Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Dog: Free to a Good Home

I am very tired today. Why, do you ask? I'll tell you.

I worked a day shift yesterday, and Keith was off working on a commercial. Ordinarily we crate Patch whenever we leave the house, because he snacks from the litterbox, knocks over the trash and strews it everywhere, jumps up on the kitchen table, and wreaks general havoc. But I took the bus to and from work yesterday, plus work itself, and it seemed cruel to keep the dog locked up for 8 or 9 hours. So before I left, I shut up the cats in the back of the house where the litterbox is, left the dog in the front of the house, moved the recycling bin out to the porch, and stacked the heavy compost bucket on top of the trash can to weight the lid down. Then I took the dog out to pee but he refused to go, so I put him back in and left.

I returned home in the evening to a very guilty-looking dog. He had knocked over the trash, compost bucket and all; fortunately the lid stayed on the compost bucket so at least the rotting compost wasn't scattered everywhere. The trash, however, was. In the trash was a huge mound of spiced flour we'd used for making chicken wings over the weekend; we weren't composting it because it'd had raw chicken rolled around in it. The flour was all over the kitchen floor, creating an unholy mess. To cap it all off, the dog had also peed on the kitchen floor.

I got that cleaned up and went to the back of the house, to discover the cats had managed to climb into the back of the bathroom cabinet and pull out a roll of toilet paper, which they shredded into confetti all over the bathroom and all down the hallway. It looked like the morning after a ticker-tape parade. I cleaned that up too.

By this time all the animals were wailing for their dinner. I told them to wait. "I'm going to go check on my pets who don't trash my house," I snapped. "The good pets. The ones who give me good food and garden fertilizer. The ones who earn their keep." Then I went outside. The chickens were fine; Jane and Lana had laid eggs. So I brought them back in and fed the mammals and made my own dinner.

Later on, Keith came home, and we went to bed early because he had to get up at five in the morning for work today.

So, shortly after three a.m., we woke up to the kind of noise you'd expect to hear if you turned on a faucet full blast but the pipes were clogged with mud. Keith got up to investigate, and the dog was sitting up in his kennel, looking guilty and also very ill. He had thrown up once or twice, but the sound that woke us up was that of absolutely FOUL diarrhea. At that point we realized that there had been quite a bit of chicken bones, chicken fat, and other waste in that trash, and I hadn't seen any of it when I'd cleaned up the mess earlier. All that chicken was about three or four days old (our trash doesn't fill up very quickly and it has baking soda and a lid so that it doesn't stink).

Retching and gagging, Keith put the dog out into the yard, and Patch was eager to go. Keith bundled up the bedding and took it out to the trash, and we cleaned up the rest of the mess with a strong vinegar-water-alcohol solution. We decided to leave the dog outside for a bit - clearly he wasn't feeling well and we weren't eager for a repeat occurrence - and I lit several strawberry-scented candles around the room. Finally, an hour and a half before Keith had to get up and drive an hour for work, we managed to doze off to flickering candlelight.

Thirty minutes later, we woke up again to a tap, scratch, scratch, tap. Roxy, our mama cat, was displeased to be shut out of the bedroom and wanted back in. So Keith got up and let her in (she woke him up first), at which point she glanced around the room and walked right back out.

The dog seems to be feeling much better now but I'm still tired, and I know Keith is exhausted. When they say pets are good practice for having babies, is this what they mean?

1 comment:

  1. Yep! That's what they mean. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.