Saturday morning dawned with a familiar sound. BLUCK. BLUCK. BLUCK. BLOOP. That is Buddy the Wonder Dog throwing up a sock.
After the first BLUCK, I was at Buddy’s side, soothing him, moving cloth items out of BLUCKing range. I was already off in search of paper towels when Hot Firefighter Husband rolled over and said, “Honey? Buddy’s throwing up.”
In the mess I found a pink ankle sock. The Tyrant! Damn her habit of stripping down wherever and throwing clothing across the room. The clean-up of the throw-up is a sort of gross relief: have you ever tried to mop up a gallon of mucus? But he threw up the sock! That’s excellent news, because I live in constant fear that a sock will become lodged in his intestines and lead to financial and emotional ruin.
Well. One shouldn’t live in constant fear, right? A person – say, me – should realize her fears! Which is perhaps why the gods of intestinal fate allowed Buddy to retch even after the sock came up, and continue said retching throughout the day. He threw up water. He threw up mucus. He threw up copious amounts of something orange.
“He’s got another sock in there,” I told Husband.
“Huh,” he replied.
Buddy rallied for a brief romp on the beach, then stood around looking miserable. He refused food, which is like me refusing a cocktail. Alert! I went to bed hopefully, but Buddy woke me up every 45 minutes because he wanted to go outside and eat grass.
By 2 am, I was scared. I packed the dog into Splenda the mini-minivan and we drove to the pet hospital emergency room. Can you believe there are such things? Society really has evolved.
The vet on call had a toupee and a penchant for telling long stories about other dogs he had treated. He took a quick x-ray, and pointed to a large white lump. For a few moments, we both stared thoughtfully at the offending sock. I was thinking about my poor puppy’s pain and suffering. I’m pretty sure Dr. Toupee was thinking gleefully about cutting into my dog’s abdomen, and that this was the most exciting thing to have happened all evening. Also, cha-ching.
“I can’t tell whether it’s lodged in the small intestines or in the colon,” he said. “I could do surgery right now, and if it’s in the colon, sort of squeeze it through and pull it out. If it’s in the intestines, it’s more complicated. I might have to cut away part of the intestines and blah blah blah blah…(insert story about Great Dane who met catastrophic demise).”
“I don’t let strip mall doctors with toupees operate on my dog,” I said. Okay, I did not say that. But honestly, would you blame me if I had? I politely asked for alternatives.
“Well, we could pump him full of fluids and give him a painkiller, and hope it passes.” That course of action would buy me enough time to get to my regular vet. “Sounds good,” I said. So that’s what he did, and Buddy and I returned to the Dilapidated Beach House and both slept like the dead.
The next morning, which was, like, two hours later, Husband took Buddy out and reported back that Buddy had passed a perfectly formed poop. “IT’S THE SOCK!” I exclaimed. Because I know my canine poop. I used two sticks to investigate and confirm; within seconds I could discern the pink stripes and telltale Champion insignia of the Diva’s sock. “It’s a $735 sock,” I told Husband. Still, I threw it away. Now I’m anxiously awaiting flip-flop season.