Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Joys of (Dog) Parenthood

Saturday morning, just before noon, I had to call my vet's office and explain that one of the dogs, not sure which, had consumed about eight lotion-impregnated tissues straight from the box. I strongly suspected Sister, my female Airedale, since she's the most aggressive trashcan forager, retriever of dirty Kleenex, and consumer of used dryer sheets. When she was a puppy, she had an unnatural taste for socks, clean or otherwise, which I surreptitiously retrieved from the yard upon their return and piled in an area just under the edge of the porch. My landlord was going to clean them up when he mowed one day, until I ran toward him, yelling, "Oh, Reverend Weddle, you don't want to do that!"

I'm Southern; you just don't let a minister get dog poop on his hands. It's un-Christian and profoundly ill-bred, to say the very least. I had to tapdance around it for a few minutes, then gave up and explained that those socks had been fully digested and expelled via the Airedale Alimentary Express. He took my point and left the pile of socks alone. I went out with a plastic grocery sack every so often and collected those up for the trash. Luckily, Sister outgrew her taste in hosiery.

While I waited for Dr. Hall, my long-suffering vet and fellow Airedale owner, to call back, I sat at my kitchen table carefully reviewing the ingredients in Puffs-plus-Lotion. There was nothing toxic, and I hoped that the shea butter and aloe might encourage the paper products toward a swift exit. Dr. Hall did eventually call, and as usual, was generally amused by my dogs' proclivity for eating weird things. He also said that the tissues didn't sound toxic and not to induce vomiting or anything...that they'd likely pass on their own.

I was taking this all in stride until the cats lobbed the new, full box of tissues off into the floor...and Sister ate four or five more. I'd been told to watch and see if she went off her feed, because Dr. Hall was counting on the bulk of the food to push the tissues on through the digestive tract. Lo and behold, on Sunday evening, the first tissue came out in the yard. On Monday morning, another tissue came through, but Sister was panting uncomfortably; after work, I bought a package of Fig Newtons and fed her four of them. That provoked the desired response, with one slight problem: one of the tissues got stuck coming out. Picture my poor, distressed Airedale, freaking out over this flag hanging out of her behind...

I am woman; we are conditioned from an early age to deal with unpleasantness, i.e., vomit, dirty diapers, spoiled food- you get the general idea. I keep a box of vinyl medical gloves for just such emergencies, but Sister had other ideas. It was like an Airedale rodeo at my house, with me astride the offending party, trying to becalm her long enough to extract the remains of the tissue. I finally got a grip and removed it, much to Sister's consternation. She glared at me for five solid minutes and cut me a wide swath for the rest of the night. I guess I offended her delicate, ladylike sensibilities.

Oh, the joys of pet ownership. Ugh. I think I'll be fine if this doesn't happen again for quite some time.

1 comment:

Farmchick said...

What a story! I do think this needs to be published somewhere, because all pet owners we have dealt with this. Your description was so funny, I literally laughed out loud.