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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Story From the Wedding May 2005

 it’s about dogs, again.

I think I have mentioned that Rippergurl and My Dear Son got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout - to quote those poster children for marital bliss, the Cash’s. I was in yet another unfortunate period of unemployment, so a lot of the mundane tasks we were too broke to pass off on someone else ended up being done by me, in front of the tv. AND those were the days when Court TV was just a wet smear in the nether regions of self agrandizing trial lawyers, so tv was pretty bad.

One of those mundane tasks was making the favors for the guests. No one else was coming up with ideas, the Princess Bride and Groom-zilla were all about where are we going to live and what are we going to do for work and making nasty comments about how no one was helping them and there wasn’t anything for dinner and all we do is write checks and we don’t even know what for. The dinner comment caused me to throw a can of creamed corn across the kitchen toward Groomzilla’s head, but I didn’t actually hit him. I coulda, make no mistake about it, but at the last second while I was taking aim, I spotted a Hershey’s Kiss on the shelf and something about it struck me (it being shiny in addition to being made of chocolate and all) and the can veered off just before it would have caused him to have a nasty wound to explain to his support group. Hershey’s kiss....they make something called Hugs, too. Hugs and Kisses.....we could be wishing our guests hugs and kisses. Give them hugs and kisses in little squares of net, tied with a silver ribbon. EUREKA!!

So, the next day I spent four hours cutting white net into little squares (circles being difficult and wasteful) and putting one Kiss and one Hug in the middle of each square, tying it off with a piece of decorative silver ribbon and a little tag that said HUGS AND KISSES FROM Groomzilla and The Princess Bride. The dogs sat at my feet and watched each chocolate morsel go into the net, transparent threads of drool extending from their mouths to the freshly cleaned carpet. Dogs should not have chocolate. I know this. Well, at least I have heard this. It either kills them instantly or runs up a huge vet bill. I wasn’t interested in either option. So, I was being vigilant and making sure that not one hug or kiss landed anywhere near them. The phone rang about halfway through this task and it was the sister who talks too much and an hour later, I went back to my project and found Big Black Dog standing over an empty five pound Hershey Kiss bag.

I gave a long hard look and called the vet. He laid down and rolled on his side. The vet seemed to take forever to answer - we live in the country and when you call the vet, they either answer or their lackey answers, but there are no receptionists. When someone finally did, it was the vet, Penny. I said, “OH MY GOD, Penny, Big Black Dog ate five pounds of Hershey Kisses! “ She said, “Go out to the barn and get the hydrogen peroxide!” (We keep a gallon of it out there for horse catastrophes) When you get it, pour it down his throat til he throws up. I will be there as soon as I get my arm out of this cow.”

Without skipping a beat, I rushed out to the barn, grabbed the peroxide and sprinted back to the house where Big Black Dog was starting to lose consciousness. (In retrospect, I realize he was just doing what he did every day at that time - fall into a peaceful sleep in the sunspot on the rug, but at the time - in fact all the time - it looks like he is comatose). I grabbed him by the head, wrenched it backwards to give me a clear path and poured the peroxide down his throat. Just in time I thought - hey, I don’t want five pounds of half digested chocolate and tin foil on my rug, so I dragged him out on the lawn. Have I mentioned that Big Black Dog is a 120lb rotteweiler? A most passive and essentially sweet dog with the ability to become a ton of dead weight when he doesn’t want to do what you want him to do. I dragged him by the collar outside and poured the rest of the peroxide in and around his mouth. He rolled his eyes. He was now foaming at the mouth. Nothing was coming up.

I hear the phone ringing, sprint inside and it’s the vet again. Apparently her arm and a calf are stuck up this cow and it’s going to be longer than she thought. How’s he doing? I say, nothing is coming up. She says, It will! Find more peroxide! I hang up, run up the stairs to the bathroom and get the smaller jug, bring that down stairs and out on to the lawn where Big Black Dog is lying in the sun, foaming at the mouth, but not throwing up. He looks at me with sadness in his eyes and I wrench his head back again and pour the last dregs of the peroxide in. I wait. He waits. He looks miserable. No throw up. Lots of foam.

After about fifteen minutes and he’s still not throwing up, a car pulls in the driveway. It’s Princess Bride's Mom. At this point in time, we are not getting along. She is not wild about this wedding. She is not wild about me. It’s known in the neighborhood she thinks I am a flake. Just because of the tipi and the ceremonies in the woods she has heard the gossip about. This, the arrival of our joint grandson years before the wedding and Groomzilla’s opinionated and direct personality have put her off. In retrospect, I guess she had her reasons. 

She stalks right past the foaming rotteweiler on the lawn and hands me a bunch of papers. “These are the seating charts.” Gets back in her car. Burns rubber out of the drive. In case you are wondering, we get along fine now - she lost some of her religion and I proved to be a better grandmother than she dreamed. Also, we both love her daughter and my son is now her favorite son-in-law ( he punched out a badly behaving one at a family wedding, earning her respect forever). 

Ten minutes later, there is still no throw up. I call the vet. She’s on her way. She has an alternate therapy, I sure hope so. I know it’s going to cost a fortune but she will save my dog. When the vet arrives, Big Black Dog and I are still on the lawn. The foam is receding. 

Penny says, “I have this tiny pill. We have to put it under his eyelid. Can you hold him?”

Can I hold him? He weighs 120lbs and I have been pouring bubbling crap down his throat for 3/4 of an hour. Actually, holding him did prove to be problematic, so I ended up lying on top of him in the driveway while she pried his eye open and shoved the pill under the lid. We waited. Nothing happened.

Penny says, “I have to get back to that cow. If nothing happens soon, I don’t know what to do but wait.” Well, there is some comfort in feeling you have exhausted all possible remedies, so Big Black Dog and I sit under the tree and watch her leave, waiting.

An hour later, still nothing. He seems to be sleeping peacefully, so I go in to see what I can do to salvage my project. I pick up the empty bag and put it in the dog proof trash can in the kitchen. I pull the full bag of candy off the top of the fridge where I put it, to keep it out of harms way. That’s two bags. Ten pounds. Roughly 150 pieces. I have 75 little bags done. One full bag. One empty bag. Damn.

That dog didn’t eat anything. Someone told me that most dogs will forgive you anything, if you are kind forever after. I guess I will let him sleep on the sofa from now on.

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