Yesterday my doctoral program flung open its doors, let some sunshine in, and asked prospective students come for a visit. We host this event annually, and the prospective students make camp at various current students’ residences. Since I have a house with a spare bedroom, I tend to be more willing to loan the space so the person won’t have to sleep on a couch.
Part of this process is to have a potluck dinner at the program director’s house. She has a beautiful residence that lends itself well to hosting events, and we all bring dishes to share. Joel and I planned to bring chorizo empanadillas, stuffed pimientos, spinach and feta hummus, and Russian salad, plus wine from local vineyards.
I had made the Russian salad the night before in order for it to chill in the fridge overnight. I cleaned up the kitchen as my guest arrived, and we chatted about her experiences in her master’s program and mine in my doctoral program. The next day brought with it a busy schedule, and I left my guest with the open house commitments as I went off to teach and make some attempt at progress in my day.
Joel and I went back to the house in the afternoon to make the rest of the dishes. I had already forgotten the pita bread to accompany my hummus, so Joel volunteered to make a run to the grocery store. I worked diligently on the two additional dishes I was prepping, and set the stuffed pimientos in the fridge to chill for two hours. Joel returned back with the pita, and I took an entire package and began cutting the pieces into triangles, perfect for hummus loading. I stacked them all neatly in rows, and left them on the cutting board so I could heat them up later.
I walked to my office to respond to a few e-mails that were piling up, and then walked back to the kitchen to finish cleaning up what I wouldn’t use any more. I glanced around the kitchen, and my eyes settled on the cutting board. Only one row of pita was there, and it was knocked over. I frowned, and looked around confused. Had Joel already put them in the oven? No. I went and found Joel and asked, “Did you do anything with the pita?” He confusingly responded, “Nooo…why?” I wheeled around to where Cosette was standing in the doorway, watching curiously. I extended my arm and pointed my finger. “COSETTE? DID YOU EAT THE PITA?!?” She briefly wagged her tail and then stopped. Her head drooped. I turned to Joel. “Cosette ate the pita.” “She ate the pita?” “She ate the pita.”
I deduced that showing up to a party with hummus but without pita bread would not be acceptable. I quickly grabbed my purse and my keys, and headed back to the grocery store. I bought two packages, just in case the disastrous happened. The newly-bought pita was again cut into triangles and added to the party trays. The dinner was fine, and everyone enjoyed the various dishes.
Then, we came home. Cosette bounced around wildly for about an hour, willing us to feed her dinner. It was late in the evening, and I just thought, “You know, dog, you can deal with a later dinnertime because your tummy is full of pita!” I ended up feeding her about a cup of dry food after she calmed down. I undressed, and I took off my knee-high hose and placed them outside my bedroom door, as Cosette has a history of eating one or two or thirty of my knee-high hose. I usually scoop them up in the morning and take them into the laundry room. Last night, however, I put them outside the door, then went into the kitchen to drink some water. I walked back towards my bedroom, and Cosette was nosing the hose. I yelped, “No!” but it was already too late. She had swallowed one of the hose and was licking the other. I threw away the leftover sock, and ushered her into my bedroom.
At 1:45 a.m., I heard her beside my bed, starting with what sounded like farts but following with a squirty sound. I rose from my slumber, my hair and limbs askew, and looked down where she was at. I saw two dark puddles shining in the ambient light in the room, and I groaned. “Pita diarrhea?” I walked over to the door to grab my robe, and right as I was opening the door, I put my foot in something cold and runny. I would have paid serious money to see the look on my face. I hopped to the bathroom to run my foot under the bath, and looked at Cosette standing in the doorway. “This is totally your fault, pita dog.” I finished washing the poop off my foot, and took her outside, where she strained for several minutes. She finally came back inside, and I put her in the (tiled) kitchen and pulled up all the rugs. “Sorry girl, I know you don’t feel good, but I don’t want to clean up any more carpet messes and I think you are still sick.” I closed the door gently and returned t o my bedroom to clean up the mess.
In the morning, we returned to the kitchen to find multiple puddles of vomit and diarrhea. She was let outside, and then we let her lie on her dog bed in the spare bedroom while Joel cleaned up the mess with paper towels and Simple Green, which is a marvelous product. I sat down next to her, stroking her soft fur. Her stomach began heaving and she started to cough, and I urged her up and walked her over to the kitchen tile, where she vomited again. We cleaned up the new mess, and then brought her doggie bed into the kitchen. I sat down on it and asked her to lay down next to me, to which she happily obliged.
I feel very bad for my dog when she becomes sick – for whatever reason – and much like a child, she seems more vulnerable and soft when she’s sick. I covered her up in a blanket as I sat stroking her, cuddling up to her, telling her it was okay. She’s currently curled up the kitchen, recovering. Joel and I started talking about what was in her various piles in the kitchen that he had cleaned up, and realized she had thrown up the knee-high hose and a part of a rib bone. Ouch. It total, we figured out that she had eaten breakfast of dog food that morning, about a teaspoonful of goat cheese, a bit of leftover teriyaki chicken (both things placed into her bowl – she is not allowed to beg), a rib bone, 5 rows of chopped pita bread (so about 50 pieces), a cup of dog food for late dinner, and a knee-high hose. I don’t blame her. I’d have it coming out both ends if I had eaten all that.