February 5, 2011 at 11:09 PM
My dog chose to be sick in a most untimely fashion. He didn't set a specific schedule, but randomly would throw up and get a case of the trots every few days or so. Sometimes, a week and a half would pass between episodes, which was just long enough for us to think everything was back to business as usual. But after a month of this recurring behavior, I decided it was time to call the vet. Of course, we'd been hesitating to call the vet because we already knew what the next step of action would be:
George and I tossed the responsibility of this procedure back and forth: he had to go cook for a retreat. But I had to teach lessons. "He's your dog, George. And I don't know how; I've never even changed a diaper, much less taken a fecal sample!" We decided that the duty would fall on whoever happened to be available when nature called. George headed to the kitchen, and I to my studio.
Somewhere between lesson #6 and #7, Ben began to drop some serious hints. Wagging by the door as Sydney walked in, he threw me a pointed look. "Ben if you can just wait an hour, I'll be finished teaching, and then we can hash everything out." To my student I explained that my dog was sick and I needed to keep an eye on him. Ben dutifully resumed his holding pattern, and I resumed proper bow hold with Sydney.
Lesson #7 sat waiting on the sofa as Sydney grabbed her coat and donned her shoes. Ben was dancing all around. Anxiously, I debated back and forth between #7 and Ben, and finally decided: #2 wins. "You know what, Tyler, I need to take care of something. If you don't mind, we'll be running five minutes behind schedule. You just have a seat there, and I'll be right back." I tried not to look embarrassed. Scrambling through the cupboard for an empty salmon jar, I hurried to the door with a shovel, a leash, and my desperate dog.
--Oh my gosh, we are really going to do this.--
Ben unloaded his burden only a few seconds from the door while Tyler's dad and his girlfriend watched from their truck. There, in front of the headlights, I jabbed the shovel into place and captured as much of a sample as I could, placed the jar in the snow, and tipped the shovel over the opening, forcing back a gag reflex as I waited for the contents to slide into the jar. We then headed over to the truck.
"Hey... Sorry, my dog is sick, see, so we are getting a late start on Tyler's lesson. Do you mind if I keep him ten minutes over?" Somehow, they seemed to understand perfectly and needed no further explanation.
I tried to hide the jar from view as we returned to the house, making sure to send Tyler back to the studio so as not to let him see me tucking it behind a box in the corner of the living room. "I'll be right there, just let me wash my hands real quick..." I then tried my best to conduct our lesson as though nothing had happened, but the whole ordeal was much harder to put behind me than I'd like to admit.
What a way to end the week. I've had some awkward moments in my seven years of teaching in the Steele String Studio, but Stool Sample Friday really does take the cake.
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 7:31 PM
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM
Update: the test came out negative. The vet determined Ben had upset the bacteria in his digestive system at some point during his travels in the lower 48, and just needed some probiotics and a little antibiotics. He's feeling much better now.
From Tom Holzman
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Glad to hear things are ok. Every time you think you've seen/experienced it all, life shows you something completely new and different.
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Hey students do you want fudge... ; < )
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:33 PM
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