Dogzilla wearing his scary dinosaur Halloween costume.
My canis lupus familiaris, better known as Dogzilla, and I, were playing chase; I chase him then hide, he comes looking for me, I jump out and say “boo!”, he runs and hides from me. Now it was my turn to hide and his turn to find me. I saw him come charging out of the bathroom, make a wide swing and bam! hit his right rear hip on the bedroom door. With a loud squeal he gave me “stink eye,” a look that said “why did you just kick me in the okole?” (Hawaiian term for rear end.)
“It wasn’t me,” I called after him as he limped pathetically down the hall, game over, looking a little like Quasimodo (you know, the Hunchback of Notre Dame), pulled himself into his “muffin,” (a white fleece ball that is his bed), curled up, gave me stink eye once more, and fell asleep.
I felt stupid. I had just apologized to a dog.
I hoped he wasn’t hurt. But obviously he was, when he later limped downstairs for his dinner. Hurt or not, no one gets between Dogzilla and food. Nothing satisfies his appetite. He is hungry all the time. We don’t go on walks. We forage. So after licking his bowl clean, he bobbled on three legs to the sofa where I was sitting and I gently lifted him up, put an ice pack on his hip and then later that night gave him a baby aspirin before he went to bed.
When I woke up next day, I saw he had barfed small pools of bilious green foaming matter onto the tan carpet. Miraculously, his limp was cured. He ate his breakfast but he clearly didn’t feel good and for the next three days, whenever I was out of sight unable to put a paper towel under his mouth, my dyspeptic dog left large, undigested blobs on the carpet or in his muffin for me to clean up later.
On the fourth day I took Dogzilla to the vet. Yes, he had a fever. In addition, the vet drew blood for a blood panel test, gave us two prescriptions, two cans of special dog food, and said he’d call me in the morning. We were there only half an hour and the diagnostic bill was $246.00, or $30.75 per pound.
For the next three days I kept a Dogzilla upset stomach log: 7/6 p.m: throws up undigested blue liver pill. 7/7 a.m: found undigested blue pill in green foam on carpet. 7/7 p.m: walked by husband, played chase with me, threw up bits of some undigested something.
On the fourth day, while sorting trash from a 4th of July party, separating bottles, cans and compost, I had an idea for a story. I ran upstairs to my computer and began writing. Time passed. Alas, I had propped open the door between the family room and the garage and forgotten about it.
I don’t know how long it was before I heard Dogzilla snorting, scratching and digging desperately at the carpet under my desk. He was frantically trying to bury his treasure, a barbecued pork rib bone, under the surge protector. OK. Mother Nature has instilled in him digging DNA, but he must have been napping when she passed out dirt instinct. Basking in his hunting success however, Dogzilla sashayed out from under the desk and jumped into his muffin for a little nap after lunch.
I knew what awaited me as I followed a trove of chewed pork bones downstairs–the odd bone on the living room rug with its little stain of red barbecue sauce, another one prominently displayed on the family room rug, also stained with barbecue sauce. But worst of all, a big green pool of foamy bone chips bubbled in the middle of the dining room floor.