I’ve been so sick the past few days, I thought (somewhat legitimately) that this was going to be a final missive from my death bed. The Rev (my Mother) brought home some horrible, hot zone level contagion, evidently from the Presbyterian Church in Alice and infected both the G.P. and myself. The parental units only got runny noses, fevers and scratchy throats that made them sound like Ertha Kit. I got all of the above and gastrointestinal explosions that can only be described in terms of kilotons. I’m generally kind of a weakling, immune wise, plus I have a marked tendency toward hypochondria which is only intensified by an infatuation with WebMD. Two weeks ago, I entered a preliminary diagnosis of a bug bite on my arm as being that of a Brown Recluse. Then I looked up Brown Recluse bites on Google Images at 3 a.m. Fair warning: do not look up Brown Recluse bites on Google Images. It’s a bad idea. Also, I did not have a Brown Recluse bite, I had a scab shaped like a pistol that fell off the next day. I’m fairly sure the dog ate it.
I blame the dog…
Up until about five days ago, Stadler (my hydrophobic black lab) had one joke. She stops dead in the middle of the road on the dog jog and pretends to have to poop, causing myself and my bike (Gertrude) to skid to a stop. Then, as I’m recovering my aplomb/balance, Stadler starts trotting off, looking over her right shoulder with a big ole dog smile all over her face. It’s not a very funny joke. Now, she’s invented a new hilarious hilarious. She waits until I fall asleep, and sneaks over to my side of the bed, toenails click, click, clicking on the hardwood floors. Then she huffs directly in my face until I awaken, push up my sleep mask, and yell, “What?!?” You’re not going to believe this, but I swear my dog just looks at me with this huge sloppy grin that just reads,”HI!!!!!!” Then she jumps back on the bed,turns the mandatory three circles on her end and goes RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP while I toss and turn for several hours. I tried locking her out of my room, but that resulted in two hours of crying and a pretty serious attempt to break down the door. I thought about locking her in the car in the garage, but decided I’d get nailed for animal cruelty because of what I could only imagine would be incessant bawling about the unfairness of it all. For three nights, this went on: I pass out, click click HUFFFF….”HI!!!!” Soo funny. Then the Rev intervened by bringing home the plague. My Labrador weakened immune system just couldn’t take the germ load. By Sunday, I was in pretty bad shape. I wound up in bed for two days, blessedly dog joke free due to ingesting vast amounts of Cherry Flavored Nyquil (they’re lying about the cherry part). I was on a pretty weird trip. I kept having very strange fever dreams about baking in pot bellied stoves, exploding bunnies, lava, and Skittles. I’m pretty sure this is the same reason L’il Wayne had to quit it with the Purple Drank. Thus ends any similarity I might have to L’il Wayne.
Stadler reigned unsupervised and managed to essentially track the entire backyard (currently a promising understudy if the Okifenogee Swamp ever sprains a metaphorical ankle) into the house. I arose from my coma Tuesday morning to find a slough of saucer sized doggie paw prints all over my once white tile floors, my deliberately dark brown couch, and a single print halfway up the wall in the hallway (as if she’d jumped to see how high she could leave her mark). There were also four gigantic sticks (which I don’t know how she managed to wrestle through her dog door) chewed halfway up on the living room rug, along with every single toy from her toy box, several pairs of my pants, a billion used Kleenexes chewed into tiny chunks of fluffy white, one house slipper, and my emergency backup roll of toilet paper. It was a disaster, and my dog was right in the middle of the nest, looking up at me with a big grin on her face that just screamed: “HI!!!!!”
Faced with this kind of mess, especially when both the eating and excreting ends of my body were still extremely untrustworthy and might blow at any second, I admit I did think about just burning the whole house to the ground and moving to a country where dog ownership was forbidden due to obvious ecological concerns. Instead, I stomped back into the bedroom, got a laundry basket, stomped back, got a trash bag, and started pulling apart the Great Pyramid of the Unsupervised Canine. Stadler was very helpful, trying to bring everything I put away back. Eventually, most of the Kleenex fluff found its way into the vacuum cleaner, which also dissuaded the dog’s attempts at an assist because Stadler believes in the necessity of Minimum Safe Distance (about 40 feet away) when the vacuum cleaner has been deployed. The floors were slowly and grudgingly mopped, and gradually the house began to smell less like a family of especially unwashed medieval serfs had died of plague, and more like Murphy’s Oil Soap and melty wax thingys. Stadler did pull out all her toys again, except for the indestructible stuffed bone toy made by Goodyear which she hates because she can’t wreck it. Still, I feel like I won Survivor, though my prize is evidently one mostly usable slipper and two pairs of my own pants. I’ll take it.