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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wait for it


I'm waiting for one of the dogs to poop. Or keel over dead. And whichever dog it is, it's his or her own damn fault. I have NO SYMPATHY.

Yesterday afternoon was glorious, and so the children barely came inside. My children live for outdoors, for fresh air and fresh dirt. The oldest came in to do his homework in record time, and periodically one or the other would wander in to get a drink, but otherwise, we kept outside yesterday.

And then about 5 o'clock, I came in to make dinner. I had taken a package of steak out of the freezer earlier and put it in the fridge to thaw. Now I took it out of the fridge and set it on the stovetop, pushed all the way back from the edge so it was out of easy dog reach.

I was reaching into the fridge for something - I forget what - when I heard an awful sound through the open kitchen door, a thwack of sorts. This was followed by what parents the world over recognize as "too much quiet". I poked my head out and saw the oldest cradling his four year old brother. Mommy adrenaline kicked in and I bolted out fast, all business.

"What happened?"

The oldest looked like a deer caught in headlights. "It was an accident, Mom, I swear."

"I don't care. I need to know what happened."

"I was playing baseball and he walked into the bat when I was swinging. Hard."

"Where did you hit him?"

"I don't know. You need to ask him."

Throughout this exchange, the youngest was sitting, stunned, quiet but awake. When he turned to look at me through eyes best described as "loopy", I saw the blue bruise beginning on his cheekbone. I grabbed him and yelled to the oldest, "Get in the car. We need to go."

During the wait at the ER, the youngest began to come back to himself. By the time my husband got there to get the oldest, the youngest was acting completely normal, which of course made me feel like a raving, overreactive loon to have brought him. The doctor agreed that it was probably a luckily angled hit, diagnosed a possible hairline fracture for which they wouldn't do anything anyway, and sent us home around 8 o'clock.

At 8:30, during the retelling to my husband of what exactly had happened, I remembered the package of meat.

We both looked at the stovetop. Nope.

I said, "Well, maybe I stuck it back in the fridge." Nope.

We looked in the microwave, in the oven, and in the freezer, though the last seemed unlikely. Nope, nope, nope.

We began to make the rounds of the house, looking for the meat packaging, Saran wrap with a pink, Styrofoam butcher's tray. Nope.

So at this point, the only logical conclusion is that a dog ate the meat, packaging and all, and is apparently digesting it. Not one dog looks ill, not one dog has been ill, and not one dog is giving up any information about the perp's identity.

My suspicions are centered on Pep, who can leap about six feet vertically from a dead standstill, and who also has a history of eating things I didn't want eaten, to wit an entire tube, including cap, of Neosporin, a burrito from Moe's, complete with tinfoil wrapper, and a good portion of the hemp rug I found on sale at Home Depot.

The maddening thing is she is acting just fine, looks great. They all do. Like why do I even throw trash away, when apparently dogs can digest and compost anything on earth? We should feed them old tires. No more landfills, just dogs.

I don't have all day. They are outside. They ate their food this morning just fine. Nobody said, "Oh, no thank you, I'm full from the two pounds of beef I ate last night, plus the delicious Styrofoam butcher's tray." And so I am waiting, making phone calls, writing out checks for bills, and watching through the window for the telltale hunch.
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