Dogs with Diarrhea

Fatty McButter-Pants

This week we have been babysitting our daughter’s Labrador, Fatty McButter-Pants. Fatty, who is now too old and feeble to live up to her name and steal butter off the countertop anymore, is normally no trouble whatsoever. As long as she has her stick and her pillow, she’s quite content.

But last night she got sick and kept me up all night with repeated bouts of explosive diarrhea. And she wasn’t alone. If there is anything worse than a dog with diarrhea it is TWO dogs with diarrhea.

Georgia
It was a long, long, slippery, slimy night. 
First they’d cry and pant to be let out and then I’d yell at them to go lie down and let me sleep. Then one or the other would lose it all over the floor and I’d leap out of bed to let them out. I’d clean up the mess, cursing myself for being an idiot, vowing that they could stay out all night if they were going to do this. Then I’d go back to sleep.  

And after a while they would start whining their plaintive little, please-let-me-in cries, and it was raining. I felt bad for them. So I’d let them back in just to have them turn around and cry to go out again.

All. Night. Long.

It is hard to come up with anything witty to say after a long night of running back and forth letting diarrhetic dogs in and out and then swabbing the literal poop deck up after them.

Then it occurred to me. Family shit on my blog, dog shit all over my floor. God is obviously trying to tell me something important.

So, as I was slopping up runny poop in the middle of the night (just one more reason I will NEVER willingly go so GREEN that I have to live without paper towels), I began to consider whether there was in fact some sort of synchronicity at play. Was I, as Susan says, having some sort of Divine Appointment?

Carl Jung defined synchonicity as the coincidental occurrence of events that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.  It also happens to be a really cool song by the Police, and, even though it isn’t Monday, I think we should stop for a minute and take a Sting break.

Maybe life doesn’t have any meaning at all. Events happen, cause and effect, and in the end we all just die.  Maybe it is just as simple as two Labradors got into the trash and made themselves sick all over my kitchen floor. Or maybe not. Maybe the shit that’s been inside me so long is now out, lying around my blog waiting for the giant Paper Towel of Life to clean it up.

To make it feel more scientific, I’ve come up with my own synchronicity schema to help illustrate my point:

Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Remember? I didn’t get enough sleep last night. But there seems a certain poetry to all this crap going on right now.

I went to see the Pastor of a church today and talk to him about what going there might look like. Yes, I know. I said I wasn’t interested in ever going back to church. Yes, I only said that like four days ago.  But my husband really wants to go back to church, and, since he’s the guy who butters my bread, on both sides, I really want to make him happy. He needs church. Since life has to work for both of us, I’m going to try to find a way to make it work for him.

Normally I’d have gotten dressed up, or at least dressed in real clothes, but I was too wiped out from cleaning up diarrhea all night long and writing about all this family shit all day long to really care. I was too tired to make myself look nice or even brush my hair. I was fussing over the fact that I look maybe just a little bit hungover when I figured, “He’s going to have to take me just as I am.”  haha

I got there and told the Pastor upfront that I’m a broken vessel that can’t hold water anymore. I’m of absolutely no use whatsoever. I told him I’m unfit for ministry and that I do not know that I ever will be fit again. He said I could come anyway. I told him I’m not a Republican and I won’t become one or pretend that I am one. He said I could come anyway. I told him that I think Glenn Beck is an idiot. He said that was okay with him.  I told him that all I have left is this teeny, tiny baby faith and that it wasn’t worth very much. He told me he doubted that was true. I told him that I hate Meet & Greet and I won’t do it. He told me they’ve discontinued it. Then I told him I write this blog. He told me he’s read it. Okay, so I guess I’ll try to go back to church. We’ll see. I told him I might write about his Church. He said that was okay with him. I told him I’ll probably cuss. He said he knew that; he’d read my blog.

So there it is. I can’t wait to tell my husband. It will make him very happy. And I live to make him happy. Right away I don’t have to go this Sunday because I work. But I’m going to try.

And for those who are worried, I’m feeling a lot less frightened and anxious today. I think that when we lay down memories in the tracks of our mind, we also lay down the feelings and emotions that we’re having at the time. Bringing up those memories from my childhood couldn’t help but bring up the feelings I had as a child.

I did want to talk about a little piece of information I dug up about Waverly Hills Sanatorium where my grandfather died of tuberculosis when he was 24 years old.

Years ago my grandmother was telling me about my grandfather and she said something like, “And after he died they just tossed him down the body chute.” She was rather bitter about it when she told me.  I always had in my mind that the “body chute” was like a laundry chute or something, or maybe something she’d just imagined. Well, it wasn’t. The Body Chute was actually a 500 foot long windowless tunnel used to carry the dead bodies out to the hearses so that the other patients wouldn’t have to see them.

My grandmother wasn’t making it up. My grandfather was taken down The Body Chute after he died. While it makes me sad to think he died young and alone, at least he hasn’t been forgotten.

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19 thoughts on “Dogs with Diarrhea

  1. I'm so happy that you are trying to make your wonderful man happy. I love the fact that the pastor said he didn't care…has read your blog…come just as you are…etc. And the dog shit made me laugh, and the body chute made me sad.

  2. I do try to make him happy. This is something he wants, so maybe I can find a way to make it work for me somehow. Thanks for being such a good friend, Julia.love, chloe

  3. I'm just blown away that you made the connection between dog diarrhea and family crap, and the synchronicity schema is the pièce de résistance. Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts.Your ways??? Well…your ways are your ways…wink wink nudge nudgeSo glad the meeting with the pastor went just as it did, just as you are. All heads bowed, all eyes closed…

  4. Six or so months after a trauma is prime time for an emotional crisis. The time of doing and dealing is over and now you have to make sense of the new-normal while everyone else has totally forgotten about it. Be gentle with yourself!

  5. Chloe, I just have to say that I think you are an absolute miracle. Truly. The fact that you have a vibrant marriage, 2 grown children whom you have wonderful relationships with, and even a smidge of faith left after all you've been through is a freakin' miracle. And a testament to God's grace.Glad the pastor actually acted like a Follower of Christ is supposed to act.

  6. Dang my words are just so much "blahblahblah" after reading that beautiful bit of writing.I love picturing a Pastor reading your blog. 🙂

  7. Again, I am unhappy that blogger doesn't have an individual reply widget. Julia, thankfully the diarrhea is over and there is no more of that. And I'm done telling stories for a few days as well. It is very sad about my grandpa, but somehow writing about him made me feeling better about him. From one son he got four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Not bad. Not bad at all.love, chloe

  8. Anne, I think you are right. I had this story in me as my mom was dying, but it was just too painful to tell. It still is painful, but it seems like it is time.I'm the oldest child by several years, and I thought the other day that if I suddenly died all of this might die with me and no one would know all the parts of the stories that I knew.For good and for bad, these people were all real people and they do have a story to tell.Thanks for understanding. I think you are 100% right. Chloe

  9. Kristi,Thanks for reading. You've really been a huge encourager to me. It might not be a pretty story, but it has a beauty to it in its reality.I never forget where I've come from and that breaking these chains from the past is part of the legacy I hope to give my children.Thanks for being here and walking through it with me.love, chloe

  10. Robin,The fact that he'd read it made it the best part. I felt like I didn't have to explain so much.FWIW, I do think that if church consisted of this Pastor and I sitting down for an hour every Sunday together and chatting that church wouldn't be a strain for me at all. Thanks for hanging in there and reading. You are a good friend.love, Chloe

  11. Hoping it goes well Chloe! For all of you. Sucks about the dogs. I think that the dogs being alive today is a testament to your patience and grace! 😉 :DTexanna

  12. Six or so months after a trauma is prime time for an emotional crisis. The time of doing and dealing is over and now you have to make sense of the new-normal while everyone else has totally forgotten about it. Be gentle with yourself!

  13. It likely sounds trite and ridiculous coming from me; but girl, I am proud of you. That was a HUGE thing to do; and very significant. You are real, you are honest, you are raw.

  14. Oh, this must have been Dog Poop Weekend! I have a story too!So, last night ds had some friends over to celebrate his 19th birthday. There's this girl he's kind of sweet on, and her mom wanted to meet dh and me when she dropped her daughter off for the party. This wasn't a meet-the-potential-inlaws type thing (thank goodness for small mercies), just due diligence when you're dropping off your adorable, petite, blonde, almost 18 year old for several hours at a party somewhere. Okay, so anyway… we have twin dogs, part lab, part border collie, and we have been trying all their lives to teach them to only poop in a certain part of the yard. And their intelligent little border collie brains that can practically do algebra, canNOT figure this out. Or maybe they've figured out that unless we catch them in the act, we won't know who to blame for mess, and our sense of justice and compassion won't allow us to punish a potentially innocent party. The upshot is, they poop wherever the heck the urge strikes them.Now the day before yesterday we had a large graduation/birthday party for our newly minted 19yo. (The additional get together yesterday was sort of an afterthought on his part, a bonfire with a few best friends.) I suspect some of our younger guests slipped the dogs a little too much birthday cake Saturday. Hence, yesterday was doggy diarrhea day.So, picture dh and me, our son, The Girl, her Mom standing around outside near their immaculate new SUV in the rare and lovely sunshine, making polite small talk. Up trots (heh) MacGuyver. I catch a glimpse under his tail, and oh my goodness. Sensitive readers might want to stop right here. I wish I could do white type. There is no less than 6 inches of grassy, stringy poop hanging out of his rear. And whatever brain cells he usually have are apparently lolling in a sugar-drunken stupor, because he will NOT just trot (yep) off to his kennel area on command as he usually does. His two aims in life at that moment are to make friends, and finish pooping. Not very compatible aims, when you think about it. Rather barnyard.Fortunately another son was on hand, and was quickly dispatched to get Mac out of sight. Mac did NOT get any of it on any humans. Thank goodness for big mercies too. Next time I saw him, he appeared to have rectified (oh, I crack myself up) his problem. I can't wait to find the results.

  15. Ugh, Stephanie. There just isn't a way to put a good spin on that. Hopefully everyone laughed showing they have good senses of humor. Your puns were especially punny. I hope 19yo son wasn't too mortified (just enough though to keep him humble).

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