The Dog

This morning I awoke, completed my morning rituals, and yawned my way out to the living room, fully expecting to find my dog sitting on my recliner looking out the window and preparing to scold her profusely for it.

Except she wasn’t on the recliner. Or the couch. Or in her crate.

She was, however, the source of that strange snuffle-lick noise that dogs make when they’re going through your garbage, and there she was in the corner of the kitchen, having accessed the garbage bag inside the garbage closet (apparently the door was not secured last night) and having found, amidst all the other treasures, two Lindt milk chocolate bunnies that we had found while unpacking, gone “how old are these?” and promptly tossed.

(Is there any way to work an Oxford comma into the last bit of that sentence? I don’t think so. Tragic.)

She’d only eaten half a bunny, so I scooped her up and deposited her in her crate with much scolding, called the vet on post (“we don’t take emergencies!”) and called the vet off post (“she is probably okay, keep an eye on her”), all while trying to find enough maternity clothing to layer on against the bitter cold outside. I also called my husband, who prepared himself to take us to the vet if need be, but given the lack of vomiting and overall absolutely normal behavior, we elected to stay home. Worst case scenario, I do have hydrogen peroxide in my house.

(That is what the vet will give your dog to induce vomiting. My old dog/my parents’ dog once ate an entire bar of Swiss dark chocolate, and I got him to the vet fast enough that it hadn’t really been digested and so when he threw it up the entire room smelled, not of vomit, but of delicious, delicious chocolate imported from Switzerland WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO GO BACK AND GET MORE, DOG. He also later ate an entire thing of cocoa butter lotion from Lush. What did I ever do to you.)

(His most famous exploit is eating like a pound of Hershey’s kisses, the aftermath of which involved absolutely zero shiny wrappers found amidst the biological waste, leading us to conclude that he had, in his wily particularity, unwrapped each and every one of the dang things before eating them.)

In any case, we’ve had the dog for a year now, a year in which we’ve picked up her poop and cleaned up her vomit (me) and reached into her mouth to retrieve unidentifiable not-sure-if-edible objects (mostly me) and taken her for runs (my husband) and to the dog park and on long car trips and kept her fed and watered and on a few very rare occasions cleaned up her pee from other people’s carpets (sorry, other people). We’ve tried to train her with varying levels of success–she knows the commands, but she is no German Shepard desiring to bow to our every whim. We’ve snuggled with her and napped with her and guiltily listened to her whine those first few nights when she thought if she cried enough she could come sleep in the bed with us. (There is not room for her in the bed.)

Dogs aren’t children, but a lot of the basic caretaking skills involved are the same. I remember the first time I reached into her mouth without hesitation to draw out something that should not have been there, remember thinking well, I guess I’m an adult now, guess I could take care of a kid if I needed to. We didn’t get her as training for kids or anything–it was more a matter of not knowing when kids would come and wanting something to liven up the house, force me to exercise, to love and cuddle and be cuddled by. And it’s not even like our dog is the most affectionate of dogs–like I said, she’s pretty darn willful and independent. But there is something gratifying about the way her tail wags when you say her name, and the fact that she really did miss us during her week-long stay at my parents’ house over Christmas.

Since writing all that, my husband has discovered that apparently the dog ate two other chocolate bunnies in addition to what I saw her eating. And now she is sleeping. Willful brat. Thank goodness she has a “stomach of steel,” as my husband keeps saying.

This post doesn’t even do a good job of introducing y’all to the dog; I apologize. I will try harder in the future. But the chocolate was the excitement of the day, and now I have fulfilled my self-imposed blogging requirements for the week. See you on Sunday!

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