried every means to break him of this habit, including locking him in a separate bedroom for several nights. The new door cost over $200. But I digress…

Five weeks ago we began remodeling our house. Although the cost of the project is downright obnoxious, it was 20 years overdue AND it got me out of cooking Thanksgiving for family, extended family, and a lot of friends that I like more than family most of the time. I was assigned the task of preparing 124 of my famous yeast dinner rolls for the two Thanksgiving feasts we did attend. (I am still cursing the electrician for getting the new oven hooked up so quickly. It was the only appliance in the whole darnn house that worked, thus the assignment.)

I made the decision to cook the rolls on Wed. evening to reheat Thurs am. Since the kitchen was freshly painted, you can imagine the odor. Not wanting the rolls to smell like Sherwin Williams #586, I put the rolls on baking sheets and set them in the living room to rise for a few hours.

It was 8:30 p.m. When I went to the living room to retrieve the pans, much to my shock, one whole pan of 12 rolls was empty. I called out to Jasper and my worst nightmare became a reality. He literally wobbled over to me. He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in fur. He groaned when he walked. I swear even his cheeks were bloated.

I ran to the phone and called our vet. After a few seconds of uproarious laughter, he told me the dog would probably be okay; however, I needed to give him Pepto Bismol every two hours for the rest of the night. God only knows why I thought a dog would like Pepto Bismol any more than my kids did when they were sick. Suffice it to say that by the time we went to bed the dog was black, white and pink. He was so bloated, we had to lift him onto the bed for the night.

We arose at 7:30 and as we always do first thing, put the dog out to relieve himself. Well, the dog was as drunk as a sailor on his first leave. He was running into walls, falling flat on his butt and most of the time when he was walking, his front half was going one direction and the other half was either dragging the grass or headed 90 degrees in another direction. He couldn’t lift his leg to pee, so he would just walk and pee at the same time. When he ran down the small incline in our back yard he couldn’t stop himself and nearly ended up running into the fence. His pupils were dilated and he was as dizzy as a loon.

I endured another few seconds of laughter from the vet (second call within 12 hours) before he explained that the yeast had fermented in his belly and that he was indeed drunk. He assured me that, not unlike most binges we humans go through, it would wear off after about 4 or 5 hours, and to keep giving him Pepto Bismol.

Afraid to leave him by himself in the house, Perry and I loaded him up and took him with us to my sister’s house for the first Thanksgiving meal of the day. Rolls firmly secured in the trunk (124 
> less 12) and drunk dog leaning from the back seat onto the console of the car between Perry and I, we took off. Now I know you probably don’t believe that dogs burp, but believe me when I say that after eating a tray of risen unbaked yeast rolls, DOGS WILL BURP. These burps were pure Old Charter. They would have matched or beat any smell in a drunk tank at the police station. But that’s not the worst of it.

Now he was beginning to fart and they smelled like baked rolls. God strike me dead if I am not telling the truth! We endured this for the entire trip to Karen’s, thankful she didn’t live any further away than she did. Once Jasper was firmly placed in my sister’s garage with the door locked, we finally sat down to enjoy our first Thanksgiving meal of the day. The dog was the topic of conversation all morning long and everyone made trips to the garage to witness my drunken dog, each returning with a tale of Jasper’s latest endeavor to walk without running into something. Of course, as the old adage goes, ‘what goes in must come out’ and Jasper was no exception.

Granted if it had been me that had eaten 12 risen, unbaked yeast rolls, you might as well have put a concrete block up my behind, but alas a dog’s digestive system is quite different from yours or mine. I discovered this was a mixed blessing when we prepared to leave Karen’s house. Having discovered his ‘packages’ on the garage floor, we loaded him up in the car so we could hose down the floor.

This was another naive decision on our part. The blast of water from the hose hit the poop on the floor and the poop on the floor withstood the blast from the hose. It was like Portland cement beginning to set up and cure. We finally tried to remove it with a shovel. I (obviously no one else was going to offer their services) had to get on my hands and knees with a coarse brush to get the remnants off of the floor. And as if this wasn’t degrading enough, the darn dog in his drunken state had walked through the poop and left paw prints all over the garage floor that had to be brushed too.

I am happy to report that as of today (Monday) the dog is back to normal both in size and temperament. He has had a bath and is no longer tricolor. None the worse for wear I presume. I am also happy to report that just this evening I found two risen unbaked yeast rolls hidden inside my closet door. It appears he must have come to his senses after eating 10 of them but decided hiding two of them for later would not be a bad idea. Now, I’m doing research on the computer as to: ‘How to clean unbaked dough from the carpet.’

And how was your day?

Advertisements

One response to “A Dog’s Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s