Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the further adventures of misfit dog

Some time ago, for a series of days, our dog Lexi approached meal-time with no small measure of apathy. We'd put food into her bowl and she'd just let it sit there--all day. Normally, we feed Lexi twice a day, and normally she finishes her bowl-full within 15 minutes. So, it caused us some serious concern when she went for a period of days without even eating one bowl-full of food. We figured, "She must be sick or something."

Later, we found out what was troubling her. Turns out, she had swallowed two pair of unmentionables. After several days, her body rejected them and out they came.

Whew, crisis averted. We were glad we did not have to take her to the vet to pay a hefty bill.

That day, we thought: "Okay, she'll get back to eating normally, now that she has some room in her stomach." But, though she did eat more, we were surprised to see that, no, she was still consuming less than normal and she still seemed to regard her bowl with indifference.

"Well," we thought, "her body probably just needs time to recover. Probably tomorrow or the day after that she'll be back to normal again."

Turns out, that was wishful thinking, because several days passed and she still was not eating her normal amount.

"Oh, well," I thought, "give it time." And, "That'll teach her to do that again!"


Last week I left home to pick the kids up from school, per my usual routine, with Lexi in tow. Halfway there, it started raining--and I did not have an umbrella for me or for the kids. So, when I got there and ran into our friend Gretchen (whose child Emma is a classmate of Nic's) she felt sorry for me. She offered me a lift home in her car.

I looked down at Lexi and saw that she was wet from the rain and decided to decline Gretchen's offer. I explained, "No, Lexi's all wet. I don't want you to have that 'wet dog' smell in your car. Besides, it's not raining that badly, we can make it without getting too wet."

Then, she said, "No, it's really no trouble. Besides, Emma likes dogs. It will be a treat for her."

From there, we continued discussing the merits of the idea. And Gretchen also posed the option of at least taking Meaghan and Nic home in the car, while I could walk (if I felt that strongly about the wet-dog-smell-factor).

That alternative was tempting, but I declined that too because I thought that would be rather cheeky of me to just leave my kids in her care. I didn't want to saddle her with that responsibility.

So, as she insisted she give us a lift home, she persuaded me to take her up on the offer.

Big mistake, Troy.


We got in the car and Emma asked if Lexi could ride with the three kids in the back seat. I said "No, that wouldn't be a good idea" because Lexi would get wet hair all over their seat and she would be out of control. I told her that it was better for Lexi to be with me at my feet on the floor by the front seat.

Lexi got in and then I took my seat.

Gretchen pulled out and Lexi just sat there (looking very angelic, I must say!) primly looking up at me with her big brown eyes.

Gretchen commented what a good dog Lexi was.

I corrected her, saying: "Um. Actually, she's a very naughty dog. Right now it seems like she's good, but at home we have to keep all the doors closed because she'll get into the garbage otherwise."

Gretchen just said, "Awwww, but she's a good dog."

The car made its way down the street to a stop light. We turned and came to another intersection, stopping for the light there. We turned again and made our way to a u-turn we needed to make. While Gretchen continued talking, I looked down at Lexi and thought, "If I didn't know better, it looks like she's going to be sick." Then, I looked over at Gretchen to show her that what she was saying registered with me.

When I looked back at Lexi we were pulling up to our door and, oh yes, there it was, a heap o' dog vomit, there on the floor of our friend's Lexus. And guess what our well-behaved dog hacked up? Yep, you guessed it: another pair of unmentionables!

I quickly opened the door, not letting on yet to Gretchen that I saw what Lexi had done, because I wanted them out onto the street before Gretchen saw that our little anti-christ had manufactured a pair of scivvies that looked like a baby Ork had just been born.

I threw them out onto the street, far, far away into the gutter underneath a car that was parked nearby in hopes that Gretchen would never find out what REALLY happened. Then, timing it just right, I looked down again and said, looking up to Gretchen, "OH, MY GOODNESS! LEXI JUST THREW UP IN YOUR CAR! I AM SO SORRY! OH, MY GOODNESS!"

I shuffled back and forth outside the car, not knowing what to do now. Gretchen's daughter Emma just kept saying, "That's okay, don't worry about it! That's okay!" And Gretchen said the same, but I just kept saying "I can't believe it! I am so sorry! Oh, my goodness! I am so embarrassed!"

I told Gretchen that I would be right back. I hustled Lexi and the kids into the house, scolding Lexi along the way, "Bad dog! That's a bad dog!"

I grabbed a rag, a stiff bristle brush, some Amway cleaner, some disinfectant wipes and a bucket. I put some water in the bucket and hustled downstairs. When I got to the gate, Emma was there, comforting me still, "That's okay! Don't worry about it! It's not her fault. She's not a bad dog. "

I thought, "You're wrong, she's a beast from The Abyss" but resisted the temptation to set her straight. In place of that, I just said, "Thank you, Emma. I know it's not her fault."

With that, we cleaned up the mess and Gretchen went on her way, taking her daughter to violin practice.

And to think I was worried about 'wet-dog' smell...


On Monday, I passed Gretchen on the street. She was running to pick up Emma from school. I had Meaghan and Nic and Lexi with me. We were returning home.

I said to Gretchen, "Hey, could you give us a ride home today so my dog could throw up in your car again, please?"

She laughed and said, "Don't worry about it. The car is all clean now. I told my husband that I wished I had had a camera to take a picture of you the moment you saw Lexi had thrown up. It was priceless."

Then, she demonstrated for me what I looked like. It was pretty darn funny, and I must say she did a pretty good impression!

This is why, when someone asked me once, "Troy, if you had to pay 500 euros to have Lexi operated on in order to save her life, would you pay it?" I responded by saying, "No way. That dog is going down!"

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