Slobber therapy

By Mir
September 10, 2012

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled Reporting On Very Serious And Also Fairly Depressing Things to bring you this important update on where we stand in my campaign to convince Otto we need another dog*.

Mario’s family went away for the weekend, and so we had Kaiser here with us for a couple of days. (You remember Kaiser! He is Licorice’s boyfriend and partner in random barking, as featured in this post about our recent camping adventures.) I was thrilled because next to Licorice, Kaiser is perhaps my favorite dog. And I figured they would play together and it would be delightful. And also I am not very smart.

Shortly after Kaiser was dropped off, we had to head off to the hospital and leave the dogs alone for a while. But this was wonderful; they’d have each other to hang out with, and no one would be lonely. At least, this is what I told myself as we were pulling out of the driveway and we could still hear Kaiser barking.

“I’m sure he’ll stop once he realizes we’re gone,” I said to Otto, who was giving me A Look. “He WILL,” I insisted. “I’m sure he will. There, I can’t hear him anymore! Problem solved!”

“We’re a block away,” my darling husband pointed out.

“Shut up,” I replied, lovingly.

When we all returned, hours later, it was a cacophony of barks and yips and slobber. Kaiser was delighted because he had no idea why he was at our house in the first place, and then the fact that we’d abandoned him had been Oh So Very Sad, and then when we RETURNED it was very happy. Licorice was delighted because we brought Chickadee home and she was VERY happy to see her, plus you could tell that she was feeling like Kaiser was really sort of putting a crimp in her style (and by “style” I mean “tendency to just nap when we’re not around”). There was much rejoicing, and also kibble.

After a lovely evening at home watching my girl delight in being in her house, and her room, with HER STUFF, for the first time in months, it was eventually bedtime. And for the first time in THREE WHOLE MONTHS Otto and I were going to have the chance to sleep in our bed sans dog—Chickadee had already requested that we put Licorice in with her for the night. So we put Kaiser in her room, too. All was well; Chickie and the dogs came down in the morning, all perky and happy.

That morning I took the dogs out and got to watch quite a show; as I tried to usher the pups into the dog run to do their morning business, of course both of them kept running around on the rocks over by my garden, instead, because why go poop out in the run specifically intended for that purpose when you can drop a load right over by the tomatoes? So I called to one dog, and then the other, and they’re running all around, totally not listening to me, and then Licorice stopped to pee, and the Kaiser had to pee right on TOP of that same spot, and then I got Kaiser out into the run but Licorice was still roaming around and Kaiser came out to see what she was doing, and then Licorice came into the run, and she finally squatted down to do her thing and Kaiser came over and lifted his leg RIGHT OVER MY DOG. Fortunately, he was empty by then, but still. Not cool, man. You don’t pee on the dog that’s sharing her digs with you.

Unfortunately the morning with the kiddo didn’t end up going as well as we’d hoped, and I think the dogs probably were off napping while things went downhill and we ultimately made the decision to take Chickadee back to the hospital earlier than planned. At some point in the midst of this—divine providence!—Lemur’s mom called and offered to come pick Monkey up and take him to their place to play for a while. So Monkey went off with them, eventually I sent Chickadee off with Otto, and then I was left at home with two dogs, trying to come down off this adrenaline rush and a slew of not-great feelings.

I did the only thing I could think of, which was to go take a nap with both dogs. They were very willing to accommodate me.

Now, Otto hates having even one dog in the bed, because Licorice is always so! excited! to see him at first morning light that she often wakes him at dawn by plunging her tongue into his nearest ear canal. Also, she apparently likes to steal his covers. But me, I feel like napping with a dog is never a bad choice, because it’s like having bonus warm pillows. When I crawled into bed on Saturday afternoon, Licorice curled up by my stomach and Kaiser curled up behind my legs and I fell into a dreamless sleep. Perfect.

It was perfect right up until Kaiser heard something outside and let out a little bark, and then Licorice barked a little louder, and then I woke up to both dogs going ballistic because… someone had closed a car door down the street somewhere.

On Saturday night there was football to watch, and watching football is distraction technique #146 on the big list of Ways To Stay Busy And Not Talk About How Awful And Disappointing That Leave From The Hospital Ended Up Being, so we watched the game while the dogs alternated playing with toys and napping on the furniture.

At one point Kaiser was dozing and emitted a little *fffffrrrppp* of a fart, which was entertaining in and of itself because 1) I’m a 12-year-old boy and 2) Licorice never farts, or at least I’ve never caught her at it (she’s a lady!); but then it got even better, because he was DEEPLY AFFRONTED BY HIS HINDQUARTERS, first briefly growling at his own butthole in surprise, and then aggressively sniffing the air around it as if trying to pinpoint the source of the confusing aroma. Needless to say, this was even more entertaining than the football game.

All was glorious until bedtime, when I realized that without Chickadee there, we would indeed have to have two dogs in our bedroom. Well, no matter—Kaiser had come with his own bed, so I moved it into our room and set it next to my side, and showed him where it was, and even, eventually, plopped him down on it, and that was fine. Licorice went and hid under our bed, as she often does, so despite Otto’s grumbling, there were no dogs in our bed.

Until we turned out the light. Then Kaiser hopped up. Licorice was still hiding, so I assured Otto that this was fine, no biggie, and besides, he was on my side, not a problem.

Well. Licorice sometimes gets into our bed and decides it’s time for her nightly grooming. That’s annoying, but we can often divert her, and even if we can’t, it doesn’t seem to last all that long. But Kaiser, it turns out, is a champion groomer. The sounds that began emanating from him were… obscene. There was licking. Lip-smacking. Grunting. Constant wet slapping sounds. It was like a really bad porno was taking place in our bedroom. And through it all, I tried several times to remove Kaiser from the bed and set him down on HIS bed, and each time he would stay there for a few minutes, then rejoin us, and rededicate himself to the slurpiest self-grooming in the history of dogs.

Finally I took the dog and his bed to the other end of the house and closed Kaiser in my office. I returned to bed.

Licorice came out from underneath and joined us in the bed. And then as Kaiser began to whine and bark, she began to whine, as well. DOG IN DISTRESS. WE MUST RESCUE HIM.

I waited as long as I could, hoping that the dogs would settle down. Kaiser would occasionally stop barking for a minute (one assumes to lick himself, though that, fortunately, I couldn’t hear through two closed doors), but then he would start up again.

Finally I ended up upstairs in Chickadee’s bed with both dogs. (My husband is a saint, and I figured at least one of us should get some sleep.) By then Kaiser was either fully groomed or just figured maybe he shouldn’t push his luck; everyone went to sleep.

The next day, both dogs were delightful again. They ran! They played! They drank a lot of water and slobbered on all of us! At several points Otto and I found ourselves sitting on the couch, each of us with one dog to snuggle, and I would say, “Isn’t this nice? One dog for each of us?” And he would give me A Look.

I was actually sad to see our little buddy go when his mom came to pick him up last night. I require a lot of dog therapy, and having two dogs for a while was good fun. Moist, but fun.

*I don’t really want a second dog. Licorice is the perfect dog! Also, pets are expensive and we cannot afford another dog right now. I just like to torment my husband sometimes and also maybe daydream about the relative ease of dogs compared to children. Stop giving me That Look, Husband.


  1. StephLove

    I’m glad the dogs were good therapy and sorry you needed it.

  2. Catherine

    I have three dogs, all different sizes. They do not sleep in the bed with us but they are in the same room. Mine sometimes snore! It’s very amusing, although I have been known to go sleep in another room and leave the dogs in my room!

  3. Navhelowife

    Glad the dogs got along so well. Sorry about the lack of sleep though!
    I’m glad you had a good night with C, but sorry the next day didn’t go so well. Still, little steps. Keeping you in prayer.

  4. Mom24@4evermom

    Me thinks you underestimate your own sainthood. I can not stand the sound of a dog licking.

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I’m sure it’s hard. We’re all sending so much positive energy your and your family’s way. I hope everything starts to click soon and it truly gets better. For what it’s worth, I think you’re amazing. I grew up in a home that was in many ways a disaster and I can only wish that my parents had had the fortitude to do the right, but God-awful tough, thing. Instead, my brother and his demons ruled the family and it was awful and let to all kinds of consequences they never saw coming.

    Hang in there.

  5. Niki

    I too, occasionally, feel the need for a second dog. We had one for a while, but unfortunately she got out and got hit. Our big dog missed her for a while, but seemed to eventually get over it, however, he is much more playful (and gets his energy out) when there’s a second dog to chase and play with. I think of how wonderful it could be (though that former 2nd dog pooped next to a door, inside the house, every single day). Then I remember that next year our youngest goes to college, and our 50 lb. dog will want to sleep with us. The thought of a second dog also sleeping with us is pretty much enough for me to give it up.

  6. Chuck

    Glad you had fun with the doggies! Your bad porno line had me laughing out loud. Sorry the visit home didn’t end well for Chickadee, but it was only the first one – I bet next time is better.

  7. Rocky Mountain Woman

    They truly do have a herd mentality. One dog is a whole different thing than two dogs. Two dogs are a herd and the dynamic changes. I know this from experience. Actually three dogs is kind of overwhelming at times. I know this from experience…

    Sorry things didn’t go as well as hoped with C maybe next time will be better!



  8. Groovecatmom

    Thank you for the morning laugh! Has K ever told you the story involving a dog, a recliner, and being pregnant? Just thinking about it makes me crack up.

  9. abbiejoy

    The slurping and licking is a constant at our place. It was much funnier in your post than it is in person. Our sharpei/lab/mutt has skin allergies (doggie dermatologist, what?) which cause constant, slurpy, wet licking. Most frequent object of his affection – paws. But nether bits also receive a goodly amount of attention. If he has recently consumed water, expect splashy water bits to be flying. Luckily, we made a decision early on not to let his 60+lb self onto the furniture. Downside: with a mouth that huge, you just can’t NOT hear the licking. Also, sucking in all that air creates a lot of gas, at both ends.

    Glad dogs can bring a smile, even when they are being absolute sh!ts. I cannot imagine two dogs in this house. One is barely manageable.

  10. Katherine

    I’m so sorry for you and for Chickadee that the visit didn’t go better. I hope that she can work on what she needs to so that next time will go much better.

    I hear you on the grooming. My cat has decided that since it has started to cool off, that she needs to sleep next to me – right next to my belly, and that she needs to groom herself every hour or two, ALL night long. Arrgh! I need to convince her to sleep next to DH or better yet, a kid. Either kid would be delighted to have her sleep with him. Now how to convince the little kitty brain of this…

  11. Redneck Mommy

    I laughed. Because Otto and my husband? One and the same. Except I have two dogs, and sometimes THREE. And oh, the licking. The MOIST slurping licking. It’s a good thing I’m immune to THE LOOK. I love dogs. And all dogs love me. The fun really starts when my husband comes home and tries to sleep in his bed. Which the dogs fully believe is THEIR bed. There is a lot of growling and snarling and not all of it from the dogs.

  12. Megan

    Who has bred this magnificent fart-free dog and where can I order several? I have never, NEVER had a dog that didn’t fart. Most impressive.

  13. suburbancorrespondent

    Every time I start thinking I might want a pet to replace the babies I no longer have, I read a post like this and remember that I don’t, not really…

  14. Pats

    My dog is 11 and has yet to realize that he is not being pinched on the behind when he farts. He jumps up and dashes across the room to escape it. It can be pretty entertaining. During the daytime.

    I’m sorry about the visit, Mir. Baby steps?

  15. jackie

    I’m very sorry to hear your baby girl didn’t do well with her weekend pass. I know you have to be hurting and nothing anyone can say will make it “all better” until she is better.

    One a lighter note. I’m a one dog woman. I feel like I’m cheating on my dog when I have another one in the house. Maybe it is because we only had one child and I didn’t have to learn the coping skills. haha

    We had two dogs in the house for a bit when my dad lived with us and then after his passing. His dog escaped somehow and some older lady picked him up. My husband looked and check a few dog facilities but to be honest we didn’t try all that hard. Buddy was sweet but was trained to be a lap dog. My girl comes gets her love and then we all go to our spot. When in bed she will come check on us and get some love then go back to her little bed in our room. She has two beds and is able to sleep on any surface (other than tables) she would like. She is our little princess and it’s only gotten worse since our son is off to college.

  16. Melissa

    A dog that’s just puzzled by his farts? Mine actually runs from his OWN poop! The minute it hits the ground, he’s GONE.

    Sending out good thoughts for your next visit with Chickie.

  17. Heather

    Oh Mir – I love your ability to see the humor in things when everything else is so terribly wrong.

    The fart paragraph had me snickering under my breath (as I’m at the library right now)….

  18. CuriousCat

    When my precious baby farts, she has this look of confusion/innocence that just cracks me up! Her head whips around to see where that sound came from and if I say “Pippa! Did you just fart?” she looks all around as if she’s saying “What? Who? What?” I would so love to get her a brother to play with.

    I can’t beat the bad porno story, but once I was reading a book about zombies and fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up, it was completely dark and all I could hear was this wet, slurping noise. In my not-quite-awake-and-therefore-lucid mind, I thought “Zombies!” and my heart POUNDED. Then, I realized Pippa was just licking peanut butter off her rubber bone. But, for a moment, it just me and the zombie.

    Weren’t you looking for a dog for Monkey awhile back? Might still be a good idea to help him cope with all the things going on Chickadee-wise………….

  19. Jeanie

    I was sorry to read your footnote as I’m of the belief that everyone should have at least two dogs. And, really, three are just as easy as two. I will admit that four dogs tip the scales just a little. Yes, I speak from experience.

    I’m sorry your day with Chickie didn’t go quite as planned. I hope the next visit is wonderful.

  20. Korinthia

    See, now I feel like we should be the ones trying to crack you up! You are so damn funny it’s almost obscene. Thank you very much for the great laugh.

  21. karen

    I have four dogs. Four. My husband also does not like dogs in the bedroom at night. It took twenty two years to accomplish this.. .but now one little dog sleeps on my side of the bed, one medium dog sleeps in his own bed on my side of the bed, and the other two are in my office at night… because one is ginormous at 187 lbs., and one is so tiny he’d be squished if he were in or near our bed, at 7 lbs. He’s safely tucked in a crate.

    So I guess I’m no help here at all, right? :-) Thanks for the laugh tonight, Mir.

  22. suzie

    I am not a dog person. But sometimes, my cats lick themselves and it sounds gross, and I yell at them, and then they give me the finger.

    But the doggie thing didn’t distract me.

    I’m sorry, Mir, about the overnight.

  23. Bryan

    My wonderful Old English Sheepdog, Tag, dog of my childhood, dog who would eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger as if it were a M&M. . .was frightened of her own farts. She would leap up and run out of the room. That’s comedy gold, right there.

    It’s so hard to know which meltdowns are teenage angst, which ones are the voices of the genius manipulator and which ones should scare us to death. I’m thinking of you & surrounding you with a little glowy prayer forcefield of love.

  24. addy

    See Poopers will let one in his sleep, pick up his head and sniff, and then leave the room. And wait-for-it… the rest of us will start to gag! Seriously, how can it smell that bad? It’s just dog food!! The belches are more entertaining. Walks around with his head down, makes the gurgling noise that scares you into a total panic cuz “he’s gonna get sick” and then just burps and smacks his doggie lips and licks a few times. Then wants more water to slobber on the floor. The licking ya can’t stand that.

  25. Kira

    No, no. You don’t need another dog. You need CHICKENS. Not a lot of chickens. Just like…eight or so.

  26. Kim

    I started with one small dog. Apparently, one 9 pound dachshund is a gateway drug, er, dog. Buddy is 5 years old. He is all alpha-male, and unabashedly owns me. :) (I’m a single mama now ~ he thinks this makes him the Man. lol Silly little dog!)

    In July, a half-starved, flea-bitten kitty adopted me. She came spayed and declawed, and since no one answered the “Cat Found” posters on the local telephone poles, I vetted her and named her Miranda. She hates dogs, but loves me, so I figured, “Why not?” She and Buddy took about a month to figure it out, but now they coexist peacefully. Belly rubs and ear scratches for all! Yay!

    Day before yesterday, my boyfriend’s ex evicted his dog (don’t even get me started…she is obviously an Awful, Terrible, Dog-Hating shrew, and since BF is out of town all. the. time, there was nowhere else for him to goooo) and it was either the pound, or my house. So now I have a 55 pound part-lab, part-something-else-really-big sharing my couch. And yes, my bed. He insists. Gus is a very well-trained 3 year old.

    All I need at this point are some fish, a bird, and some type of reptile or amphibian, and I will officially call myself a zookeeper. :)

    Truly? I wouldn’t have it any other way. The dogs are playing together well, and if the cat hasn’t come out of the office closet since Sunday? Well, she’ll figure it out eventually. LOL

    (Personally, I love Kira’s idea of chickens…free eggs! And birdy love! In eight small packages! Win-win-WIN!)

    {{{hugs}}}, Mir ~ ~ ~

  27. Katie in MA

    Ewwwwwww – moist! The ultimate distraction word!

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