The Blame Game


The dog is sick.

She got into the garbage on Sunday night, and feasted on sparerib bones. The vet suspects she’s developed pancreatitis from eating fatty meat, but I think it’s the shards of bones rolling around in her tummy.

In either case, it’s not good. She’s been having trouble keeping food down and just isn’t herself. And though I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until she recovers, this could have been avoided if someone had emptied the garbage.

What a concept. Such a simple thing, yet no one ever wants to do it.

The Curmudgeon calls me “The Blamer” because I’m usually looking to assign it when something goes amuck. But in this case, someone screwed up and no one is willing to own up. All I know is I’m off the hook because I cooked, and the cook doesn’t clean in our house.

The Curmudgeon pointed out that it was Father’s Day so it surely wasn’t his fault. My son and daughter cleared the table and plates, but someone left the cabinet holding the trash can slightly ajar, allowing Cali to open it and have a field day.

I love pull-out cabinets that conceal trash cans because they’re dog-proof. But in order for them to work, the cabinet must be closed. Even an inch gap is enough for a Lab with a hankering for bones to work it open with her nose. But this is really a moot point. The trash should have been taken out.

The Curmudgeon is willing to concede that he was the last one to go to sleep around 1 a.m., and the dog was sleeping on the living room couch, odd because she’s ordinarily commandeers a chair in our bedroom. That should have put most people on alert that she was up to something, but the Curmudgeon went to bed.

I awakened around 5 a.m. and found the trash can had been ransacked. She got the wrappers the ribs came in, as well as the foil I used to wrap them. She ate paper towels  and some bones, because I found small shards on the living room carpet.

I’m not sure how many bones, but we ate a lot of spareribs that night. X-rays showed she has no obstructions, but apparently objects can roll around in a dog’s stomach for months. I’m praying she’s not one of these dogs because that would mean surgery.

The vet told me about a dog who had eaten chicken on wooden skewers, including the skewers. When the vet operated a few months later, there they were – wooden skewers too thin to show up on X-rays. I don’t know why vets tell you these worst case scenarios, but they do. It’s not really what you want to hear when your dog isn’t feel well.

Anyone with Labs knows they’re land sharks, prowling the kitchen and its environs for food. My old Lab Lindsey was legendary: she once at 4 corned beefs right before a St. Patrick’s Day party while I at was at an emergency clinic with The Curmudgeon. When the babysitter called to tell me about the corned beef, even the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but you really are having a shi*^ty day.”

Cali is becoming a bit of a chow hound in her old age, and now she’s paying a steep price. The vet recommended keeping her overnight, but I insisted she come home because she’s an anxious dog. In reality, I couldn’t stand the thought of having her away from me.

I’m not really sure where I’d be without this dog. She’s such a loyal companion, sticking by me through thick and thin over the past 9 years. She helped me through a particularly difficult period a few years ago, and our bond got even stronger.

The Curmudgeon claims she’s obsessed with me, and I won’t argue with that. She wants to be with me all the time. Sometimes it feels a little oppressive, but I love it. It’s nice to be so deeply loved.

Though he won’t own up to leaving the trash compartment ajar, I suspect the Curmudgeon knows he’s guilty. He claims the dog won’t look at or cuddle with him, that she is in some way mad at him for her current predicament. Maybe she is, and maybe she has every right to be.

My son the philosopher said it’s no one’s fault that the dog got sick, that it’s the dog’s fault for going into the trash. I swear this kid has been doing this since he was little, refusing to accept blame for anything. Perhaps this explains our relationship: the Blamer having a child who is Blameless.

But right now I really don’t care who screwed up. I just want sweet Cali to feel better again.