… of the puke.
That’s pretty much dog ownership (or parenthood) in a nutshell, right?
When Monkey was a baby, we made up a song about him to the tune of Daisy Bell. I’m deeply aggrieved this morning that I can’t remember the whole thing, but I know it included, “You’re so sweet / When you chew on your feet,” and that THAT was the important part. The kid munched on his own toes for hours, and he was round like a little Buddha, so it was endlessly entertaining to watch him do so. Toddler Chickadee used to run over, grab one of his legs, and cram his foot into his mouth FOR him, if she was bored. (Not a whole lot has changed, come to think of it. But Monkey is a little less bendy these days.)
So we’ve been doing a lot of the canine equivalent, watching Licorice do adorable doggy things, cooing over how cute she is, and generally worshiping at her furry little paws, as one does.
That’s why I didn’t get upset when the initial vet visit revealed a double ear infection.
And that’s why I didn’t balk at taking her back for a follow-up, only to discover I had another week of extreme ear-poking yet to go.
And that’s why I took her to the vet for yet a THIRD time when she appeared to be chewing one of her paws raw. (Diagnosis: “Doggie equivalent of a bad hangnail.”)
So when Licorice threw up all over our bed while I was in the shower on Sunday morning, I figured it was a fluke. A disgusting, smelly fluke… but nothing to be worried about. The fact that she did it right after Otto had laundered all the sheets and put them back on the bed… well, I always knew she was extremely smart and intuitive. And a brat.
And when I put her in her crate and shortly thereafter there was a MIGHTY HORKING noise and she’d puked a second time, I reasoned that yet another visit to the vet was going to get her file labeled MOTHER HAS MUNCHAUSEN’S BY PROXY, and really, dogs puke sometimes, and I could handle it.
Later when she puked a THIRD time I started getting nervous, but other than clearly feeling kinda punky, she didn’t appear to be dying or about to give birth to an alien or anything, so I figured she’d be okay.
I even boiled her a nice bland dinner to try that evening, and she managed to keep it down.
Sunday night, however, she barked and cried in the middle of the night, and after taking her out she continued to make a fuss if I tried to leave the room. So I ended up being up half the night with my dog, whose stomach was going UUUUUURP RRROOWRRRRRR EEEEEEEEEE at an alarming volume. I was transported back to the days when Chickadee was a baby and I had no idea what to do when she was fussy. “Cry it out” seems a little inhumane for a dog who’s clearly got an upset stomach.
Yesterday she seemed better, if somewhat floppy. By evening she was her old self again, and other than sleeping a bit more than usual, today you’d never know anything had ever been wrong with her.
So a little while ago I broke out her new squirrel dude and filled it up with peanut butter and kibble and offered it to her, and the result was the reason that we allow animals who smell and puke and drag their butts on the floor to live in our houses—she was initially so mystified by the fact there there was food INSIDE of the thing, she kept poking it and backing away, as if she expected it to get up and dance, too. We think Licorice didn’t have much (any?) experience with toys before coming to us, and she often seems disinterested in them, but the smell of peanut butter eventually proved hard to resist. After pushing it all over the house, she’d licked the thing clean, and that was ten minutes of entertainment I couldn’t have gotten any other way.
[Wait. They make a bigger one. I could probably get Monkey to replicate the experience if I filled one with chocolate-covered Bakugan. Or Chickadee would, if I filled it with Sour Patch Kids and a cell phone.]
Also, I could’ve bought her the plain ol’ regular KONG but then I wouldn’t have had the unparalleled joy of watching her LICK A SQUIRREL’S ASS WITH FERVOR to extract her rewards. So, there’s that. I mean, if you’re looking for an endless source of crass jokes, a dog and a squirrel dude really makes it too easy. She really had to WORK at it, and now she’s taking a nap, because all of that maniacal sucking on a squirrel’s butt wears a girl out.
I guess the point is that—much like parenting a human child—there are thing (like puke and sleeplessness) that suck, but they are outweighed by the joys of tormenting your chosen small creature for sport.