by Slo Mo
I never-ever-ever want to see another guava berry for as long as I live.
It only took me about five minutes to drive Dog to the vet clinic, once I managed to get the top down and aim his guava-laced diarrhea explosions away from me. Of course, by the time we arrived on the doctor's doorstep Dog had already unloaded everything he needed to unload, so I'm not sure the clinic staff bought my description of the Major Poo Mayhem I'd endured and why, exactly, I thought Dog should be seen right way as an emergency patient. But they humored me. Must've been my Canadian accent.
Dog's exam went something like this:
"I'm Dr. Heckle. So tell me - why did you feed guava to this poor dog?"
"Um, I didn't feed it to him. He just ate it!"
"Dogs don't normally eat guava, young lady. Not enough to make them so sick."
"Do you have some form of identification? Are you this dog's legal owner? And why are you speaking like a foreigner?"
When the interrogation finally ended, Dog was given a shot and I was handed a bill for $180 along with a warning that the injection would make Dog very drowsy and I'd need to keep an eye on him. I was also treated to a lecture about animal abuse and what could happen to a "lawless alien troublemaker" like me.
The ride home was peaceful and uneventful, albeit majorly stinky from the splatter-sodden upholstery. Dog seemed to be enjoying the drugs. I sort of waltzed his dopey, drooling body into the house and opened the patio door for him in case he needed to take a whizz, but he only managed a couple of shaky steps before he stopped, looked at me, looked at the floor, puked like a sailor, and passed out cold on the living room rug.
I breathed a sigh of relief - so long as Dog was asleep, I figured I was safe from any further animal drama...
Which is exactly when a highly endangered blue-speckled tit warbler flew in through the patio door, got caught in a ceiling fan, and landed in a bloody, feathery, twitchy, decapitated mess at my feet.
Now, many people faced with these same circumstances would probably cry, or swear, or faint, or something. But not me. Why? Because, on top of everything else that's wrong with my life, it so happens that I was raised by a woman who claims that birds - all birds, everywhere - are infested with a strain of virulent lice which will get in your hair and clothes and live on you forever and so you'll need to spend the rest of your days quarantined in a leper colony, except even the lepers probably won't take you because bird lice is THAT BAD.
And so it came to pass that I answered the door a few moments later wearing nothing but a shower cap and latex gloves, attempting to cover my nakedness with a rather large dustpan, upon which was nestled the head of a highly endangered blue-speckled tit warbler.
The nice lady with the bundt cake got as far as saying, "Hello. I'm from the Neighborhood Welcome Wagon..."
But then I guess she took in the full horror of it all - me, the shower cap, the bird head, blood, puke, feathers, a lifeless dog corpse - because she dropped the cake, cleared our hibiscus hedge in a single bound, and ran for her life.
Which, come to think of it, is the last time anyone from this neighborhood has knocked on my door...