Excerpted from Tova's diary by Leon Adato
On the eve of Tova's first heat, (which we had been anticipating for over 6 months), Tova decided to show us that heat was not such a problem, not such a mess. Especially when compared with diarrhea!

I won't get into the gory details of it all, but I'm happy that I have an airline-style crate, rather than the wire kind. For once, LESS ventilation was a good thing.

However, what to do about this was the question of the day. Well, it was the question for me. For my daughter, the question of the day was "why does it smell so bad in here". For my wife, the question of the day is mostly unprintable, and brings into serious question my relationship with several common household kitchen tools.

After a call to the breeder... OK, really it was after:
1. Straining my back lifting the crate and dog as a whole unit (I could have SWORN I said I was going to stop doing that!)
2. Carrying it out to the garage
3. Soaking dog, owner, and crate to the bone, while cleaning very little
4. Enduring continued whithering spousal statements about male-ness in general and myself in particular
5. Assisting in renewed efforts to actually clean the mess while averting near-disaster invoving a certain 2 1/2 year old and the aforementioned mess.

After all that, I called the breeder who directed me to buy kaopectate chewable tablets. Which I drove off to do while wife and children left the house for the relative calm of a sale at K-Mart.

Now I should take a moment to mention that my wife's background is in the medical field, while I spent 4 years and many thousand dollars in New York pursuing a degree in Theater. My wife currently works in the field of medicine. I currently work as a computer geek. This should translate to the reader in the following way:
1. I can present a really entertaining rendition of the class "DOS is your Friend"
2. You never want me shopping for any medical supplies

So, although I was explicitly instructed to purchase chewable tablets, I bought adult capsules instead. Ignorant of this, I blythely proceeded home, toward certain disaster.

Up to this point, the only medical experience Tova and I had faced together were visits to the vet (where, at most, I was asked to "sit in the waiting room and not break things") and offering her the monthly HeartGuard brick, which Tova, despite repeated doses, confuses for candy and snaps up, occaisionally causing me to re-count fingers just to make sure.

Back in the garage, I happily (if somewhat cautiously) extended my hand with the two caplets, figuring these would be confused, if not for crunchy treats, then perhaps hard candy.


An unimpressed dog wanders away, eyeing the garden hose hanging on the wall with suspicion.

Maybe she just needs a taste to get her going. I jam a caplet past her front teeth, waiting to hear satisfied crunching noises.

You know that "picky eater" dog food commercial with the basset hound? The one where he spits the kibble out and watches it riccochet around the kitchen?

Just like that, only now I have a caplet-sized dent in my car.

Just as visions of syringes begin to dance in my head, I remember an old trick I saw a girlfriend do in high-school with her cocker-spaniel (no, not THAT trick!). I race inside and grab the tub of peanut butter. Not just a regular tub, either. My wife shops for *duration*, so these are the econo-size jobs.

Now I am faced with the delimma of one pill or two. Opting to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible, I dunk both pills together into the peanut butter jar, coming up with a plum-sized glorp of pb. Forcing Tova's mouth open with the other hand, I skillfully jam the gooey mass into her mouth. Then I take both hands and hold her mouth shut for a moment.

Glufflle......shluck shluck!

Two pearly white pills clatter to the garage floor. I look irately at my dog, who sports a satisfied smile to go with the peanut butter smeared over the left side of her face. Remember, I used BOTH hands to hold her mouth shut.

Not content to be stupid once, I decide to try again. So I pick up the (now pasty-wet) pills, grab the container, and dunk again. Same result, except that the sound the pills make on exit is now more of a "splut" that a "click".

I admit defeat, spray down the half of the dog now covered in peanut butter, and go inside to clean up the half of me now covered in peanut butter.

My wife returns to survey the scene. It doesn't take long after "why are two pills missing from this box?" for her to get the rest of the picture. With a smile that only triumphantly superior wives can wear, she grabs a pill in one hand, the dog in the other. It is not lost on me that peanut butter, or any other condiment for that matter, is conspicuously absent. One pill goes to the back of the throat, and the muzzle is gently held closed. While rubbing her throat, my wife croons to the dog in the same voice she used to wake me up at 2:00am when our newborn puppy was crying to go out. Gently, nicely, with just a hint of a razor blade waiting in the wings. Tova rolls her eyes and gives a "Oh, you want me to *swallow*! Why didn't you say so?" look, and ....gluck....down goes pill one. Pill two goes even faster.

I now have a month's worth of PBJ sandwiches to eat.

Leon Adato
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