Squeamish alert. You've been warned.
Nickels woke up with a statement no Mother ever really likes to hear: "MOM! Doug puked."
N: "The side of his cage."
Me (thinking): "I JUST washed all the doggie bedding, what, a week ago? And I had to get rid of one bed due to puke so heinous smelling that I couldn't save the padding. I still wonder if that was puke. Maybe it wasn't. EWWWW."
Me (responding to Nickels, exasperated*, in a beat down tone of voice): "I'll be there in a minute."
I'm the puke-master in this house. When someone is coughing up a lung, praying to the porcelain god, it's me standing behind them, wiping their mouth with a kleenex. Mike? In another room, hands over his ears, going "LALALALALALALALALALALA" until it seems safe to stop and check. If he even slightly hears gagging, he gags himself.
I went into the room and couldn't, for the life of me, find anything that looked remotely barf-y. Then, I heard Doug, in the other room, having one of his "attacks".
The best way I can describe these little episodes is that it seems like he is choking on a whistle, complete with the sound effects, and trying to eject said whistle with all the muscles in his fat midsection.
In other words, it's a wheezing, can-dogs-have-asthma-question-inducing, episode every single time it happens. And it happened about four times this morning.
Then I began to wonder if he had kennel cough. We'd just boarded him less than two weeks ago. He'd had his bordetella shot, but was that enough?**
Through all this distraction, I still hadn't located the supposed barf. So, I did the unthinkable: I asked Mike to look.
Right move. He broke the land-speed record and was back with a report from the field: Puke at 5 o'clock. Against the bars, onto the floor and wall, possibly on the dog bed.
Did he clean it up? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Two hours later, I was on my hands and knees, scrubbing down the wall, floor, floorboard, and dog bed with a wet paper towel and my stomach of steel.***
Doug? In the meantime, very apologetically begged for breakfast. I wasn't very happy to supply it, but I did get thanked with a big old doggy burp. One so big I feared it was going to produce more of the same he had left me earlier****.
On my way out the door to the gym, I caught sight of another little "mistake" Doug had made, this time in the guest bedroom at the back of the house. This is the part of the house that was added on and doesn't get great air circulation. Translation? Hotter than Hell in the summer; colder than an ice cube in Antarctica in winter.
Considering I was running late for the gym, I did the most reasonable thing possible: I acted like I didn't see it. I reasoned: "No body is using this room any time soon. There is an off chance that one of the dogs might need a snack. I'm leaving it right where is was deposited and dealing with it later."
Guess what? When I arrived home, it was exactly where I left it: in the frigid air of the bedroom, undisturbed.
THIS is why I have an agreement with the dogs regarding their longevity. MommaJ can only take SO MUCH.
*As if I don't have enough to do in the morning: make breakfast, pack lunches, unstack/re stack the dishwasher, start laundry, move laundry, try to keep laundry from becoming a ball of wrinkles on the ironing board.
**Dot, from Raising Arizona (sure this is a quote about a kid, but my ADD brain SO WENT HERE): "You gotta get 'em dip-tet boosters yearly or else they'll develop lockjaw and night vision". Oh crap! Maybe Doug's got that there lockjaw AND asthma. And, HEY! I've noticed he can't see anything in the dark.....
***And here is the biggest mystery of the morning: dogs will eat their own poop, garbage straight out of a can, and sometimes, things that come back up from their tummies. Why not today? For the love of mercy, why NOT today?
****Thankfully, it didn't.