A story with a medium ending.
We, the family of three, were tooling about in the car this weekend when the idea struck us to comparison shop for gourmet cookies (we have also rolled through a variety of trailer parks, gated communities, and done a multi-city sampling of McDonald's fries). As the tot was sleeping, I dropped Liz off at a few different upscale grocery stores and rolled around, waiting for the call that would tell me she had paid and was ready for pickup. I looked at many fine houses I could not afford, and saw rich men jogging with computers on their arms. What they were scowling about is anyone's guess. My car was clean and fairly new, and I had shaved.
I figure we gathered around three dozen pastries in all: fancily frosted sugar cookies, bags of chocolate-dipped tuiles, madeleines, petits-fours, that kind of thing. We put them all in a big grocery bag when we debarked, along with half of my driving sandwich (always have a sandwich while driving — it eases the mind and occupies the jaw), which I was saving for later.
On returning home, some friends called, asking if we could come down for dinner at their new place. There would be thick grilled steaks, Roquefort dressings, imported buffalo mozzarella and the season's first tomatoes. There would be cold south American beer with limes, and wines, and our children would play together on an idyllic expanse of grass the size of a 4-par while we laughed and toasted their every little squeak or toddle. It was hard to resist this invitation, so we did not. After all, our own house is small, noisy, and reeks of pickle brine.
Three pleasant hours later we were back at home, ready to start the Sunday night that is the Monday morning that is Achewood. We dropped our bags, checked our email, and put dinner out for the dog, a dachshund named Olive. In an uncharacteristic display of not inhaling the food and then licking the floor around the bowl three feet in every direction, she acted nervous and trotted in a few circles before click-clacking out of the room.
The righter-seeing of us, being the distaff, noticed that the grocery bag which held the cookies had been emptied and crushed in a far corner of the living room. The dog, who has been climbing on tables and stealing food ever since the baby learned to crawl and slap at her water dish, was the immediate suspect. I went to the corner of the back lawn and found empty wrappers for about three pounds' worth of expensive sweets, while Liz dialed the emergency pet hospital (why is it pets always pull their most dangerous stunts on holidays or weekends? Do they get this from "Jackass"?). I looked at the dog: upon closer inspection, she did resemble a cookie-pregnant moron. Wait now...instructions from the emergency vet operator...
Find a turkey baster and squirt one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide down her throat to induce vomiting? Okay, will-do. Yes, it sounded wrong to me too, but I'm no emergency vet. One quick, sweaty, tire-screeching trip to the grocery store later, I had the 88-cent bottle of hydrogen peroxide and was force-feeding it to the dog. For good measure, I grabbed her around the ribcage and spun us both in circles about six times until I, full of steak, lime-dressed beer, and fatty cheese, nearly lost my own nutrition. The dog slunk off to the ivy patch and urped up enough white foam to fill a boot. I collected myself and considered changing into more comfortable clothing.
Watching for warning signs of shaking, "eye-movement," and general death, we passed the evening. After about an hour I was convinced that the dog was just a big greedy pig-dog who deserved her stomach-ache, and went about my business. Over the past few days she's lightened up a bit, committed a few intestinal felonies on the back lawn, and generally been really unpopular with me. I did pet her a bunch tonight, but my hidden agenda was to check and see if her stomach was swollen with doggie-diabetes (which she deserves). If the devil makes her go to hell for being so greedy and gluttonous, you will read about it here, and hopefully there will be pictures (red satin weiner-dog costume, satin horns, plaintive expression).