It’s That Time of Year

Well I had planned on penning a heated diatribe against the rednecks out there hunting deer in residential areas.  I’d been freaked out the last few days by the amount of gunfire I hear way too close to my house, making me too afraid to go in my own backyard.  And then there was the news story about that teenager who got out of bed to shower, came back in her room and found that a hunter’s stray bullet had come through the wall in her room and through the very pillow her head had so recently occupied.
But then…….then a deer ran out in front of me this evening as I was headed to the video store to return some movies.  Fortunarely I had on my high beams so I saw her approaching, and there was no oncoming traffic, allowing me to slam on my brakes and crank my wheel to the left, thus avoiding what would certainly have been a head on collision.  Stupid deer broke my car and kept running.  My right headlight was destroyed and I need a new hood.  I am ok.  My car will be ok.  But those deer?  To them redneck hunters I now say “Go get ’em, boys.”


Can’t even describe. Must show. In bathroom. Just now. Neve screamed. I screamed louder. Almost passed out. Holy CRAP!


Sushi squished it. Can’t clean up corpse. Too traumatized. Still on bathroom floor, now under heavy paint can. Maybe mom will drive over to clean it up? Otherwise, no more showering or sleeping. Ever. Again.

The Horrendous Incident of the Dog Diarrhea in the Nighttime

It was the spring of 2004.  Neve was about to turn one and I hadn’t gone back to work yet.  We were living at our old house at the Lake and we had gotten Zelda about 4 months earlier.  Zelda was a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix that we had rescued from the pound, and she had come with a host of “issues”.  Some of these were the normal annoyances you expect from a young dog (she was approximately 6 months old when we adopted her).  She liked to chew on the wooden coffee table, so that even when you thought she was being good and laying at your feet nicely she was actually very covertly chewing off the table legs.  She was hell on a leash, and no matter how much you ran that dog she never seemed to get worn out.  She ate anything she could get her snout into, including a brand new bag full of Gymboree 4th of July clothes for the girls which I hung on the door knob when I got home from the mall.  She made short work of those while I was out grabbing the groceries.  She could also, from a complete stand still, jump clear over our neighbor’s fence when she felt like it.  But my biggest problem with Zelda (aside from the aggression problems for which we eventually sent her to live on that farm) was that she could not be house trained.  I swear.  I kept a rigorous schedule of feedings and potty times and I knew every bit of what went into and came out of that dog.  And yet she always managed to surprise me.  Her output seemed to be at least triple her intake.  She got the vet recommended 2 cups of dry doggie food per day (1 cup in the morning, 1 in the evening).  This wasn’t the cheapo Purina crap, either.  It was the expensive holistic stuff that promised no fillers or anything artificial, to help reduce output.  Didn’t matter.  She’d poop after each meal, plus anytime you took her on a walk, plus a few times during the night her whole life. 

Anyway during the spring of ’04 we kept her crated next to our bed at night.  Neve’s crib was perpendicular to the crate, and back then she actually slept in it a few hours a night!  We were in the habit of walking in the evenings (when Paul was home) with the girls and the dog.  We walked a pretty ambitious route, considering how young the girls were, but we wanted to get Zelda as much exercise as we could.  She’d always poop at least once along the walk, and we made sure to taker her out again before bedtime as a preventative measure.  The particular night in question started out rather normal.  Emily was in bed on time and Neve had fallen asleep on the couch in my lap.  Paul took Zelda out and then put her in her crate.  Neve went into her crib and I decided to stay up alone to work on some knitting for awhile. 

It was about midnight when I could no longer keep my eyes open and my fingers didn’t want to work the needles anymore.  I put away my project and climbed into bed.  As I was closing my eyes, Zelda whined.  Just a bit, and softly, so that I thought she was perhaps just expressing her usual dissatisfaction in her crate.  I was so, so wrong.  At 2 I woke again to more whining.  This time it was  louder, more persistent.  “Well if she has to pee”, I thought, “she’ll have to wait ’til morning.”  Half an hour later the whining began to be accompanied by a gurgling sound.  I started getting a little nervous.  Not wanting to have a stinky mess to clean in the morning, I decided I’d better get my butt out of bed and take her outside.  This was monumental effort on my part, I’ll have you know.  I was dead tired, and I was somewhat afraid of going out at night.  Our neighborhood was pretty dark and there were all manner of animals out there, like skunks! 

But, I sucked it up and took her out.  I couldn’t see very well what she did, but I was pretty sure she pooped.  She whined a bit as she went, and it took her longer than usual, but I was pretty satisfied that I’d taken care of a potential disaster.  I went back to sleep feeling worn out but relieved.

At 3 am I wake up to loud gurgling, an indescribable “wet”  noise like a garden hose under pressure, and a stench the likes of which I had never before encountered.  I didn’t quite know what to do at first, but a second blast of the “wet” hose noise and another wave of stench caused me to bolt out of bed and switch on the light.

I do not know how I can possibly explain just what I discovered at that moment, or the mixture of emotions that welled inside me.  Horror, fear, disgust, revulsion, anger.  All plus some previously undiscovered ones, I think.

The short of it is that Zelda had placed her butt against the back of her crate and literally “blasted” awful liquid diarrhea out of it.  There was evil, foul brown all over the white carpeting, the bed skirt and side of my bed, the night table, the wall,  the bottom bar of the crib, and of course, all over the crate and the dog.  It was a miracle she hadn’t gotten it into the crib and onto Neve.  Paul, the heaviest of sleepers, woke when I began gagging and retching.  I didn’t know where to begin or what to do, and as immobilized as I was by the task at hand, I kept having to run to the toilet to avoid vomiting all over my bedroom and adding to the mess.  Pretty soon Neve was awake as well, as Paul and I opened all the windows and turned on the fan and tried to formulate a plan while violently gagging.    Thankfully Paul had recently purchased a wet/dry shop vac, and we made good use of it that night.  We also went though a good can or two of Lysol spray.  The crate had to be hauled outside for cleaning in daylight (it needed a high pressure water hose on it – by the time we got to it the sun had come up and cooked the foul mess onto the teeny tiny bars).   It was about 2 hours of work before we could go back to bed (fortunately Paul called in sick in the morning to help out) – but we got the carpet and other surfaces cleaned, and I changed the sheets on the beds for good measure, even though Zelda had not gotten the sheets with her “butt hose”.  As for Zelda herself, she left a few more puddles outside and so we left her tied on the porch for the rest of the night (such as it was). 

In the morning there were some more smears of liquid poo on the porch to deal with, and I made a vet appointment.  Paul took a heavy duty tarp and lined the back of the Saab with it so I could get her there without destroying the car.  It turned out she had gotten Giardia, a nasty protozoan that causes explosive havoc on a dog’s digestive tract such as we have experienced.  I got a nice bottle of meds and made it home without incident.  While I was gone Paul had managed to clean up the porch and line it with another tarp.  The crate, which he had cleaned with the aforementioned water hose, was placed on top of said tarp, and wrapped in a second tarp to keep any new sprays from getting on the porch or windows.  There Zelda spent a week while recovering from her “episode”, and thus ends yet another chapter of my life I probably should not have revisited.

Some Older Stories…..

I discovered a few entries I wrote when we were living at our previous house.  Neve was about 2, Emily was 6, and we still had Zelda the dog.   Enjoy.

It’s 4 am.  My alarm will be going off at 5:15 to get up and go to work, so I am not too happy when I feel two little hands nudging at me from the side of the bed.  Little Nebby’s cute, groggy whine comes next, and it is too irresistible for me to ignore.  As stressed out and exhausted as I am, I can’t resist snuggle time with my baby.  I pull her into bed with me, wrap myself around her and pull the blankets over the both of us.  In my half wakeful state I envision us both nodding back off relatively quickly, all warm and lovey.  Somewhere in between kissing her head and heading back to dream land  I sense that there is a smell to her that’s not quite so nice as the lingering Baby Magic scent from her bath earlier.  It’s more of a poop variety smell.  Well, I figure, this must be why she woke up.  Poopie diapers will do that, though night poops hadn’t been part of her routine for quite some time. 

“You gots poopoos in your diaper, baby?” I coo into her sweetly scented hair.  I feel her shake her head “no”.  A few kisses later, I try again.  “Nebby, you gots poopoos in your diaper”.

“No”, she says again.  “My feet.  Zelda poop, my feet”. 

I freeze with horror.  Then I snap to suddenly and whip on the lamp next to the bed.  I throw the blankets off of us so fast Neve has a stunned look on her face.  Sure enough,  poop.  All over Neve’s feet and ankles, and now, of course, my legs and the sheets and blankets on the bed.  There is nothing of note in her diaper, so I peer into the living room. I can barely make out dark brown spots all over the carpet.  I get up and turn on the living room light.  It’s everywhere, and it isn’t in nice solid pieces.  “Why can’t this dog just pick one spot to do her naughty business?!” I scream inside my head.

“Why does she have to make it look like she bombed the whole god damn house?!”

That, of course, seems to have been her objective that night.  Mushy dark brown poop was spread in small piles covering half the room.  There was no way Neve could have walked through and avoided it, especially in the dark.  I saw where there was a heel print in a pile near the room’s entryway, and more smears where Neve had walked through more of it and tracked it through the house and into my bedroom.  It was even smeared on the side of the bed.  Zelda eyed me warily from her spot next to the couch as I tried to scrub up the many squishy stinky piles all over my living room floor.  I had scrubbed Neve’s feet and legs, much to her chagrin, and changed the linens on the bed.  I was thoroughly disgusted and trying not to gag too much from the awfully rotten stench of this latest doggy indiscretion, and at the same time fuming over the fact that my alarm would be sounding soon to get out of bed.

“Fine” I seethed.  “I need a shower now anyway.  Fucking dog!”

My task done, Zelda is sent straight to her crate.  I resisted the powerful urge to issue her a one way ticket out the front door right then and there, but vowed she’d be living in her crate for the rest of her natural life.  At approximately 4:45 I have Neve asleep back in her bed and decide I will lay down for the last half hour allotted to me for the night.

That’s when I notice the big pee spot I’d somehow missed earlier.

Fucking dog.


 It’s quarter to 7.  I need to be leaving right now, but Neve is fighting me.  She doesn’t want to have her clothes put on her, and she is putting up some mighty resistance.

“I don’t want it!” she is shrieking.  She is mad and she is crying, and she is wiping tears and snot all over my clean and freshly pressed work clothes.  Emily is sitting on the love seat, her hands over her ears.

Miraculously I have her dressed and ready to go five minutes later.  All I need to do is take the dog out to pee and we can go.  I leave Neve on the couch sulking and grab the leash.  Zelda and I run outside. 

Two minutes later I return with a much “relieved” dog and am greeted by the sight of my precious little baby asleep on the couch where I left her, completely naked.

Wrestling match number two ensues.  I rush the kids out of the house, barking orders at Emily all the way to the car.  Neve is still shrieking.  Both girls buckled in, I turn to get in myself, only to see the neighbor’s dog trot over and happily deposit a nice steaming pile in my back yard, right next to the girls’ swing set. 

All the way to work I hope no one saw or heard me yell out a scream of utter desperation of anger before slamming my car door shut and speeding off toward day care. 


 On the way I thrust a cookie to Emily to eat, because I realized she had not brushed her teeth, and her breath reeked something awful.  The last thing I want is for the care providers to think I am a harried and disorganized mother (I am) or that I don’t pay attention to whether or not Emily has been practicing dental hygiene over the last few weeks (I haven’t).  A cookie, I figure, will mask the morning breath stench nicely.

I am repaid for this by the chocolate kiss Emily plants in the middle of my already tear and snot stained white blouse. 

Thus I head to work – hair in a frightening afro from the humidity and lack of enough time to apply necessary product, makeup mostly wrecked from sweating and baby wrestling, and my shirt nicely stained. 

Ice Cream is My Enemy

Repeat after me in  outrageous French accent:  Ice Crrrreammmm, she eez zee enemeeeeeeee
Ice cream is the enemy because it pretends to be my friend.  My two evil cravings tend to be fast food (with its salty french fry goodness) and  ice cream.  The thing about the fast food is its easier to resist because I know how crappy and greasy and gross it makes me feel afterwards.  I know it’s bad, and it doesn’t pretend otherwise.  But ice cream doesn’t make me feel bad.  Even if I gorge on it.  It makes me sleepy and happy.  It talks me into gaining 15 lbs in one sitting.  Well, not one sitting, but you know what I mean.
After I had Neve I managed to lose all the weight plus extra (I know, right????) and I felt pretty great.  Then I went back to work. And what a job experience that was.  I temped for the most evil woman in the world.  The kind that tells you to put all other projects aside and work on this one very important thing, and then when you complete it and hand it to her she not only yells at you for putting all of your efforts into something so unimportant, she also wants to know who the hell told you to do it in the first place.  And you can’t tell her that it was her, because then she accuses you of lying.  The kind that everyone else knows about and random people in the cafeteria express their sympathy for you.  My co-worker and I would hide out in her office and cry together.  I cried all the way home every night.  And then the siren song of ice cream began to call.  It soothed me with its creamy goodness and told me everything would be ok.  It would fix all of my problems.  It lulled me into a not quite peaceful state where I was not able to get any sleep but I could certainly stay up late eating pint after pint of The Full Vermonty and One Sweet Whirled.  I began stopping to get some every night.  Before I knew it my pants weren’t quite going on as easily.  My fat roll was becoming more prominent and then I developed (gasp!) a muffin top.  The horror!
But you see now I know better.  I have learned from my ill-fated love affair with Ben and Jerry.  SO that craving I am having for Cookie Dough?  I am going to drown it with water.
Ok, maybe I’ll have just one bite……….