Every Christmas adds a story to the family lore. Future retellings always begin with, “remember that year when…?” It is part of the charm of the season. Well, this year was no exception at the Dunnevant house. This new story begins at around midnight on Christmas Eve.
We have discovered that Lucy hates Christmas. Just about the time that her skittishness and general anxiety had been largely overcome by a settled routine, Christmas arrives with its light-strewn trees and packages being delivered by strange men at all hours on the front steps. Christmas…with its large shopping bags being lugged in from the garage, with its incessant wrapping of boxes, and large terrifying socks hanging from the mantle. Let’s just say that Lucy has been on edge of late.
Veterinarians tell us that there is an actual medical term for what happened to poor Lucy at midnight on Christmas Eve…post-traumatic intestinal dysfunction, or put another way, she literally had the s**t scared out of her.
My wife, bless her heart, hasn’t had as much experience taking Lucy out for her morning and evening constitutionals as I have. It isn’t as easy as I make it look. On the night in question, matters were made worse by Lucy’s excessive jumpiness and the presence of scary boxes in the garage and Pam’s terrifying black raincoat (don’t ask!). Even though she really, really had to go, she had to literally be dragged through the garage first. Then, after she relieved herself, she was equally hesitant to reenter the house via the dreaded garage. By this time Pam is getting a bit annoyed by our adorable yet neurotic puppy. After dragging her inside the garage, Pam had to slam the garage door shut behind her. The loud noise this slamming made set off a series of unfortunate events which I will attempt to describe in as elegant a manner as is possible.
After two weeks of Christmas noises, apparently the slamming of the garage door was the noise that broke the camel’s back. Lucy bolts frantically for the house ripping the leash out of Pam’s hand taking two freshly manicured nails with it. Now, the race is on, Lucy dashing wildly in hysterical circles around the house, the leash handle crashing into everything behind her. With each loud noise of the leash handle Lucy runs faster. Patrick, who was busy wrapping presents begins laughing uncontrollably at the sight only to hear his mother screaming, “This is NOT funny!!!” Patrick finally gets his wits about him long enough to corral Lucy and begin the calming down process when they both notice…the smell.
Ok, we consider ourselves rather fortunate that Lucy is er, uh, how shall I say this…regular. Not only regular, but very, uh, er, consistent, if you will. Put another way, when Lucy has to go, it is extraordinarily easy to pick up. A very good thing since in every room of the downstairs there are little, smelly, brown…deposits. Here’s one by the front door. Here’s another by the refrigerator, oh, and one more in the hall! A classic case of post traumatic intestinal dysfunction. As our crazed puppy was frantically trying to escape from the clanging leash handle, she was projectile pooping everywhere!! So, at midnight on Christmas Eve, Pam and Patrick were engaged in a poop recovery mission, Patrick following his nose and Pam coming along behind him with paper towels and Windex. By 12:30 it was all over and Pam came upstairs to bed while Patrick finished his present wrapping. At 1 o’clock Patrick sends his mother a text:
“Ok, so I found one last poop ball on the rug by the tree. I almost stepped on it!! How do I clean poop out of a rug? Help!!”
Alert readers might well ask where I was while all of this was taking place. It’s a fair question. That’s easy…I had just settled my brain for a long winter’s nap, but unlike that sap in the poem, I did not spring from the bed to see what was the matter thanks to my CPAP machine which had blocked out the entire ordeal.Lucy is in recovery. I have scheduled dog-therapy for next week.