|Deb Perelman: "The landscape of butter-free cookies is usually filled with stories of compromise."
That was Saturday. Around 1 a.m. on Sunday I was awakened by noise from upstairs. Thumping sounds, then tearing sounds, then dragging sounds. Then some more tearing sounds, then some crashing sounds. I went upstairs. The dog was racing around the living room and kitchen in the dark looking for stuff to chew and destroy. She was all amped up like I’d never seen her before. I figured I hadn’t exercised her enough the previous day. I talked to her for a few minutes, tried to settle her down, and went back to bed. More rampaging. Odd. I went up again and only then did I notice that the pantry door was open and when I looked inside I saw that the block of Callebaut chocolate had been dragged off its shelf and was lying on the floor, scored with toothmarks. I would estimate Gracie ate a hunk of dark chocolate about the size of a pork chop, one of those big, thick loin chops.
It’s hard to kill a dog with chocolate — some milk chocolate chips or a piece of chocolate cake won’t do it. But free access to an 11-pound slab of dark Belgian chocolate? Chocolate is toxic to dogs and Gracie was very, very sick. According to the vet, the typical pulse of a dog her size is 100 BPM and Gracie’s was 250 BPM when we got to the pet hospital in the middle of the night. To protect her privacy and dignity, I will refrain from sharing the indelicate details of her detox, but I assure you, it was dramatic.
|It was pretty lonely.
Alone in the waiting room of the pet hospital at 3 a.m., slouched on the vinyl couch beside the Christmas tree, I found myself gazing back, as if through a very long tunnel, at a younger, peppier me sitting at the counter at Prune, all dressed up and enjoying an experience that would lead me here, to a pet hospital almost a decade later. I find those strange threads of connection between events mysterious and fascinating. I don’t know why, I guess because they give a glimpse of the chaotic way life actually unfolds.
Lessons learned: Life is uncanny. Put your chocolate on the top shelf when you get a dog.
Gracie made a full recovery, thank heavens.
On another subject, I went to my last-ever holiday concert for the high school band in which Owen has played trombone these last four years. It was poignant and beautiful in that high school band concert way. The gym repurposed as concert hall. All those kids in their formal wear, earnestly performing Handel’s “Messiah” pretty darn well. The jovial music director who somehow taught a bunch of teenagers to perform Handel’s “Messiah” pretty darn well. The middle-aged parents smiling peacefully, enjoying the rare moment when it would be truly shaming to look at their phones. The one small annoyance of the evening was that no one bought the cookies I brought to the bake sale. Fools!