(WARNING: This will not be the last time I reference shit. This might be too gross for those of you with weak stomachs but I'm not sure there are any of you around here anyway so never mind.)
I woke up around 7:30 that sunny, Saturday morning, got up to go to the bathroom (thinking I'd go right back to bed) and was greeted by a frantic Max whining to go outside. On my way to let him out, I glanced down the stairs to the basement and noticed that he'd pooped on the floor. OH JOY, I thought, WHAT A PLEASANT SATURDAY MORNING ACTIVITY IT WILL BE TO CLEAN UP DOG FECES.
Such is the life of a dog owner, however, so I let Max out and went downstairs to inspect the damage. That's when I saw everything else. Not only had he pooped just...all over, but he'd peed and thrown up twice. I was worried, obviously, but the real gut-punch was when I noticed the blood.
I gasped (like, LITERALLY GASPED) and rushed upstairs to wake Joe. My first impulse was to run into the room and scream, "WAKE UP SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MAX OH MY GOD WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP," but I didn't want Joe to have a heart attack on top of whatever was happening with Max, so I took a deep breath, gently shook Joe's shoulder, and calmly said, "hey, something's wrong with Max, he has blood in his poop," which is still probably not the best way to wake up but seemed better at the time than my first plan. Joe jumped up and went outside to make sure Max was OK while I called the vet to make an emergency appointment. I had to give Joe the phone, though, because I couldn't stop crying long enough to make the call.
Situations like this really highlight that the whole marriage thing (or couplehood thing or partner thing or WHATEVER THING) is a partnership, a delicate balance of strengths and weaknesses. I was hysterical, worried that something was terribly wrong with Max, while Joe remained calm and tried to calm me down. Considering I don't show emotion if I can help it (unless the emotion is, I don't know, sarcasm?), my breakdown took both of us by surprise.
Joe offered to clean up the mess in the basement, which was very chivalrous, but after I heard him dry heave a few times, I sent him upstairs so we wouldn't have to clean up human puke on top of everything else.
(I suppose this means that if our kids ever do something disgusting with bodily fluids, which I think is a given, I'll be in charge of clean up. Looks like kids are off the table!)
You guys, it was really, really disgusting. I'm pretty OK about stuff like this, blood and puke and snot (oh my!), both from my years of baby-sitting and from having cleaned up Phoebe's barf for years. Hell, once a kid threw up into a bucket while sitting on my lap and I was fine. But the smell...it rivaled the time the basement in my college apartment flooded with sewage and the stench seeped its way into every bit of space available, so there were a few moments where I had to stop and try to think about happier smells. Lilacs and freshly baked pies. Laundry! Sweet, sweet laundry!
Joe and I talked about it later, as we sat in the vet's office, like we were sharing war stories. I explained to Joe how I'd packaged the samples for the vet (they always want poop, what's up with that?) and how I was surprised I'd managed to be so methodical about it (poo in bag in container in another bag PLUS PAPER TOWELS EVERYWHERE), since I'd been sobbing quietly to myself the entire time.
"Well," he said. "You were upset, sure, but you're still a Baxla."
Baxlas are a very logical species, you see. We are methodical in everything we do, whether it's making sandwiches or paying bills or apparently collecting poop for the vet. This logic overpowers even extreme pet-worry-related hysteria and, I can only assume, other emergencies as yet unforeseen, which I think makes us a bunch of Spocks?
|Spock loves animals, too.|
Loving animals makes us fucking stupid. We adopt these pets, bring them into our homes, spend almost as much time with them as we do our significant others, and we do this with the knowledge that this unconditional love is only temporary. If we're lucky, we get our pets for 15 years. If we're very lucky, our pets are healthy for most of those 15 years. And if we're very, very lucky, those 15 years don't fly by at the speed of the Millennium Falcon, which, as you know, made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. So, you know. Make of that what you will.
*please don't tell me if you would