This morning as Adam left for work I handed him a tupperware container full of still-warm dog poop, because you know what? He’s not the only prankster in this relationship!
I kid, I kid. the poop was from Gus (obvs) which I had freshly scooped only moments earlier and was now embarking on a too-familiar journey to the vet.
Gus has always had a sensitive stomach (compare and contrast this with our old family dog Tigger, a Heinz 57 mutt who could eat entire chocolate cakes and diapers without so much as a tummy growl) and it seems that anything can set his intestines churning.
Stress, travel, too much activity, any one of his eleventy-four allergies to feathers and cotton and the obscurely named “fish mix” (which is…what, exactly?)- all are amongst the possible culprits. So when we picked him up after our vacation and Adam’s sister mentioned that she sent her sons out to pooper-scooper the yard one day and when it came to Gus poop they’d had to use a hose rather than a shovel, we weren’t all that surprised.
We figured we’d give him a week at home and see if things got back to normal on their own, in case the stomach upset was caused by environmental factors (travel, new treats, lots of play time with his dog cousin Finnegan) rather than medical ones. But because we are despicable people who don’t deserve to care for the health and well-being of another living being, one week turned into two and two turned into two and a half and every day we would look at him and say, “Shit. We really need to remember take him to the vet”.
We knew the situation wasn’t dire or life-threatening, he was eating well, activity was normal, and most days his stomach seemed fine, but then there were others where he woke us up at 6 am by frantically ringing his bell to be let out – not the norm for a dog who usually outsleeps me (and that’s saying something).
SO. This morning I was up early chugging coffee trying to wake up in time for a phone meeting when I remembered, “Shit, we really need to take him to the vet.”
Gus’ vet knows him well by now and usually just asks us to drop off a stool sample without bringing him in for a full exam, so I rummaged through our tupperware cupboard, chose a small container and put on my rubber boots.
I let Gus out and then stalked him around the backyard, container in hand. “Do your business” I kept encouraging him, “Go on Gustus, do your business!”
But apparently being followed around at dawn by a bleary-eyed pregnant lady with coffee breath and a small shovel isn’t exactly sphincter-relaxing, because that dick kept me walking in circles for fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes! I can only hope that one of my neighbors was watching, if only so that the whole ridiculous performance served some other purpose than shredding my dignity piece by piece.
Eventually I realized that all of the stalking might be throwing him off, so I stopped and leaned nonchalantly against the side of the house, pretended to be admiring my hanging baskets. I may have even whistled and rocked back and forth on my toes.
“La dee da! Nothing to see here! Man I have to poop! Do you have to poop? Oh you do?If only you were a dog and could just poop in the yard, right here. *Sigh*. Wait, what? What’s that you say? You ARE a dog? Huzzah! How convenient!”
This Oscar-caliber acting did the trick, Gus was amply relaxed and finally did his business, and then I traipsed over to collect a sample. Now that sample is en route to the vet, to find out what obscure tummy ailment this high-needs dog has now.
I’m guessing it’s something extremely complicated, and/or expensive. Something so obscure that the only remedy is to dust his food with ground up fair-trade diamonds. Or perhaps he’s finally jumped on board with the latest eating trends and become gluten intolerant or something similarly obnoxious.
Oh my god Internets – what if he’s VEGAN?