I think I set a dangerous precedent by spending $1000 on a dog. It’s basically like I sent a note to the universe: “Here’s where I’m weak, hit me here.” Three months later I dropped another $1200 on a dog whisperer because Zola was an absolute monster. And on it went, for the last nine years, as Zola continuously sought new ways to be disgustingly expensive by warranting multiple surgeries because “maybe it’s not cancer but maybe IT IS and don’t you want to know? That’s worth $500, I mean $700, I mean $900, oh wait look it’s not, she’s fine.”
But this year, she got more creative. She’s been watching us. She’s been learning. She knows what to expect on a typical Tuesday night:
Me: *takes package of salmon out of refrigerator, feeling okay that it costs $20 because it’s from Whole Foods which means it died of natural causes after years of therapy and essential oil treatments*
Also Me: *throws expensive salmon in trash and decides we should eat cheezits and peanut butter cups instead*
Of course, the salmon didn’t stay in the trash for long.
Zola took a victory lap around the house while I spirited off to work while typing a tweet like “haha dog trash LULZ.” But then people started replying and DMing me with links about Salmon Poisoning Disease.
It should come as a surprise to no one that I came home to a house covered in and smelling of the most viciously rancid poo a dog has ever manufactured within their bowels. Alex conveniently returned home after I’d already cleaned everything and was huddled in a corner of the patio, slowly rocking myself back and forth.
But this was only the beginning.
Google told me symptoms would set in about 14 days later— which was exactly when we would already be on our trip to Ecuador. I decided to be proactive and take Zola to the vet for testing— which, I assumed, meant I should take some of that foul shite along with me. Hear me: I scooped up a bit of her prized poo, triple bagged it, and headed to the vet.
It was only once I’d settled into the overcrowded waiting room that I realized it would take a lot more than three bags to contain that foul-ass stench. Which, of course, was too late.
The triple-bagged poo was stowed in a canvas tote on the chair beside me when I noticed a vet tech lighting an anti-dog scent candle. Probably a coincidence. NBD. Must save Zola. But then one of them came around from behind the counter, that Disney-star joviality in their voice as they asked “did someone in here have an accident?” I stared at the ground, avoiding eye contact, trying to look chill as he set some paper towels and a spray bottle on the counter. Nobody moved.
A few minutes later the vet tech leaned over to his coworker: “I’m still smelling something. Are you smelling that?”
I faked a yawn with a stretch and pushed the canvas tote off the chair so it was hidden beneath the seat. But the smell only grew as my wait time dragged on. I began to wonder if this was a terrible idea. My mind raced.
“I should just walk over and throw it in that trash bin.”
“No. That’s super obvious. That’s what people do with bombs in subway stations.”
“Okay, I should go throw it in the trunk of my car— it’s what a decent human being would do.”
“Why start being a decent human being now?”
“Just take it up to the techs and tell them you don’t know if you need it or not.”
“This is WAY too similar to my days working on the psych ward.”
I pat Zola on the head and smiled lovingly as I used my right foot to push the bag of poo further away from me, distancing myself from the scene of the crime.
Eventually they called Zola’s name and it was the moment of truth— do I claim the bag of poop and hand it to the vet, or do I just leave it here like some sort of latently released chemical warfare?
Like the coward I am, I left it. I figured that if the vet decided he needed a sample I would be like “Omg, crazy! I have just the bag of poop for this occasion!”
I’ve always wanted to come through in a time of need.
But that didn’t happen. The vet just looked at me like I was crazy when I told him a bunch of people on Twitter told me I should bring Zola to him. Then he pulled out a massive veterinary textbook because he said this sounded vaguely familiar from when he was in vet school.
Turns out it’s a real thing (I never doubted you, Twitter people, never) and— you guessed it— super expensive to treat! I left with a small bag of medicine I knew Zola would refuse + a hefty receipt and not a single look back at that canvas tote still infecting the health and wellbeing of the other people in the waiting room.
I am a horrible person.
Karma came for me though, as it always does. Zola refused to have anything to do with the medicine— it got on the carpet, on the kitchen counter, and somehow on the back of the keurig where I discovered it a month later.
We went to Ecuador (where I’m pretty I also got salmon poisoning disease), came back, and she was still alive. Go figure.
Have you ever had to spend a lot of money on a pet? Do you have anything to confess? What disgusting poo-related stories do you have?
Want to keep in touch? Drop your email below and I'll send you FULL POSTS anytime I write something new. Only want to know book news? Get on the list here.