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November 8, 2006

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

Inside of a dog

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx

When Wallace and I go for car rides, we have a little song that we sing. The lyrics go something like this:

You're not vomitin'
You're not vomitin'
You're not vomitin'
'Cause you're a not-vomitin' dog.

Its melody is a bit like a non-gendered toy commercial jingle from the 80's. I start the song whenever Wallace starts to look vaguely carsick--which, even for a dog of great intelligence and expressiveness like our puppy, can be hard to judge. Better safe than sorry. So far it is working, although whether it is the power of suggestion or the fact that we've only taken one trip since I've started singing, I couldn't say.

We sing this song because Wallace did throw up in my car the other day. He's had vehicular accidents before, but it was always in Belle's car. It is simply human nature: dog vomit all over your girlfriend's property is a pity, but also slightly amusing. Dog vomit on your own property is a capital crime. But in my defense, what Wallace produced in my car was orders of magnitude more disgusting than what I saw in hers. The stench from his Exorcist impression was honestly the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled, much less mopped up with a paper towel. I don't know how he contained it--I think it started eating through the floor mats. He's such a mild-mannered dog, it's sometimes hard to imagine that he's capable of these Geneva Convention violations.

What's really funny is that I have started to worry, and Belle is relatively nonchalant about his uneasy stomach, which is a reversal of our usual roles. Normally, the interaction goes more like this:

Belle: Oh no, the dog is caught in the garbage disposal! We have to help him before he's ground up into tiny little pieces.

Thomas: (not looking up from the book/video game/television) That's just something that dogs do, babe. My dogs played in the blender half the time. He'll be fine. It builds character.

But in response to my concerns that perhaps we should change Wallace's food, Belle raises an eyebrow. "Dogs throw up all the time," she says. And she has a point. Dogs do throw up on a regular basis. They are scavenging animals, after all. In fact, for some dogs, it is just another means of communication. Where cats bring you dead animals as gifts, the dog might imagine that nothing could express his joy and simple love for you nearly as much as the contents of his digestive system. It's near the bottom of his heart, right?

Or at least, I find that it helps to think of it that way. Especially when I'm breaking out the paper towels again.

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