Jolie and I have a lot of things in common. We’re both fond of naps, love wearing frilly dresses, and have the terrible habit of religiously watching Pretty Little Liars while snacking on peanut butter with our fingers/paws.
We tend to eat our feelings.
Just one short year ago, Scott and I added Penny the Miniature Pinscher to our family. While Jolie has mostly accepted the fact that her younger, skinnier, more energetic sister is here for good, she didn’t adjust so easily at the beginning. Namely, she ate so much of Penny’s dog food that we could no longer fit her adorable Boots and Barkley sweaters over her bloated little torso.
While the girls still compete at meal times, we’ve reigned in Jolie’s overeating and have trained Penny to stand up for both hersel and her food. After a few months, Jolie was back at her fighting weight, wearing her slightly loose sweaters with pride and swagger.
Until Lars showed up.
The addition of an outer-species brother means Jolie is experiencing a lot of…well…feelings.
Feelings that she secretly chews and swallows while no one is looking. In other words, she’s gained two pounds over the past two weeks from gorging herself on all the cat food.
We’ve since “hidden” Lars’ kibble on the bottom shelf of our bar cart behind the red wine. The cat’s able to access it easily (Mama’s little wino in training!) but Jolie still hasn’t figured out that it’s there, let alone how to access it.
But our intervention was too little, too late. All week, Jolie’s been dragging her sluggish body around the house, clearly weighed down by a stomach that is dramatically swollen and rock hard to the touch.
“She’ll poop it out eventually.” Scott explained.
When I returned home from the gym last night, our chubby chihuahua was nowhere to be found. Not in our bed, the snuggle cave, or even her crate. Had Scott accidentally left our outside? After fifteen minutes of searching, I finally located Jolie, shivering in fear and shame as she hid beneath the bed in our guest room. Two feet away was a piece of dog doo that was literally twice the length of her body. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, and I hope I never do again. Neither Scott or I had the heart to scold her — she was clearly already humiliated.
Moments later, she vomited all over the shag carpet in our bedroom. I pretended to be asleep so Scott would have to deal with it.
Today hasn’t been much better. As I let Jolie outside for her morning potty break, she immediately ran to a section of tall grass and started chowing down. (This is what animals do when the need to throw up.) Ten minutes later, she was nowhere to be seen. I finally spotted her around the back side of the house, lying belly up and shaking quietly. It was as if she was waiting for one of the eagles who lives near by to swoop her up, and put her out of her glutton-induced misery. The cat food binge had brought her this close to a bird-of-prey-assisted chihuahua suicide.
I picked her up, showered her with affectionate pets, and nuzzled her in my arms as I fed her a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to get things moving. Ten minutes later, she was upchucking into her dog bed while I held her ears back and reassured her that everything was going to be okay. It felt oddly similar to my freshman year of college in the women’s dormitory.
I can tell she’s feeling much better, although she’s quite insistent on sequestering herself in the closet snuggle cave. I’m assuming this is less about feeling under the weather and more about pure doggie mortification.
Still, I’m forcing her to go on a walk with me over my lunch break — Dad’s orders:
Sometimes it’s really hard being a mother of three, you guys.