A friend of ours, Mike, moved out-of-town for a job promotion. It was bittersweet. We were happy for his promotion but sad to see him go. He was going to work for a chocolate company. I likey chocolate. I made sure he knew it. I have no shame. I love chocolate but I REALLY love FREE chocolate. So one Friday afternoon long after Mike moved on…a giant package of HUGE chocolate bars arrived on our doorstep. What a nice surprise! I was so excited! When I say huge chocolate bars… I mean the chocolate bars were like freaky Willie Wonka big. Almost whimsical. In fact, I’m fairly certain an Oompa Loompa jumped out of the UPS truck for the delivery. There was no way that any normal human could eat a full bar in one sitting. That cardboard box loaded with chocolate sat on our kitchen countertop for the entire weekend. Our kitchen was small and I wanted to find the perfect place to store them but our weekend was too busy for organizing chocolate bars.
We had a full schedule. My husband was playing on a men’s rugby team and they had a local tournament. We also agreed to dog sit Norman’s best friend, another yellow lab named Jake. Those 2 dogs love each other like brothers. If you utter the word “Jake” Norm bolts to the front door and wags his tail with excitement. It’s been like that for 10 years. We love Jake like our own. Not only is he handsome and charming but he also helps Norman out. Let’s face it. Norm needs a leader. He was a few years older than Norm and they typically wrestled for a few hours and slept well afterwards…..usually? If you have never had the opportunity to love a lab I will fill you in on a deep dark secret. They have
character quirks. All of them! ALL OF THEM! Let’s take Norm for instance…he shits in his crate and he has no idea that he is supposed to lift his leg when he pees so he squats like a woman. Now that I think about it??… I may have had him neutered before he became a man. Uh? Sorry bout that dude. This might also explain his bra fetish. If you spend the night at our house I might suggest that you keep your bra locked up at all times. He can sniff through a suitcase and find a bra in record time. And then there is Jake…Jake can not keep his busy little ass out of the damn trash can, he loves some coffee and he might as well be a vacuum when he eats. He doesn’t chew. It’s amazing. It’s like he has a suction attached to his muzzle. Alright now I’m getting off track…[focus] so that Saturday morning we let them wrestle for a few hours in the backyard. By 10 am they were completely exhausted and they curled up together on Norm’s dog bed. I looked at them like a mother looks at her sleeping children. They are so sweet when they are quiet and sleeping. I filled their water bowls, gave them each a kiss and a raw hide treat and out the door we went.
Look at these two…aren’t they so sweet and innocent? [cough]
We returned home from the game late afternoon and nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to discover. I opened the side door and all I could hear was panting. Oh god! Why are they panting?? Norm? Jake? [whistle] Guys? We are home. The panting is getting closer. [Shhhhwing] Norm is all of a sudden right in my face. Jake is one step behind “Well? Hello there. Where the hell did you come from? Why are you panting? You gotta go out?” They know that is their que and they wait for me to open the back door. I open the back door and just watch. They are acting weird. Something isn’t right. What did they do? My heart starts racing. They both empty their bladders and come right back inside. Norm hangs his ears low..he is guilty. Jake burps..it smells…[sniff sniff] sweet??? [thinking] That’s weird. I walk down the hallway and notice shredded aluminum foil wrappers. First there are just a few…then as I get closer to my son’s room there are more. I slowly open the door to the bedroom and realize that his room is where the feast happened. OMG! Everywhere I look there are shredded candy bar wrappers. There is chocolate everywhere. Chocolate is in the carpet, on the walls, under the crib, in the closet, chocolate is everywhere. What a mess! Immediately and without hesitation I blame everything on Jake [everyone knows a mom like me… don’t they?]. He is the trash eater and my beloved Norm would never do such a thing [cough]. I get angry for about 30 seconds and then I realize. Oh shit! Chocolate can kill a dog and he just ate a shit ton of Willie Wonka sized chocolate bars. Frantically, I call the vet and even though both dogs are acting normal I am petrified that Jake will die on my shift. The vet is closing for the day but he gives me a remedy to help Jake rid his body of all that chocolate. Hydrogen peroxide poured onto a piece of bread. It’s supposed to induce vomiting. We gave Jake his bread and only because my husband convinced me that it could be possible [doubtful]… I gave Norm one too. Now we wait. Tick tock. When will this little science fair project explode. We waited for 30 minutes and nothing happened so…of course we gave each dog a little more. This time a half a piece each. Still nothing. We started to get sleepy, by this time it’s 9pm. I layed in my bed still dressed so I could make a mad dash for the door if they needed to puke. Both dogs curled up on the dog bed as if they wanted to go to bed but they kept fidgeting and adjusting as if they weren’t comfortable. I offered both to go outside but they close their eyes like I’m annoying them [jerks]. I lay down and close my eyes and I hear it. Jake…he is panting now. I can hear his stomach gurgling from across the room. Oh boy! I think it’s coming. I shoot out of bed. “C’mon guys!” I insist they get off their lazy duffs and go outside. Jake takes 3 steps and it happens. The mother load of puke. That poor thing puked so much chocolate it looked like a chocolate fondue fountain spewing out of his muzzle. I have to admit. I wasn’t that upset. Yes…there was chocolate puke all over my hardwood floors but that was better than the carpet and at least he got rid of the toxic chocolate. I cleaned up the puke, loved on Jake and empathized with his love of food. “It’s alright buddy. I know you got a hankering for the good stuff. I probably wouldn’t like dog food either.” He kisses me and we make up! [thinking] “I knew it was Jake! I knew it!” Just as I was celebrating…I notice Norm stand up and walk with a stagger. “Norm? Are you ok buddy?” He looked nauseous and dizzy. [thinking] “Maybe he did eat some chocolate too?” “Alright boys…outside” We only got a few feet and Norm hurled everywhere and his gagging woke my husband up. He shot out of bed “What the F–ck! Oh Jesus! What is going on? Why did you let them puke in our bedroom?” I retaliated “Listen sleeping beauty. I can’t get them out!! Every time they walk…they puke. Help me!!!” He uses his authoritative voice and makes them walk down the stairs. [How does he do that? I want the magic mean voice that makes them listen. Grrr.] They make it down the stairs but can’t help themselves…the pressure is too great..they have to puke in the kitchen. This time it seems to be more puke than the bedroom but it’s hard to tell because they were both puking simultaneously. This is not good! Finally..we get them outside. My husband stays with them as I begin to clean up the mess inside our home. It’s midnight now and Jake and Norm have now reached a new level. They are alternating puke with diarrhea. It reminded me of the scene in the movie Stand By Me after the pie eating contest. I fill up water bowls for each of them afraid that they will dehydrate. OMG! How many did they eat? I can’t believe I blamed the whole thing on Jake? What is wrong with me? Norm is worse and shitting wrappers for god’s sake??? This continued for another hour and then all of the internal explosives just stopped. They were both exhausted. We were exhausted. It was a hell of a night.
I woke up and wondered if that really happened or if it was all just a bad dream. The boys were curled up together on Norm’s dog bed. They fit on there perfectly like ying and yang. So cute. I walked over and wrapped my arms around both of them apologizing in their ears. I am so sorry guys! I should not have left that chocolate out.” I looked at Jake. “And I’m especially sorry I blamed all of this on you Jacob Elliot. It was probably Norm’s idea…wasn’t it?” He licked me as to say it was ok. Thank goodness those pups were forgiving. Oh…those damn Willie Wonka bars! We will never forget. I snuggled with those two guys most of the morning wondering what I on earth I would do without them? Jake and Norm…buddies…loyal friends and family members.
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