Downward Dog

Today I came home to see that my canine had devoured our chocolate-filled advent calendar, plastic tray and all. I had just returned from a friend's house, where we lotus-sat our way through a video session of Living Yoga: Abs for Beginners in the calming atmosphere inspired by the presence of three children under the age of 3, to find a trail of yuletide carnage woven throughout the first floor. The reason there were any "treats" left in the calendar at this late date is that the chocolate was so ungodly BAD that even I could not force myself to eat it. So there it sat on a living room end table, just inviting disaster.

Now, I know that chocolate is bad for dogs and that eating plastic can't be too good either, so I automatically (and neurotically, and perhaps psychotically) assumed the worse. When I called out my dog's name and she didn't respond, I figured she was dead. My breathing became rapid and I froze in place, afraid to look anywhere around me for fear of spotting the rigid carcass of our family pet. I screamed out her name some more, to no avail. Luckily, the phone was sitting on the coffee table in front of me, so my plan (to call my husband) was a-go.

Let me interrupt this story to mention that I have a phobia of fish. Not so much living fish in their natural habitat, but dead fish, or fish-out-of-water. It all stems from the goldfish I had as a child, the one that lived for several years and grew to roughly the size of its ten gallon tank before floating upside down to the surface one fateful day. I even wrote a haiku about it:

Yesterday I found
my gold fish, belly up at
the top of the tank.

I only rehash this story because it illustrates my fear of death as manifested by pet-related phobias. I was very conscious of the memory of finding that goldfish dead as I stood in my living room today, sure that rigor mortis was setting into Roxie's musculature somewhere on the first floor.

Anyway, so I finally got through to my husband (after leaving a hysterical message on his voice mail), only to find him unsympathetic and generally pissed that he had married such an ineffectual lunatic. He told me to go find the dog. I told him she was probably dead and I couldn't deal with it. He said she was not dead and that she was most likely hiding in a corner with her tail between her legs because she knew she'd done wrong. I said no, she's dead. At this point, the conversation was approaching the don't-ever-call-me-here-again zone. Thinking fast, I realized that, if she was indeed still breathing, all I had to do to get her to come to me was open the refrigerator door and pull out the cheese drawer. If that didn't work, I was taking the baby, leaving the house again, and not coming back until the body had been bagged and removed from the premises.

Ohthankthegoodlord. "I think I hear her."
"Of course you hear her," said Chris. "Now beat her ass. You're crazy and I have to go now."

Roxie was happy and wagging, oblivious in the face of cheese. I crumpled into a chair and sighed.

Tolby flapped around, equally unfazed in my arms. A stray baby-finger went up my nose and she shrieked. This is life now. Life and death.


Anonymous Sarah said...

First off - you are insane Binks! My sympathy to Chris.
Second, this was the funniest thing I've read on your blog, or anywhere, in a while - I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and almost peed my pants!
P.S. Glad Roxie wasn't dead.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

hey glad to hear Roxie is okay! that was funny, but sadly I probably would have done the same thing!

9:21 AM  

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