I took my foster dog, Agent, to an obedience class on Wednesday. The rescue for which I'm fostering him holds classes every week at a local high school. I hadn't done any formal training in several years. I was amazed at how quickly it all came back to me. Heel. About Turn. Left About. Halt. It was like hearing an old song and still knowing all the lyrics. I had a great time. As for Agent, I'm not sure how much fun he had. He definitely has not had any formal training. He's such a goofball. He stole one of my snow boots out of my closet last night. I was told he is around seven but if he is seven, I will eat my keyboard. Anyway, we'll be at class again this Wednesday. I'm excited to get back into training when we get our pup in the spring. Of course, taking a Boxer to class is an adventure in itself. In Wednesday's class, there was a one-year-old Boxer in attendance. He was being trained by his young owner (high school age, I think). While the other dogs were heeling in a rectangular pattern around the perimeter, the Boxer was chewing his leash, jumping on his owner, and just generally filling the slot of "class clown." I laughed out loud and then realized that might seem rude. I was there with a shepherd so the girl wouldn't have known I have a lot of experience with Boxers. After class I told her that I was laughing with her and not at her. Watching her struggle with her dog gave me flashbacks to when I took Lucy to her first classes years ago. She was actually rolling on her back while the other dogs had to walk around her in their heeling pattern. She went on to earn a CD and several Agility titles, so it is technically possible (though maddening) to train a Boxer.
In addition to brushing up on my dog training skills last week, I had to revive another, less desirable skill: cleaning up vomit. The kid came down with a stomach virus on Wednesday night. Thursday morning, she expelled the contents of her stomach in the bathroom . . . onto a toilet with a closed lid. So near and yet so far. So, on Thursday and Friday, her dad and I switched off on staying home with her. I worked from home in the mornings and he took over in the afternoons so that I could go into work.
I need to back up a bit and tell you that my daughter is terrified of the act of vomiting. I am not exaggerating. I've tried telling her countless times that vomiting is just a fact of life, but she is not buying it. If one of the dogs dares to cough, she runs into the other room for fear that the cough might be followed by a flow of half-digested kibble hitting the carpet. She is equally as afraid of being the one who vomits. On Thursday evening, she got up from the couch to use the bathroom. The act of moving from horizontal to vertical was just enough to set off her rumble-y tummy. She hurled into a plastic trash can I had given her just in case.
Thereafter, she refused to get up to pee. At one point she tried to convince me that if I would just carry her into the bathroom and hold her horizontally over the toilet, she would be fine. She could then pee without, technically, sitting up at all. I pointed out some logistical issues with her plan and she eventually gave up on the idea.
On Friday, she still felt yucky so we kept her home from school again. The vomiting was mostly done by then, thank goodness. The real bummer is that the last meal she had eaten before getting sick was tacos. Tacos are her favorite. We eat them at least twice a month. They're great because I can make them quickly so they are good for weeknight meals. As you know, when a particular food is expelled from your stomach and then leaves your mouth at high velocity, you are not a fan of that food thereafter - at least not for a long time. So, now I have to take tacos out of the rotation, which sucks.
On Saturday, we were invited to her cousin's birthday party. You'll never guess what was being served for dinner. We brought along some mac and cheese for the kid, but it didn't really matter too much anyway because she was more concerned about eating cake and running around with her cousins. And then, all hell broke loose. The kids were in the playroom when the birthday girl puked. She, too, had been battling this bug that's been going around.
My kid then lost her mind and ran to the front door, nearly in tears, demanding to leave immediately. My poor sister-in-law, meanwhile, was nursing a migraine while facing a fun little clean-up job (I think my niece was kind enough to puke on a blanket, which was helpful). So, we said our good-byes and left the party. Our daughter was crying on the way home, scared that she was going to cycle back through the same bug again. We did our best to reassure her.
Honestly, I hope she gets over this by the time she is a mom. When the inevitable stomach bug hits, moms don't really get to say, "Sorry, no can do."