Author: Reader Contributions | Photographer:
I visited a state park with my dog for a nice, relaxing hike in the shade during a hot summer day mid-week. Halfway through the hike, my stomach starts rumbling. My dog and I happened to be on the same disastrous drop-off schedule, because soon after, she has an explosive eruption in the middle of the trail.
Not a problem, because, like a good Girl Scout, I always come prepared with a roll of doggie poop bags! I thought I was doing fine until I suddenly realized I wasn’t. I wouldn’t be able make it in time to the state park’s public bathroom at the main entrance!
I scouted out the best of bad options for a drop-off, dropped my dog’s poop bag and leash, and pooped in the great outdoors. Not wanting to leave a trace, I bagged up my own poop and continued the rest of the way holding two poop bags and one dog on a leash. I averted my eyes as we passed other hikers wondering if they realized what I had done. Crisis, but not mortification, averted. #AlwaysCarryPoopBags #LeaveNoTrace
A Full Moon
I fostered a very cute and very large puppy while living in an apartment building. We were walking to dog station in the parking lot for the last bathroom break of the evening, when he started humping my leg – repeatedly – under the street lamp. Try as I might, I couldn’t get him to disengage – and not before he pulled my shorts down. The neighbors saw a different kind of full moon that evening.
My Very Own Griswold Family Vacation
I moved overseas from with my small dog, affectionately known as Zulu, the Warrior. I followed the vet’s advice and gave him a small amount of Xanax before our trip to make sure that the medicine didn’t have the unintended (rare) effect of agitating, rather than sedating him. OK, check. The dog was drugged and unable to walk properly. I felt prepared for our trip.
At our last layover in the US, I called my dad to let him know him know that this would the last call for a little while. While we were chatting, I noticed that the dog carrier case that I had slung over my shoulder suddenly seemed lighter. I look behind me and Zulu is weaving in-and-out of tables in the airline lounge.
I ran to Zulu, picked him up and inspected his travel bag. He had chewed a softball sized hole in the mesh lining of the carrier bag. What was I to do? I asked the airline if they had heavy duty tape (no) and checked with chintzy travel stores to see if they had a small pet carrier with the local city’s iconic images covering it (they didn’t).
I gave Zulu another half pill of Xanax, boarded the plane and hoped for the best. I decided I wouldn’t sleep at all to make sure my travel buddy stayed put in his carry case and as comfortable as possible under the seat in front of me. (The flight attendants were adamant that it was against FAA regulations to let me hold the dog – in his carry case – in my lap.)
During the flight, Zulu would periodically wake up from a nap, spin around in his carrier like the Tasmanian Devil (which would send his hair flying directly towards my poor seatmate in the middle seat) and pass out again.
I must have dozed off for a brief moment – even though I told myself I wouldn’t – and I woke up to a flight attendant shaking me. She said, “Your cat has escaped! We just had a horse meat eating scandal in Europe – you want us to eat your dog?!” Alarm bells were going off. My dog had made a bee line to business class during dinner time!
I start frantically looking for Zulu and, with each passing second, become more anxious. He had left business class. The lights were off in the Boeing 737 and many of the non-business passengers were already asleep! How would I find my small, drugged dog?!
As I started towards the back of the plane, a flight attendant suddenly stood up, holding Zulu under is front arms in the air, triumphant that she found him and flabbergasted that she had a loose dog on the plane. She followed me back to the seat holding Zulu. I introduced the airplane blanket to the dog carrier bag as an extra level of reinforcement to cover the gaping, softball-sized hole a bit better.
By this point, I was so stressed out that I actually started to feel nauseous. I couldn’t go to the WC without the dog, or I’d have another escape attempt. To the delight of my seatmate, I pack up Zulu and we venture down the darkened aisle towards the WC. I may have started sweating at this point. The queue for the WC was LONG. Unable to wait until my turn in line, I bend over and hurl into my scarf, hoping to capture the expulsion. I partially missed the scarf and barfed on Zulu’s carrier case.
By this time, people have moved out of the way. I gave both of us – and the carrier – the best sink wash I could and disposed of the soiled scarf in the trash bin. We returned to the seat with as much dignity as we could muster. We eventually made it to our final destination without further incident and disposed of the destroyed carrier case the moment we arrived at the destination airport. Lesson learned: the next, more robust travel carrier case will be made of titanium.