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garbage

Posts Tagged ‘garbage’

Not long ago I was delighted when my long time friend, Pam, told me she’d be coming to our house for a visit. Since high school, our get-togethers always turn into a “Lucy and Ethel-esque” comedy filled with madcap antics and tasteless conversation. For me, visits like these were sort of a mini vacation.  I would be supercharged from laughter for at least a couple of days.

I decided to make my specialty for dinner — chicken wild rice soup . In case you don’t already know, it’s pretty much the only meal I can make without over-seasoning, undercooking, or burning.

I set about my merry way to the grocery store, and purchased the necessary ingredients. Being a savvy cook (ahem), I opted to buy a whole roasted chicken from the deli rather than baking one from scratch since it would cut my soup preparation time in half …and cut down on my chances of wrecking something in the process.

Since I’ve made this recipe about 732 times, it didn’t take long for me to whip up a steaming caldron of soup and when I was done, I cleared the counter, filled the dishwasher, and proceeded to fling the picked-clean chicken carcass into the trashcan.

I wanted to buy some wine for our middle-aged slumber party so I knew I had to hurry to get to the liquor store and back before Pam arrived. I grabbed the trash bag containing the chicken bones from the kitchen and put it next to the door leading to the garage. I figured I could easily drop it into the garbage can on my way to the car. After finding my keys and purse, I headed out the door for my field trip to the liquor store.

I was pretty proud that it only took me a few minutes to locate two bottles of wine for the evening (both with super cute labels…that’s what signifies a yummy bottle of wine, isn’t it?) and  headed back to the house. I brought my precious purchases into the kitchen and carefully placed them on the counter. It had been a long day so I decided to sit down and relax before Pam showed up and the party commenced. In doing so, I had to walk by the door that led to the garage…

As I did, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a white mass scattered on the floor near the garage door. [GASP] My heart stopped when I realized what it used to be: the trash bag that I should have taken out to the garbage can on my way to pick up the booze. I ran over to it and noticed that “someone” had gnawed a hole in the bag, removed the contents, feasted, and left a trail of grease and small bone fragments in its wake. Then it hit me: When I left earlier, I had gone out the front door instead of exiting through the garage and had completely forgotten about the waiting bag of refuse that was supposed to be thrown into the trashcan.

“Oh nooooo….!” I proclaimed when I imagined Annie, our Staffordshire mix, surreptitiously dining on an entire crunchy chicken carcass while I was skipping mirthfully up and down the isles of the liquor store. Then the words I have heard the entire length of my dog owning career rang over and over in my head:  “Never let your dog eat pork or chicken bones. They can splinter, puncture the intestine, and kill your dog.”  I dropped to my knees and began feverishly rifling around the trash bag, praying that I’d at least find an intact breast, thigh, leg, rib… anything. But it was clear that Annie, now sleeping smugly on her plush velour dog bed, had crunched down the entire skeleton with the exception of a few tiny fragments..

Of course, my kids sitting just a few feet away from where the bag had been, sat on the sofa motionless — hypnotized by cans of Mountain Dew, a blaring television, and bowls of greasy snacks. They hadn’t heard or seen a thing (go figure).

Just then, I heard Pam’s mini van chug up to the front of our house. There were no hello’s, hugs, or “Did you find the place okay?” Just me blurting out, “Annie just ate a massive chicken, bones and all. She’s gonna die!” I led Pam inside, showed her the trail of poultry fat and feverishly shared the chicken story with her over a very large glass of wine. She assured me that her dogs had eaten all kinds of things and that Annie would be just fine. By this time Pam had been drinking so of course, I had no problem believing her….

A few hours later after a lot of laughs and a many stories, Pam and I yanked the mattress out of the sleeper sofa and began the task of putting on sheets and blankets. Annie, still symptom-free, sat nearby waiting anxiously for an invitation to join Pam for an impromptu slumber party. Pam, whose perpetual tiredness was only intensified by the entire bottle of sugary wine she drank solo, patted the bed next to her and invited Annie up before immediately falling asleep.

I was personally relieved that Annie would be sleeping there. I knew that Pam, a director at a school, must have some sort of medical training…possibly  canine first aid. And if necessary, she would be able to figure how to do the doggy Heimlich maneuver  — or mouth-to-snout resuscitation — much better than I could. Or at the very least, clean up a pile of Annie’s bone-infused dog puke during the night so I wouldn’t have to deal with it when I rolled out of bed in the morning.

I tossed and turned, that night and required tri-hourly reassurance from my sleepy husband that the dog would indeed be all right. But honestly, I expected to awaken in the morning to find a bird bone protruding from Annie’s belly or my precious pooch in a comatose state sprawled on the quilt next to a clueless, slumbering Pam. Then as I lay there, I realized that not only had she eaten a complete chicken (minus the neck and head), she also must have eaten the string that the grocery store deli clerk had used to tie the chicken up before baking it to so it looked “pretty” displayed in the hot case for lazy cooks like me.

A few hours later with the sun barely rising, I tiptoed down the stairs and quietly opened the door where Pam was sleeping.  Immediately Annie’s head popped up and she energetically jumped off the bed eager for her usual morning trip to use the ladies room (next to the trampoline in the backyard).

Annie survived the ordeal, probably better than I did. A few days after her garbage invasion, she puked up a few microscopic bone shards and the string I had been agonizing over for a solid 48 hours. But other than that, she suffered no ill effects.

The real kicker in all of this was the Pam never even tried my chicken wild rice soup.

Having pets around can be stressful. Have you ever had a strange situation with one of you pets?

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