Sunday, November 21, 2010

E Pluribus Unum

My motto for taking pictures of Dempsey is E Pluribus Unum: Out of the many pictures I take, one might be a keeper.

I think we got a keeper last night. It's a new view of Dempsey, one we've never seen before, though as any pro photographer can tell you, it took a lot of work to get the shot.

The preparations started in the afternoon. We decided to haul out a rug from the basement, where it had been hiding from a curious puppy. I was imagining a Norman Rockwell portrait, with Doreen and me in our slippers and recliners, Buddy on my lap, and Dempsey curled up on the rug, at our feet.

Our plan proceeded flawlessly as we rolled out the rug and Dempsey completely ignored it. The next step went flawlessly as well, as Dempsey let us brush his coat and tail without a fuss. Dempsey was so mellow, we decided to reward him with a piece of rice cake -- which he didn't eat. Hmm. This was the first time in the history of the universe that Dempsey did not immediately eat something we gave him.

Doreen was worried, but I suggested we try the doggie equivalent of "take two aspirin and call me in the morning": Belly rub now, see how he feels in the morning. I invited Dempsey to roll over on the new rug for a belly rub.

Within a couple of minutes, Dempsey got up, and -- blech! -- vomited all over the rug we had been carefully hiding for a year and a half. As we scrambled to clean up the mess, Dempsey stepped into the vomit and made a few pukey paw prints across the rug as he headed for the hallway. When he got to the hallway, he stopped and -- blech! -- vomited on the hallway carpet. When I asked Dempsey to go to his kennel, he dutifully went, but with a stop -- blech! -- to vomit a third time downstairs.

By this point, I was pretty panicked. Boy, Doreen is really going to be mad at me. We got Dempsey into the car and started driving across town to our favorite emergency vet (yes, we actually have a favorite emergency vet). We drove through an ice storm that the highway patrol described as "one for the ages." It was indeed a mess. Freeway entrances were closed and cars were sliding into ditches as we rushed, at a blazing 20mph, to the vet.

With all the lights and sirens and police cars around us, I kinda felt like OJ Simpson on a slow-speed chase. Except there wasn't freezing rain in LA: We had to keep the windows rolled up as Dempsey lay in the back, burping and otherwise spewing noxious gasses that filled the cabin.

We finally arrived at the vet a little after 2am, relieved we had survived. After another hour and several hundred dollars, I finally got what I wanted all along, a new view of Dempsey:

As you can see, there's nothing in there. Some gas in his colon, but no socks or obvious ill-gotten gains. The vet gave Dempsey two shots and told us to call him in the morning.

I just hope Dempsey thinks about how much he makes his parents worry the next time he tries eating something.


  1. As the owner of Faith, (she has had two surgeries to remove blockages) I completely understand the worries that go with this situation. Scary!!!!

    What I want to know is how do they (dogs) always have the worst timing in such matters?

  2. Is it just me, or does it look like there's a little sleeping puppy face in the picture? With a tiny black nose and big spot over the left eye?

    I'm so glad he's okay. There's nothing worse than the fear of not knowing what's ailing your pup.