Things That Go Barf in the Night
He’s a big dog, a not too distant relative of the wolf–not exactly a sissy vegetarian among animals–so why NOT give him a couple of small, soft ham shoulder joint bones as part of his dinner, she said. And he woofed them down in a few crunches, and all was well.
He’d come to stand beside the bed earlier, several times, which he will do if there is thunder or any kind of machine beeping inside. Hearing neither, I shrugged off his visits and went peacefully back to sleep.
At quarter til two, she announced “He’s throwing up that hambone” as she gouged me in the ribs with her elbow, and then continued to offer her “encouragement” to rush the retching dog to the back door in the dark. Dutifully, and without collar or leash, I turned the dog out into the side yard for a quick emetic event.
His nose went up instantly. He feinted north, then rushed south, down around the front of the house headed east out into the night. Had to have been the scent of another dog. Ann had heard him run past the bedroom window even while I was on my way back to bed, realizing, reasonably I thought, that there was no way on earth to find him, and I would have to listen for him back on the porch when he decided to come home.
But no. She hath the gift of exhortation. Lacking any notion of the direction he had gone, my emphatic directive was to find him. Yes ma’am sir.
At 2:00 AM I stood hopelessly in the road with the spotlight, seeing numerous pair of deer eyes and what was probably a raccoon. But no dog.
Ten minutes later, out of the pitch blackness comes a pair of dog eyes from exactly the opposite direction he had been heading when he passed under our bedroom window. Â I had left the back door open, and by the time I got inside, he was lying peacefully beside the bed as if nothing happened.
I did not go back to sleep in any restorative fashion. I think now, feeling a bit queasy, that I must be running a low grade fever to account for the most delusional dreams I’ve ever had–the nightmare equivalent of the 4th of July fireworks grand finale. Maybe it was something I ate.