dogs, emergencies, home

I went all Granny T last night…

Last night, I was sitting in the dark living room, working on the latest jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly, I heard Bill, and he sounded concerned.

“Arran, come here. You can’t have that nut!” he said.

Arran, who celebrated his ninth anniversary as our devoted family member yesterday, came running into the living room. He was clearly in distress. Bill was grabbing him around the stomach. It looked almost like Arran was choking on something, but I could tell he was breathing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“He’s got a walnut in his mouth.” Bill said. Apparently, Arran had found an unshelled nut somewhere mysterious, broke it open with his teeth, and half of it was stuck on a molar. The other half, thank God, was in his bed. Walnuts are not really safe foods for dogs for a number of reasons.

“Oh my God!” I said.

Next thing I knew, my fingers were in Arran’s mouth, feeling around for the nut, which I thought was already halfway down his gullet. Vision of his sudden death flashed in my head as my fingers came out of his mouth, unsuccessful. I noticed splotches of blood on his right front paw, which he’d been using to frantically paw at his mouth, trying to get the walnut out.

I reached into his mouth again, determined to get the nut. I felt it stuck on his tooth. Somehow, I managed to grasp it and pull it out. It was all bloody, having cut the fragile gum tissue.

For a few minutes, all three of us were shellshocked by the sudden emergency. Bill had tears in his eyes as he comforted Arran, who was still scared and bewildered. I suddenly had a vision of my grandmother, Granny Tolley, who had a history of saving the day whenever one of her descendants got in trouble. I remember stories of Granny grabbing hatchets to kill snakes or break kids out of locked bathrooms. Granny died in July 2007, about six weeks shy of her 101st birthday. She was a tough lady.

After a few minutes, we were all a bit calmer, and Arran was back to sniffing the kitchen floor, hoping to find something edible that was dropped. He was perfectly fine within twenty minutes or so, but Bill and I were still a little bit shook up. Arran is about 13 years old, and it looks like he will be the dog who will have the longest tenure with us.

Our dog, Zane, died just a couple of months before what would have been his tenth “gotcha day” anniversary with us. But we got Zane when he was younger, and he had more health problems than Arran has ever had. Zane was a ray of sunshine, but he was fragile, suffering allergies and three years of mast cell tumors before finally succumbing to lymphoma.

I don’t think Arran was in any danger of dying last night, as the walnut wasn’t lodged in his windpipe or throat. But it was definitely a scary situation. I was kind of pleased with myself for jumping in and helping him out. As for how Arran got the walnut, I don’t know… I think he might have found it in the backyard. We lost a tree last weekend, and it’s still lying in the backyard, waiting for better weather and “processing”. I think the tree’s fall has unearthed some stuff.

As for Noyzi… he missed the entire drama. He usually hangs out in his bed upstairs in the evenings, except when we’re eating. Even then, he shows up fashionably late, sometimes even after we’ve already finished eating. He goes outside, does a few frenetic poop runs, tends to business, drinks a shitload of water, then puts himself to bed. Lately, Noyzi has had some pretty disgusting diarrhea, so that’s been fun… especially with the muddy backyard. I’ve been giving him pumpkin to help bind his poop.

As I write this, both dogs have come into the office, begging for attention and a walk. It’s cloudy outside and I’m a little depressed. I’m tempted to stay in my cocoon… but I guess it would do us all good to take a walk and get some air. Maybe it will motivate me to do my much hated Thursday chore of vacuuming, and pick up my guitar for some practice.

Last week, I was inspired to record my version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” It turned out nicely, although it doesn’t have many hits. On that video, I used a lot of pictures of my dogs, who keep me sane. I noticed the YouTube guy I’ve been doing collaborations with did a version of the same song a few hours ago. I guess he was inspired.

Sometimes I feel like my dogs are my only real friends. I’m sure glad Bill and I were able to dislodge that walnut before Arran got really hurt. I’d like to keep Arran around for as long as possible. He’s such a sweet, loving, gentle dog, and he shows us every day how much he loves us. We love him right back.

If I get inspired to write again, maybe I’ll be back… but I’m feeling a little depressed today. It might be a day for reading and napping.

ETA: I just vacuumed the house, and when I went downstairs to put the vacuum away, Arran had managed to pull a small bag of treats off the counter and was trying to suck them down. Fortunately, he wasn’t successful. I guess he’s fine. Good thing these dogs are so loving and cute.


The day my husband was full of shit…

Please pardon this second shitty post today, but my German friend just reminded me of another situation involving Bill and GoLYTELY. It was a day I really shouldn’t forget, since it was a rare occasion that involved Bill being full of shit.

I know… some people think their husbands are full of shit every day, but this time, Bill was LITERALLY full of it. I feel compelled to write about it right now, so brace yourselves.

The year was 2005. We were living in post housing on Fort Belvoir. Our house was actually not so bad for being one of the old versions. It had real wood floors, a working wood fireplace, a nice sized, functional kitchen with relatively new appliances, and a big yard. What it did not have were great bathrooms. We had one full sized hall bathroom and a half bathroom in a room that was too small to be used for much. I think I put a bunch of books in there.

I remember the one full sized bathroom had a plastic tub/shower combo that was kind of moldy, and a toilet that once backed up because of tree roots that invaded the main line. The Fort Belvoir folks had to do a rather extensive repair of some old plumbing infrastructure.

Anyway, at the time, Bill was working in Northern Virginia, I assume at the National Guard Center in Arlington. He’d been having some problems with having normal bowel movements, probably due to the high stress nature of his work. One day, he took some Imodium because he thought he had diarrhea. Later that day, called me from the medical clinic at the Pentagon, where he usually took care of his healthcare needs. He said he’d been hooked up to a nasogastric tube and an IV.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him.

“My guts are blocked up with shit and if I don’t get rid of some of it, I’m in danger of perforating my bowel.” he said.

“What?!” I exclaimed. Was my husband really a walking septic tank?

“Yeah, it turns out taking Imodium wasn’t a good idea. I was very constipated, rather than suffering from diarrhea, and the Imodium just shut everything down.” he told me.

Everyone should be grateful that I can’t recall exactly what gave him the idea that he had diarrhea. I do enjoy a good scat post, and I don’t skimp on the details. I guess some of the blockage wasn’t solid and had leaked out or something, but he came home a couple of hours later with a big bag of stuff from the pharmacy, including GoLYTELY. I remember it was a Thursday, and we usually spent our Friday nights at the officer’s club, where we’d drink Belgian beer and I’d sing karaoke songs with fellow karaoke buffs with right wing tendencies. These were in the heady days before the disaster that is Donald Trump… although it does seem appropriate that I’m mentioning Trump in a post about shit.

Yeah… this is not something I want to hear. “I’ll be right back. I gotta take a dump!” I’ve probably said that in front of a lot of people, though.

Realizing that our Friday night plans were now “shot to shit” and I would be sitting at home listening to Bill fart and crap all evening, I decided that this story would be one I can trot out whenever life gets to be too shitty. I also remember that he told me about the doctor showing him an x-ray of his colon, which was all white because it was so packed with shit. I think he needed the rest of the weekend to recuperate after the cleansing he needed that day, so I remember being kind of bummed out about it. Tee hee hee.

I suppose it’s not so often a wife can write about how full of shit her husband is and actually mean it literally. I suppose the memories of that day and night were reason enough for Bill to bring home comforting supplies like butt wipes and butt paste for his upcoming upscoping, although I don’t think the cleansing he has to undergo for his colonoscopy will be quite so dramatic.

For years after that incident, Bill religiously took Metamucil and he’s sworn off Imodium or any medication like it. I’ve noticed that he doesn’t seem to have as many problems with his bowels ever since he retired from the Army. He still works with some pretty uptight assholes sometimes, but he no longer has to make the decisions that cause shit to roll downhill… Sorry, I really can’t help myself!

I say “good on Bill” for being able to stand taking Metamucil. It makes me throw up; but then, I don’t generally have any problems unloading my shit. If you don’t believe me, keep reading my blogs.

It strikes me that Thanksgiving is a good time for Bill to be unloading all of this poop. He should be nice and clean for our trip to France at Christmas time. To my friend, Audra, I say be prepared for some exciting shit when we come visit you in Nimes next month…