It was poo. A smell so strong I felt covered in it. But where? We had been accident free for weeks. I was just starting to trust in our German Shepherd puppy’s house training.
I searched for a pile of tootsie rolls and instead found dribbles of gooey brown poo on the hallway rug and an outright mud puddle next to my bed. The only good thing about the splatter was it landed on the wood floor.
I filled a bucket, got out the soap, the rags, and the Bissell rug cleaner and spent the next hour of my Monday afternoon scrubbing up evidence that Archer ingested something to make him sick. Here are some possibilities.
On Friday, when we went to meet the girls at school, he sniffed out of the leaves the unknown, a mushy clump of waste he had the nerve to fight me for when I lunged for his mouth. “Why do you want that,” I yelled. “I feed you good food. I buy you good chewy toys.” (My arguing made a grand impression, I’m sure.)
I pulled half of the goop from his jaws and threw the rest to the curb, thinking he’d forget about it. I did, at least. When we walked by the same place later, he found the same mushy clump and finished the job.
On Sunday, he chewed on my walls and cupboards. I saturated these spots with a bitter spray made with grapefruit extracts. It is potent. I have to be careful when I use it to wash my hands thoroughly since it leaves a residue that is also potent. Archer tasted the spray without incident, his poker face a disappointment as he licked the plaster and wood.
Everyday, Reece, my three year old, loves giving treats to Archer. She give him treats when I am not there to tell her no. I think she wishes I would dole out Twix and Dum Dums with the same generosity. Perhaps she’s been way too sneaky lately and this has upset Archer’s tummy.
On Monday night, post poo clean up, I was upstairs getting the kids ready for bed, when I heard Archer give us a whine and a quick bark. Usually this means he’s got something on his mind so I went to check on him. He greeted me by the gate in the kitchen doorway, and at first, I thought all is fine. But then, I saw the multiple piles of vomit.
The poor little pooch was not having a good day.
I started another round of clean up–bucket of water, rags, soap. In one pile of vomit, I saw not only had Archer thrown up his supper, he had thrown up a sock, the striped rainbow one my daughter looked for on Saturday. It was still intact. If I had any ambition or any need to save socks, I could have cleaned that, too. But, nah. It went in the trash with the rest of the half-digested kibble. I wondered when he ate the sock and how long it had been sitting in his stomach until his body learned it couldn’t digest cotton/poly blends.
I wondered why any creature, especially one who has plenty of food and water, would be compelled to gobble up whatever is on his path.
I waited to be resentful of Archer and of the time required away from my writing or or my kids to clean up after him. But I didn’t. He’s family now. I worried he was really sick. I hugged him good night and decided to stay near. I set up my blanket and pillow on the couch and turned out the light. And I enjoyed the sound of his little snore once he went to sleep.
I’m writing every day in month of November. Check out other writers who are participating in NaBloPoMo here.