Parenting test #1

I got up this morning and stumbled downstairs to eat a bowl of cereal. I didn’t even turn the light on in the kitchen; I just grabbed my food and went into the living room where I read the news on my laptop while eating my Life.  I was a little congested but thought I smelled something, and I wondered if something in the trash had gone bad.

By the time Mr. D. came downstairs, I was done with my cereal. He was in the kitchen making his lunch and I trooped in to deposit my bowl and kiss him goodbye before going upstairs to shower. And that’s when I noticed why the smell — our poor dog, who was still in his kennel, had had an accident (poop) overnight.  He looked miserable and the smell suddenly became overwhelming.  We quickly shuffled him out the front door to relieve himself (he’d held his pee all night, at least) and then set to cleaning up.  I’m not a gagger, usually, but pregnancy has made me much more sensitive to smells, so I found myself pressing a handkerchief to my nose while I scooped his soiled bedding up and hauled it down to the basement to be washed.  By the time I got back upstairs, Mr. D. had bagged up the solids and put them in the outside trash can, so I set to the actual cleaning, with rubber gloves and Clorox in hand.

I got everything cleaned up (Mr. D. had to go to work) and the dog back in his kennel in fresh bedding, with the only (apparent) casualty a bleach stain on my lounge pants (dammit), and hustled back upstairs to shower. But when I got back downstairs, I found the dog had vomited up the remnants of his dinner, along with bile, mucous, and foam. (He’d also managed to scrape his nose pretty badly, so there was blood on the bedding, too. Imagine my relief when I realized where the blood had come from, though — for about 10 seconds, I thought he was vomiting blood, with the attendant terror that accompanies that thought.)

My heart sank. Once I again, I hustled the dog out of his kennel and back outside, where he promptly vomited up more foam and mucous before finally coming back inside. I hauled another batch of soiled dog bedding downstairs to the laundry room, and then hustled the dog into the bath.

The bath seemed to finally shake him out of his misery and while he didn’t immediately bounce back to his normal post-bath manic-ness, he definitely perked up.  And drank some water. And drank some more water. And now he’s bundled up in a blanket in the last clean dog bed in the house and I’m working from home so I can monitor him.

I’ve had to clean up dog poop and pee before, but the magnitude of this morning’s mess was really unique. (For our dog, not dogs in general. He’s only 17 pounds.) And having to clean up a mess twice…well, it’s been quite a morning. I know that in a few months, this will probably seem somewhat routine — I’m reminded of the line from Bossypants, about poop leaking up a baby’s back.  For now, though, I take away two lessons:  first, I am completely unprepared for parenthood and second, I know can totally handle it.


One Response

  1. I’m late, but congratulations!! Somehow you dropped off my RSS feed for a long while — I have lots of catching up to do. And of course you can handle parenthood. One nice thing about babies is that, unlike dogs, they eventually stop making that kind of mess.

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