Can I have two aspirin? Moaned the dog, And a heating pad?

Me: Puppy? What’s wrong?

Dog: I feel like hell.

We’d noticed the dog was not her usual self on Sunday – she was flat out and kinda mopey. I’d thought it was because she’d had an awesome play date Saturday with another dog, but no…

Cat, as usual going from calm to hysterical in seconds: OH MY GOD SHE’S IN HEAT!!

Dog: I have been kinda warm. An’ my tummy hurts.


Beloved: There’s spots of blood on the tile. I think the cat’s right.

Actually, we were clued in by the amazing puppy-sitter who so kindly took her for several hours the day before so we could christen our kayaks at Castaic Lake. When we picked her up, she inquired as to whether Miss M was in heat.

Both of us, puzzled: Um… no… we haven’t seen any signs. We’re hoping she holds off until we leave on vacation in a couple weeks.

The puppy sitter, bless her cotton socks, told us to keep an eye out. Newbies both, we’re clueless – every animal we’ve had has been fixed before it became an issue.

So on Sunday afternoon, we realized our baby was growing up.

The dog looking pensive
Our grown up girl, heading to three weeks of solitude.

Blondie’s Beau (our daughter’s boyfriend) had actually clued us in to how to deal with a dog in heat. At Christmas, he mentioned his parents once had unaltered female dogs, and they used little boys’ tighty whiteys to protect furniture etc. The underpants had a convenient hole through which they could thread the dog’s tail and they fit well.

Shit. Hadn’t thought to purchase little boys’ briefs in anticipation of this blessed event. Nor had I procured other pet supplies for this occasion.

While Beloved called the guide dog facility to let them know (“we’re open until six, bring her in please”), I ran upstairs and knocked briskly on The Boy’s door. For those who don’t know, our son is now 25 and… well… he favors boxer briefs. And they’re not little boy sized, either. However, we do as we must.

A long pause greeted my request. “Um.. why… do you want my underwear?”

“The dog’s in heat. Please.”

Door cracks open, and a pair of the rattiest, most threadbare underpants were thrust into my hands, then the door snapped shut again.

Thank you! I hollered as I sprinted downstairs.

Dog: what you trying to do?

Me: Just raise your back leg.

Dog: why

Me: Just… just do it. Here, lemme help you.

Dog: I don’t understand

Me: Oop, one leg in, let’s get the other one.

Dog: Take this off please

Me: Okay, time to thread the tail… holy moly, how do guys USE these things? — as I tried to find her tail through the access flap. Boy, and I thought bras were awkward. Of course, having come out at 17, I didn’t have much experience in the mysteries of male attire. We learned that when The Boy was six and signed up for Little League. I mean, I’d heard of cups, but the actual application of said appliance? Um… I felt like a guy trying to explain the use of pads.

Fortunately for The Boy, Beloved was familiar given her younger brother, so she took him and helped. The six year old came strutting outta the bathroom, walked up to me and proudly said “Knock on it!”

(Pause). “Excuse me?”

“No, seriously, knock on it!” He was beaming, arms akimbo, and I was baffled. Why… would… I…??

“I’m not gonna knock on that!”

“No, c’mon, knock on it, watch what happens!” He was all first grade eagerness to show off this miracle.

Beloved rolled her eyes. “I’ll knock on it.” She leaned over and rapped on his crotch.

He grinned even wider, amazed at this plastic protection. “See?!! It doesn’t even hurt!”

He was just so pleased at his good fortune and I was kind of weirded out.

Back to the dog. Got the tail through it, although I had to bend it at a bit of an odd angle.

Dog: I do not like this Leave my tail alone

Me: Just until we get into the car, okay? I know it’s kinda saggy. And the legs are way long…

Dog: This should come off now

Me: Hang in there, we’ll be ready to leave in one second.

Dog: If I drag my bottom on the floor, it will come off

Me, pulling up her underpants: Look, I know the elastic is flabby and this is way too big, but trust me, this is a good idea.

Dog: Must. Get. This. Off

Cat, eyes bugging out of her head: I know I call her ding-dong but you don’t need to actually dress her like a clown. And an impoverished one at that.

Me: MaeMae, shut it. Puppy, let’s go.

Dog, planting herself firmly on the floor: Not going out looking like a slobbery clown Must get this off

Me: Not a slobbery clown, an impoverished… never mind. C’mon, stand up, let’s go.

Dog: NO tummy hurts look clowny draggy bumbum NO

She looked so miserable I took them off… and discovered she had expressed her opinion in no uncertain terms.

It’s amazing how stealthily a dog can poop her drawers.

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