Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Everything comes down to poo

"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog.
Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement."
-- Snoopy

Most celebrate their birthday with cake. Some prefer the bubbly. My dog ended his big day with 16 sticks of Extra sugar-free bubble gum. Foil wrappers and all.

Such is the life of Murphy, now 2 years old, and me. Him, sucking down life in hearty gulps; me, following around with a plastic bag, trying to identify the remains and comprehend the crime. It's like "CSI: Doggie Style."

While I've always said dog ownership is the best prep one can have for parenthood and vice versa (Don't put that in your mouth! Stop peeing on the carpet! Get in your crate -- now!), Murp has presented his own challenges ... mostly from his back end.

At six months, a vet diagnosed him with giardia. That's a parasite in the intestine that is tough to completely rid your system of despite the volumes of material it helps usher through the intestine. Though not usually life threatening, it is not an enduring feature in a new pup.

Unless, of course, you prefer your diarrhea explosive and slimy.

Months six through 18 of the dog's life went something like this. Crap, crap, crap. Chicken broth, drugs. Chicken noodle soup, more drugs. Boiled chicken and rice, final round of drugs. Back to nor- …, no, nope. Crap, crap, crap.

Rinse (with industrial-strength bacteria killer) and repeat and repeat and repeat.

"I think you have a defective dog," My Love said at one point.

"Not defective," I said, shooting her the don't-think-your-choice-in-pronouns-went-unnoticed-look. "Just defecating."


Something finally clicked with the trillionth round of meds in November, and Murphy's potty time has been most stellar since. He did have one final blast, though, so to speak.

It occurred the weekend my brother-in-law volunteered to look after him while we took a family trip. At 4 a.m., the phone rang in our hotel room. On the other end, a hysterical, 260-pound, one-time butcher's assistant gagged out:

"It's everywhere! It's all over the crate and it's all over him! I let him out and he shook and it's on the walls! I'm getting sick. I'm going puke! Oh, God, it's disgusting!"

The bro-in-law's name and number was promptly removed from the "Emergency Contact" list for my children.

But the last six of months of puppyhood have been good to all … except the eyes of one kangaroo Webkinz and one white teddy bear, several cups of coffee and, of course, the aforementioned pack of gum. Murp's turning into an excellent shortstop for the family Wiffle ball games, although his throwing arm is still suspect. He does a spot-on "Sam Sheepdog" imitation, sitting at the edge of yard looking for neighboring dogs and deer. And, he's forces me to actually get up my computer and venture outside every day … even if it's only to reconnoiter for land mines in the yard.

Happy birthday, dog. Here's picking up after you, kid.
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  1. Awww... cute little bugger.

    I am no stranger to the projectiling of fluids through bodily orifices. I felt the same way your brother in law did once upon a time when The Boy hurled all over just as we were leaving Costco.

    I coped by leaving most of his clothes (and some of mine) in a steaming pile in the shopping cart and drove us home with him clad only in a diaper, and me in undergarments, with the heat cranked up to 78 degrees because it was October.

    come to think of it, it's probably a good thing I'm allergic to cats and dogs. If I ever had a pet I probably would not have had children.

  2. You know you are a parent when someone or thing vomits and your first instinct is not to duck for cover, but to try to catch it in your hands. Like, that will help?

  3. I can't quite decide which of the following is the most noxious: dog poo, cat poo or human poo. I've cleaned up my share of all three.

    Dealing with three children when they've been ill with intestinal viruses was good prep for dealing with our beagle and cat.

    Did you know cat vomit has no smell? I swear to God.

  4. To quote John Prine's "Jesus, The Missing Years":

    All agreed that life stank. All the world smelled like poop
    Baby poop that is ..the worst kind.

  5. From one dog owner/lover/picker-upper to another - Great post!

    I have a dog and cat - yesterday I laundered all of my bedding which includes 2 down comforters. And while usually that is a sign for
    "someone" to be violently ill in some manner, on the bed...it did NOT occur.

    Maybe there is some celestial poo thing happening????

  6. Ann from Montana: Yep, children and dogs, you just can't win. Cats -- you're never even in the game.

    Your location lets my pull out one of my favorite quotes about Texas from John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" -- "Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans."

    I've been to Montana and lived in Texas. He couldn't have hit it any squarer on the head.

  7. OMG!!! Another Steinbeck afficianado???

    And especially "Travels with Charley" ala "I am in love with Montana...."

    ok, let's see if this works - I just came across this the other day:


    At the end is the TX-MT quote and some other TX-MT stuff...

  8. Aww, happy birthday pooch! Your in good hands!

  9. Well, Denise, something of his is in my hands. And on the bottom of my shoes. Sigh.

  10. I found you through Manager Mom and omg you are hilarious! I have a lab who thankfully did not ever go through this. She's now 9 and occasionally eats things she shouldn't but mostly is just well behaved. Well written and thanks for the laughs! Marley's got nothing on your dog...

  11. Hey, Girl ND: I bought Marley & Me when it first came out, around the time my first Lab had to be put down. It was comforting. I was at the school book fair a year later and saw the author did a children's Marley book. I was going to buy it for my kids ... then I saw it cost like $26. For a 32-page oversized picture book! I immediately lost all respect for the writer.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have some cake.


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