Ten Years Off My Life

I don't know why the Good Lord thinks it's funny to keep sending me barfing dogs.

Seriously. Just when I got used to the relief of having a non-barfing Chloe dog, I went and got Rooster Cogburn...who eats everything as in E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!! Sticks, deer poop, pine cones, rocks, turkey poop, anything that will fit in his mouth, he'll try to eat it. (Tell me again why I spend the money for grain-free dog food for him?) So, from time to time, Rooster Cogburn will wake me up at some horrid hour with that most-dreaded sound of a ralphing dog.

Did you ever notice how you can struggle to wake up to a ringing phone or the alarm clock blaring, but the sound of a dog barfing wakes you up instantly with no confusion at all about what that noise is?

I digress.

Being a puke-a-phobic person, the sounds that typically lead up to a hurl wake me quickly and I struggle to get back to sleep again, even if it was a false alarm. Well, two nights ago, I was wakened to that licking sound, and Rooster Cogburn sitting there looking at me with a distinctive "I'd really like to go outside so you won't cuss me" look. It looks a little bit like this, but more desperate, somehow.

I let him out JUST IN TIME to not have to clean up dog puke from the hardwood floor wake Sweet Hubs and beg him to clean up dog puke from the hardwood floor.

Sweet Hubs is a saint.

Or else, he hates the sound of ME retching as much as I hate the sound of the dog retching?

But I digress.

The very next morning, Rooster was hurling again, so I was on high alert last night and woke up almost every time he stirred. About 3:00 this morning, I was wakefully listening to a soft clunky kind of sound that seemed to be coming from the back porch. I thought maybe the breeze was moving something or that maybe we had a packrat visiting again. Then Rooster made some disturbing noises, so I thought I might let him out, just in case.

Normally, in my puke-a-phobic panic, I would jerk open the door and shoo him out. That's his bed, and there is the door, so if things go well, I can have him outside in a second.
I don't know what possessed me, but this morning I turned the porch light on instead of just wildly yanking the door open.

And even though the Good Lord seems to think it's mildly funny to torture me with pukey dogs, He was kind enough to not let an awful thing happen.

That soft clunky sound?

It wasn't a pack rat.

It wasn't the wind.

It was something ... I am not exaggerating even an iota... ON THE THRESHOLD of the door I would normally jerk open.

It was one of these.


After I got over the leaping heart that happens every time you get anywhere near a skunk, it occurred to me what nearly happened and along with 10 years of my life slipping away, I laughed so hard that tears trickled down my thigh face.

Rooster did not have to puke. He went back to sleep and never even growled at our visitor.

And that is the story of how I nearly let a skunk in the bedroom, all because of an unnatural fear of vomit.