As anyone who knows me is aware, we have three dogs. We adopted two alleged chihuahuas (the jury is still out on Bubby’s pedigree) – as my consolation prize for having had cancer in 2012 after my active treatment had ended. Bubby and Sleepy Ben – nee Isabella, nee Gabby (long story) were my reward for not dying. Ben went to live with my in-laws for some time but we took her back when my mother in law got sick. Trever rescued Lucy, the miniature dachshund with the enigmatic past, when he found her wandering down Shaw Bridge Road in May of 2016. We really didn’t want/need another dog so she also went to live with my in-laws; however, we inherited her when my mother in law passed away in 2019.
Now aged 10 and probably around 14, these three dogs are messier than any child I ever cared for. For years, we didn’t have a fenced in yard so they were puppy pad “trained” and accustomed to taking care of business as needed. Now that we have a small fence, they will go outside when prompted but still have no compunction about just going when they need to go. So it is a constant battle to clean up after them in the best of times. But last night and this morning was the coup de grace of the dirty dog deeds.
My collection of canines and I went to bed on Friday night as usual; I was anticipating a lovely rest on my clean sheets and a morning of sleeping in on Saturday. Until recently, all of the dogs were really good about settling down and not getting up until l do. Occasionally, Lucy will have an accident in her sleep but – again until recently – those were few and far between. But lately Bubby has to get up around once a night. He appears to be allergic to grass, gets a terrible rash on his tummy during the summer and has to take some kind of antihistamine and/or steroid pretty regularly. Which makes him extremely thirsty. Which makes him have to pee more often. Throw in those “few and far between” Lucy accidents (some of which involved poo) and my sleep has been very broken lately.
Around midnight I heard the click click click of Bubby’s toenails on the floor in the bedroom. Sometimes he just sits on the edge of the bed like vulture Snoopy and sighs, but he actually got up last night to pace around so I would wake up to take him to commence his nightly pee and rehydrating routine. After he was up, he seemed not to want to go back to bed so I just left him in the living room to his devices. This in itself is unusual because he is accustomed to sleeping with me and he was likely upset; in the living room, the poor mistreated thing has to sleep in one of three donut dog beds, the couch with a plethora of blankets or one of two chairs. I went back to bed only to be awoken a couple hours later by Lucy retching beside me. I quickly put her on the puppy pad but she seemed to be okay so we went back to sleep yet again until I woke around 6:00 to Ben pawing at me wanting to get up. These dogs did NOT understand the assignment. So off she went to join Bubby in the living room as I attempted to salvage my sleep in.
It was at this time when, with the run of the front of the house and obviously feeling neglected, Bubby and Ben staged the great kitchen break in. This very small, very short fence (a part of a hamster play pen) actually works to keep my pea brained babies out of the kitchen – which leads to the laundry room, which houses the litter box and trash cans. Could they jump over it if they tried? Yes Do they ever try? No. But Ben does know it will come open if she noses around it enough. And apparently the lure of the still open trash bag from Chili’s takeout last night was a siren song that Ben could not resist. They did, in fact, want their baby back ribs.
Sarah was the first on the scene. She reported rib bones scattered around the kitchen and living room as if a pack of wolves had taken down a cow. Bones in the dog beds, bones on the floor. Bubby was using his otter hands to hold a bone and happily gnawing away while surrounded by backup bone-age. As she tried to take a bone from Sleepy Ben, Sarah was threatened with an angry Benja-growl.
I had heard some commotion but was trying desperately to salvage my sleep in. As she opened the door to my bedroom, Sarah was greeted with additional offenses of which I had been blissfully unaware. Someone – who we have yet to identify – had done something untoward all over my white quilted comforter. Was it vomit? Was it….something else? I didn’t investigate further. Solid white = ability to soak in bleach.
Meanwhile, back at the original crime scene, Trever discovered that not only did the dogs empty out and feast on the contents of the trash bag, Bubby had apparently marked it as his by peeing all over it. For the safety of all concerned, I took it upon myself to do the cleanup for “my” dogs. The guilty parties didn’t look like they felt particularly well as they sat around staring at us but perhaps they were just nervous; there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And then, after the bulk of the mess was cleaned up, the vomiting began. Copious amounts of whatever they had ingested – bits of rib meat, barbeque sauce, ranch dressing, leftover quesadillas, the remnants of a corn cob – combined with every ounce of water they had drunk all morning. It was vile.
Needless to say, I spent my entire day washing blankets, bedding, the sofa cover, and dog beds. Never am I so grateful for washing machines and dryers than on days such as this. I was a bit concerned about them ingesting bones or bone shards but after a day of rest, they ate their dinner as usual and they seem to be back to whatever normal is for them. I am finishing up the last of the laundry and about to go put clean sheets on the bed, yet again. Fingers crossed.
Karri Temple Brackett
September 3, 2002