A Shag Rug and The Number 2

When I first moved to Savannah, my Dad did me a solid and offered to buy me some furniture so I wouldn’t have to sit indian style on my apartment floor while I ate my shrimp-flavored Ramen noodles. He took me to Rooms to Go and let me pick out a couch, a matching chair, and a set of tables. Because I was such a wonderful kid and made his heart swell with pride for starting pharmacy school, he even let me get a matching shag rug to go with the set. It was the best rug.

That living room set endured a hell of a lot.

One Sunday night, while I was diligently studying for Biochemistry, I left Baron (my miniature American Eskimo) unattended on the floor playing with his toys. He had been to the bathroom and was playing peacefully until bedtime… or so I thought. Suddenly, a horrendous smell crept through my olfactory, past my blood brain barrier. It was so offensive it cauterized my nostril hairs and resulted in a Niagra-esque cascade of tears. In search of the source of the odor, I scanned the room until my eyes fixated on my sweet little puppy. When our gaze met, he immediately interpreted this as an invitation to run batcrap crazy around the room. Before I could form the “N” in “NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!” he blazed past me, running circles, all over the rug, all over the couch, all over me, creating an all-encompassing vortex of sh*t and stink.

What I soon discovered was that Baron had produced the foulest of all poops on the rug (my beautiful rug), then proceeded to run circles through it more efficiently than any NASCAR driver I know… thus distributing it evenly all over the room. My fluffy white dog was now a gradient of doo-doo brown from his tip toes to his ears, and a feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me. I wept.

At this time, I concluded that there were 2 things that had to happen… Clean the dog. Clean the living room. Not in that order. Well, maybe in that order.

I grabbed the dog and threw him in the bathroom and slammed the door (as if he understood). I paced. I grabbed the cleaning supplies and emptied a bottle of Arm and Hammer on the carpet/rug/couch/chair. I called my Mom.

I’m sure she thought I was dying.


Mom: “Okay. Baron. Number 2. Test. Gotcha. I’m on my way.”

And just like that, my Mother came to my rescue… all the way to Savannah. Mom of the freaking year.

I managed to wipe away my tears and wrangle Baron into the bathtub. I am pretty sure it was the worst bath of his life (and certain it was the worst bath of MY life). I uncapped the pet shampoo and covered him with the entire bottle. He was not happy, but neither was I. Unmerciful, yes. Cruel, no.

And I didn’t make an A on that Biochemistry test… or even a B that time… but I learned valuable lesson even more important than purine and pyrimidine synthesis…

Tears won’t wash away crap… but 16 ounces of “Perfect Coat: White Pearl”, 2 bottles of “Arm and Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Removal”, a roll of paper towels, and a phone call to Mama can sanitize even the most unfortunate “shituations”.


FYI… My arms aren’t that hairy… (that’s my Dad giving Baron a bath in the sink).
Baron now lives with my parents… NO, not because he made number 2 on my rug. I still love Baron very much. After my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and underwent a radical prostatectomy, he was forced into retirement. You could tell it was really weighing on him. When I visited home, he seemed to thoroughly enjoy the company of my dog, Baron. When I moved home for advanced rotations, my Dad became very attached to him, so when I left home again (this time permanently), I let Baron stay. While it was heartbreaking to give away my sweet little bundle of fluff, I knew it was a sacrifice that would be worth it for my Dad. Those two are inseparable and spend every minute together. I’ve never seen either of them happier… and by the way, my Dad has been completely cancer free for over 4 years now. 🙂

Thank You Toe Much!

Today was less than pleasant. I had pretty high hopes that my new podiatrist would give me better news about my “funky toe”, but alas, he did not. The “funky toe” has been a part of my life for several years now, and it has become somewhat of a running joke between me and the BF. After a botched ingrown surgery, it started growing sideways. I have lived with it for several years albeit it’s unpleasant aesthetics. However, lately it has become a woe of a toe. After two courses of medicine, they ruled out an infection, and my poor deformed toe had no hopes of recovery. It was forever destined to be about as straight as Richard Simmons.

Sitting in the Podiatrist’s office is always awkward. It is for certain that I will be the youngest person there, and without contest, smell the best. It’s one of those places where you cringe before you sit, and hang your head in shame because you, too, are amongst the great unwashed. You are all there together… with your funky feet.

Of course, there are always those who want to swap those knee-slapping fun foot stories. An elderly woman made small talk with me about her compression stockings. Unfortunately for her, she searched for sympathy in an unlikely place. I pretty much told her to suck it up, because I wore them every day when I worked retail pharmacy for 12 hour shifts. Yes, putting them on is like trying to stuff a sausage down a drinking straw. Yes, they feel like demons are swallowing your legs whole. Yes, their ugliness makes one heck of a good birth control. But it’s either that or cankles. Choose your battles.

I sat down in the chair. Shamefully, I stared at “funky toe”. The Pod came in and presented me with two displeasing options: (1) We remove the nail and see if grows back correctly or (2) We remove the nail and it never grows back. I don’t think he understood the gravity of this decision… I am 27 years old. I love shoes. He doesn’t realize how important that toenail is to me. My shoes require it to be there… to be pink, blue, red, gold, or grey… with polka-dots or chevron… I told him I’d think about it and left.

After walking to the parking lot, I saw that it was pouring rain. Sigh. I thought about it. Might as well go back inside and get my toenail yanked off, right?

I sat back down in the chair. He proceeded to enter the office with a syringe of lidocaine. The needle was only about as long as my middle finger, and that was pretty much all I wanted to give him back after he stabbed my toe three times with it. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and said, “You just wait right here.” Like I was going to limp off somewhere, with my neuropathic great toe. As I watched my  toe swell up to the size of a potato, I silently wept inside.

He came back in and grabbed some sort of metal contraption and I looked away. I felt a pressure, heard a pop, and he said “there we go!” Oh, TOE! It was gone and it looked wretched. He started explaining the regrowth expectancy (a year) and the wound care component of the process and I zoned out… all I could think about was no more open-toed shoes for the next… Wait… What?! The NEXT YEAR!?!

After writing a check for $250 for this highly educated man to literally rip my toenail off with a pair of pliers, I collected my Rx for some Tylenol #3’s and Keflex. I sulked out of the office and limped to my car, staring at my foot the entire way, looking at the hideous thing wrapped up in Coban tighter than a rubberband around a walrus.

Then I had lunch… with a piece of Key Lime cake… and mourned my loss. As of yet, the toe is regaining it’s feeling and I’m about ready to make myself a codeine milkshake and toast to the life of my toenail. Here’s toe you, may shoe rest in piece.

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