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Warning #1: if you have a Y-chromosome a weak stomach teeth, you may find the following blog post disturbing.

Warning #2: if you’re a writer hoping to finish up a project, you may find the following blog post disturbing. Or you’ll think about using it in your next book…

Why I didn’t win at NaNoWriMo this year…

[Image credit: A Cure for Wellness, 2016 movie dir. by Gore Verbinski]

The end of November was…rough. It all started when the World’s Most International Tooth (as explained here) decided infection in Scotland, dental visit in England, root canal(s) in India, and gum surgery/crown in Italy—all during a pandemic—were just not enough excitement.  A few days ago I was eating breakfast when I bit down on something WAY too crunchy for porridge. Hoping it was in fact some disgusting bit of the animal kingdom which had wandered into my oatmeal, I spit out the whole mouthful (because I’m truly classy that way).

My worst fears were confirmed. The WMIT had somehow shed its new crown, and bits of itself as well. My dentist set an appointment for today, and told me to be careful until then.

So I was (carefully) trying to finish up a book project via a Zoom call that had already gone on for hours when The Hub popped in to say there was something he needed me to see in the kitchen. NOW. No, it couldn’t wait.

I went into the kitchen to discover that my dog Peri had firmly and irrevocably surrendered her good-dog status. The lure of our Thanksgiving duck carcass proved too much, and she tossed away a lifetime of training to spread the contents of the kitchen trash across the floor. From there she proceeded to eat not only the decaying duck, but anything that might once have even had a picture of food on it.

The next day the dog was a bit quiet, but still enthusiastic about all her regular meals, as well as the usual revolting finds she managed to hoover up on our walks.

Corollary: The Hub says he now realizes the true difference between having dogs and kids is that sooner or later the kids are old enough to say “I hafta throw up.” But you only find out the dog crossed ‘vomit now’ off her ToDo list when you step in it in the middle of the night.

At least that’s what happened to me. It was a little after 3AM when I woke up to find Peri pacing by my side of the bed. “We have to do something about The Hub’s breath,” I told her. “The whole room smells like barf.”

I stepped out of bed onto our (shiny, polished) wood floor and was still wondering what that warm, squishy, wet pile was doing there when my foot shot out from under me and I slid across the (shiny, polished, and now liberally slimy) wood floor to fetch up in an even bigger puke puddle.

I turned on the lights to discover the dog had produced astonishing quantities of vomit covering most of the floor space (and now, a considerable amount of me as well).

The Hub—no dummy—frantically began to emit loud fake snores in hopes he wouldn’t be called on to take part in the cleanup. But I cleared a path to the bedroom door, and ordered him out with the dog while I stripped out of my liberally slimed jammies, opened the windows, and began the cleanup.**

**[of course au natural. As a mom, I know it’s lots easier to scrub skin than clothing.] 

The Hub and the dog returned eventually, both considerably shaken by her continued attempt to expel internal organs from all available doggie orifices. One of us donned clean clothes, two of us were still making gagging noises, and all of us went back to sleep.

Today I had my dental appointment, which as expected, involved significant amounts of drilling, scraping, long scary needles, plus truly disturbing amounts of whimpering and whining (from me, not Peri who stayed in the kitchen, sick as a …well, dog).

I used to rub Peri’s ears and/or belly every day and ask, “Who’s a good dog?” Between her refusal to come out from her new den under the kitchen table and my swollen mouth’s inability to form words without copious amounts of drool, I’m afraid we may never know the answer to that age-old question.

Peri: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about a good dog…”