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December 22nd, 2005

I lost another sock yesterday. At least I think I did. When I came downstairs in the morning, the dog was chewing on something and grinning like he had a secret.

One sock.

Now, I’m thinking his secret is that there used to be two socks. And, since he is a 100 pound golden retriever, and I just about had to go into him up to the elbow to reclaim sock number one, the other sock is already a lost cause.

Fortunately, when you’re dealing with a hundred pounds of dog, some fairly good sized things can pass, untroubled, through the digestive system. A nylon anklet can probably pass without even touching the sides. In spring, I expect to find this sock in the ditch where we walk the dog, in no condition to be rescued. But at least my curiosity will be satisfied.

A couple of Christmases ago, Kaiju tested the limits of doggy digestion by stealing a dishrag from the kitchen sink and swallowing it whole. We did not immediately discover this. Preparations for Christmas travel being what they always are, I was pretty distracted and didn’t notice that there was a problem with the dog’s plumbing.

I certainly didn’t notice that I was one rag short, since this would require a level of attention that I don’t give to my kitchen. I was doing my best to ignore the dirty dishes, and ignored the rag by association.

But several days passed with the dog looking normal, but slightly melancholy. But don’t we all get a little blue around the holidays? I sure was.

And then, a day before we were to travel north, with kids, cookies and gifts, and I was truly exhausted from getting ready and hanging from the end of my very frayed rope, the dog exploded.

He lost the rag on the first try. He lost everything else he had shortly thereafter. The problem, to put it as delicately as I can, was both fore and aft. I needed not just to walk the dog, but to wash the floor in the kitchen. and the walls. With bleach. And maybe open a few windows.

Holiday travel plans were immediately postponed for 48 hours while the dog recuperated. We assured the family up North that Christmas could wait for a few days because they didn’t want us coming to stay at their house, with our
sick dog.

Really. No. Really. They didn’t.

So we got the dog some tummy medicine. And I broke out the Christmas music and the eggnog. We went to our own church on Christmas eve, then had a quiet evening at home opening presents and watching Christmas specials on TV.

It was heaven. I was relaxed. I was starting to think I should feed a rag to the dog every year.

And then he ate another one for New Years.