Before the Incident: Sedgewick Whippet Lying Abed
Our daughter Annie and her husband Bryant left their two dogs with us this week. I’ve been letting the grandpups sleep in my bed during their sojourns as Sedgewick takes comfort in resting near me. Shakespeare sometimes joins the “slumber pack” to claim his right to equal privileges.
On the second night of this visit, I fell asleep with Sedgewick burrowed under the cover sheet in the middle of the bed. Shakespeare trudged into the room about three a.m., jumped onto the bed, hopped over my legs, pushed into the tight space between me and Sedge, and placed his head against one of my thighs. I heard a slight coughing noise, and then Shakespeare began to lick my left upper thigh. That felt odd. But he shifted his position after a minute and hopped back over my legs to the edge of the bed. I thought that he would jump down and return to his berth in the living room. Instead of hearing a thud and the rattle of his harness when he landed on the terrazzo, I was surprised by a louder coughing noise. It sounded suspicious, but I felt too tired to turn on a light and investigate. I did take the precaution of rolling over to the far side of the bed.
When I awoke the next morning, Shakespeare had left. Sedgewick crawled out of the sheets and exited after he felt me move. I looked over to the right side of the bed and saw a yellow puddle of vomit on the sheets near the edge. Little brown chunks sat in the center. I pulled down the cover sheet from my body, and saw more vomit on the left edge of the leg of my gym shorts.
Shakespeare had urped a preliminary urp, licked it off my leg, jumped up and vented the rest.
I went to the bathroom, stripped off the shorts and washed up. Judy sat at the dining room eating cereal. I made scrambled eggs for her and me, and didn’t tell her about the dog puke incident–no reason to ruin her meal. I combined sausage, cheese, ketchup and a slice of bread with my eggs to make a breakfast sandwich, but had trouble choking it down. The sausage resembled the little brown chunks still sitting on my bedsheet. After breakfast, I loaded the bedding into the washer and set it to “sanitary cycle”. I added a maximum amount of bleach. I told Judy an edited version of what had happened, and she agreed that I was justified in my decision to banish dogs from my bedroom.
I’ve been reading a modern translation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. He asserts that all we have is the present moment. We can do nothing about the past and things beyond our control. I try to keep that in mind as I finish off the links in a pack of breakfast sausage, but it’s tough.
After the incident: a new place of rest.