Saturday, February 09, 2008

Flashback to Crispin's first day at work.

We picked 11 month old Crispin up on a Thursday night. The first thing he did in my home was jump up on the kitchen counter, but I blocked him mid-air much to his surprise. The previous foster home had warned us about his surfing habits (among other things) and we were ready for him. The baby gates were already up and he dragged his leash. He didn’t try again that night. We introduced him to our two, let him out one more time and went to bed where he settled in his crate right away. All-in-all we had a good first night.

The next day I brought him to work with me. He was amazing. Brilliant even. He was lazy, slept at my feet, stayed solidly when I went to the printer, etc. Better than any dog I've brought into the office, my own included. I couldn't believe this, he was less than a year old and a lab! So calm! He was happy as could be, this calm wasn't stress related. I figured he was showing me how his foster family had done an excellent job with him. At around 4:00 he was nice and relaxed so I felt it was safe enough to take a quick washroom break.

When I came out my boss was sitting in the foyer.

"Tracy, we have problem." He said in his German accent.

There was a brown long lumpy puddle on the carpet at his feet. My mind was racing as I took action. Because of the colour I wasn’t sure which end it came out of. When Crispin started heaving again I had my answer to that question. Of the two possibilities, I figured that was the best case scenario and more forgivable from an outsiders point of view – the poor dog was sick, right?!

When I went to pick up his leash he frantically tried to re-eat his vomit so I wouldn't get it first. Whatever. It's disgusting but normal dog behaviour and I wasn't too concerned until I noticed it was solid. Ewww. I grabbed his leash and ran him outside. Nothing came out and I still had to clean up that carpet upstairs ASAP. Taking him back inside he suddenly decided to show me something else the previous fosterhome had warned me about - his fear of heights. He slammed on the brakes and wouldn't go near the stairs. Argh! Not a good time to deal with that issue I quickly tied him to the banister in the hallway and left him there. At least it was tiled and easy to clean if necessary.

Once upstairs I saw what he'd vomited in front of my boss, and finally understood why it shaped in a long solid lump...

UNDERWEAR.

Yes, underwear.

Underwear that had been sitting in his stomach since before I picked him up.

It was the most disgusting, revolting, awful thing ever. From the sight to the smell to the location and the audience. Could it have been any worse? I nearly threw up myself right then and there. While on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet I was frantically wondering if there were any agencies looking to hire a senior graphic designer?

It took me a few months to work up the courage to bring another dog into the office again. It's a huge priviledge that I really appreciate and don't take advantage of, incidences like this aren't a good thing.

It served me right for trusting a new dog, for not having him tethered to my desk and for leaving him on his own, among many other things!

On the bright side of things I'm happy to report that his energy was much higher after his system was cleaned out, exactly to the level I would expect from a healthy young black lab.

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