A Dog Story

We are dog sitting this summer for some friends. It’s been nice having a dog, especially with the knowledge that he’ll go back home in a little over a month. I guess in that way he’s like grandchildren. You get to have fun but give them back at a predetermined point in time.

Toby, the one year old golden retriever who is living with us, has supplied us with endless entertainment when he’s not sprawled out on any cool surface he can find. I can’t blame him. It’s super hot and we ain’t got no air conditioning except in the bedrooms. If I could, I’d sprawl out on the bathroom floor (it’s tile) or on the slender piece of marble by the front door as well. But that could be frowned upon.

We are accumulating many Toby stories, most of which consists of pee, poop, or as is the case a few days ago, vomit. I warn you, while I think the following story is somewhat humorous, it is also gross. It won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading to finish your breakfast first. In fact, I recommend it. In lieu of all the more serious posts of late I thought something more lighthearted was in order.

It all began Monday. It was mid-morning and the heat was beginning to invade our house. We were all in the dining room, Paul and I discussing the days affairs and the kids sitting still trying not to sweat.
That’s when I heard it…a sound unlike any other sound…the sound of a dog vomiting. And then I saw it. I stood in disbelief and total disgust, wondering how I could get Paul to clean it up with no help from me. Then I remembered his gagging reflex to the sight and smell of vomit. No…he would not do it alone, but I didn’t want to either so I threw out a compromise.

“We’re going into this together,” I said. He agreed but then took a step around Toby and saw what I had been staring at for a good 3 minutes at this point. It wasn’t a little pile of vomit that Toby has left for us. It was ALL OF HIS BREAKFAST, EVERY LAST KIBBLE AND BIT. Paul’s face changed to reflect his grossed-outness, but he’d already agreed to help. It was a verbal pact as far as I was concerned and there was no undoing it.

Now this is where the real problem comes in…I had ZERO papertowels. Zip, nil, nada, niente, none. All we had were about eight napkins and I knew that was not going to get the entire job done. But we divided up the napkins and started at it anyway, praying that those few napkins would multiply into many like the loaves and fish Jesus prayed over on a mountain thousands of years ago. The garbage can was moved to closer proximity and the toxic clean up began. We took turns diving in, breath held, arm outstretched. As one went away gagging, the other stepped in. I’ve cleaned up a fair amount of vomit from my kids, as well as wiped up some seriously gross poop, and I held my own through all of it, but this…this about got me. I just couldn’t handle it.

The kids, being thoroughly amused at this point, decided to settle in for the show and pulled up their chairs to watch their parents gag on the smell,sight, and feel of dog vomit.

We are about 4 or 5 napkins into this cleanup at this point when Paul gets the idea to tear up an old box and use it as a rake of sorts, one part being the “rake” and the other part being the “thing the vomit is raked into”. I give him props. It worked really well. And I didn’t have to do it. Here’s the man who gags at the tiniest poop cleaning up the nastiest and smelliest vomit the world has ever seen without complaint but, yes, with much gagging. I was off in the corner waiting for him to finish and trying not to lose MY breakfast. I knew once the “raking” was done it would be my turn to go in and finish up.

And finish we did. In style I might add. I know this because our children gave us a round of applause afterwards.

That’s right…we are now expert dog vomit cleaner-uppers according to generous laughter and applause of our children.

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