Doggone In-laws (#177)

These yogurt-covered almonds don’t look like they produce a deadly gas, do they?

Our rescue dogs learned a lot of commands and tricks — sit, down, stay, roll over, etc. Their favorite command was  “vacuum.” Woofie, our Dane-Lab mix, would eat anything — even rocks. (He couldn’t digest rocks — or cabbage, or corn cobs — but he’d still eat them. And then throw them up, of course. Preferably on the nice carpet. Or my shoes.) Our other dog, Fey, spent her puppyhood scavenging on the streets of South Central Los Angeles. If it was edible, Fey ate it. If Andy dropped food on the kitchen floor while cooking, all he had to do was yell: “Fey! Woofie! Vacuum!”

The dogs raced to the kitchen and gulped down whatever was on the floor. Fey was partial to meat, while Woofie loved tortilla chips and carrots.

When my Chinese-American in-laws came for an extended visit, our large dogs made Andy’s father nervous. After a few days, Jay realized the dogs would not, in fact, eat him. (Whether or not the reverse was true, I will leave open to your interpretation.)

Fey was seventy pounds. Woofie was eighty pounds. Jay, at maybe a hundred pounds, still took precautions. He carried food with him wherever he went. If Woofie got too close, Jay would drop a piece of food, then move away while Woofie devoured it. Woofie, no dummy, soon followed this marvelous new mobile vending machine everywhere, drooling. By the time Jay left, Woofie was ninety pounds.

Now, just because my rescues could eat anything didn’t mean they should. When I spotted Jay feeding Woofie yogurt-covered almonds, I intervened.

“Jay, Jay, those nuts really aren’t that good for a canine digestive system. Neither is the dairy.” I handed him some milkbones. “Why don’t you give him these instead?”

Jay took the milkbones. I went back to the kitchen. As I worked on dinner and dessert, I was vaguely aware of my father-in-law wandering around the house and yard, trailing a hopeful canine shadow.

A half-hour later, my mother-in-law charged into the kitchen, hand to her nose. “Your dog stinks! He is always farting! Fart, fart, fart!”

Great. I found the milkbones on the patio table, untouched. I found Woofie nose-nudging the half-full bag of almonds in the living room, which Jay had abandoned in favor of watching TV in the guest room. I absconded with the abandoned almonds and put them into the kitchen trash. Woofie watched, his brown eyes filled with reproach. I felt guilty until he passed more gas. A most foul gas. I opened a window. I t wasn’t enough. I opened another window and turned on the hood fan.

Five minutes later, my mother-in-law decided to be helpful.

“You are so busy cooking, I can take out the trash,” she declared.

“Thanks, Sunny. Wait. On second thought, it’s really heavy, and I should–”

Too late. Sunny was already staring into the trash bag. “Aaiyah! You are throwing away the almonds?! But that is perfectly good food!”

“It’s good for humans, but—”

“Well, it is no good for anyone now!” Sunny stalked out of the kitchen with the trash. Great. Now I had proven that I was a less-than-frugal daughter-in-law, which is less than desirable to Chinese-American parents. I sighed, watching through the window as Woofie followed Sunny into the backyard, where Fey stood guard against potential squirrel invasions.

Fey trotted up to Sunny, tail wagging. Sunny patted Fey on the head. Then she smiled and reached into the trash bag.

“Here you go, doggies,” she crooned. “They were in the trash, but you don’t care, right?”

And she scattered the remaining yogurt-covered almonds all over the patio.

“Noooooo!” I shrieked, running outside. “No! NO VACUUM!”

Only I’d never taught my dogs “No vacuum.” The 150 Pound Combined Canine Food Inhaler continued vacuuming at maximum speed.

“Leave it!” I yelled, remembering a command I had taught them. “Woofie, leave it, Fey, leave it!”

Too late. The almonds were gone. Doggie methane production began in earnest.

It didn’t stop for 24 hours.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

16 thoughts on “Doggone In-laws (#177)”

  1. OMG! or should it be oh my dog? This is hysterical. I don’t know who is funnier — your in-laws or your dogs. I have a cat farter and you don’t want to be in the same county with her when she starts.

    1. Thanks, Kate. Yeah, all of them are a laugh riot. Or a dose of laughing gas! Fey is worse than Woofie, by far, but she spends more time outside. When they are inside at night, though…ugh!

  2. I can relate. I had a beagle who was a canine vacuum. He once ate an entire cherry pie and then vomited cherry pie filling all over the house. Mostly between the cushions of the couch.

  3. I pity you for those 24 hours. The air must have been very bad, and I hope Sunny and Jay weren’t too concerned with that…after all, Sunny is to blame… All the windows open in the house for the next day I hope. My Chinese grandma would love to feed her big dogs things like pork and chicken head leftovers from Chinese banquets, and really anything left over from such massive dinners. She called them dog treats. The dogs loved them and they even ate up all the bones.

    1. pork and chicken are fine for most dogs, although the rubbery bones of cooked chickens can contract and then expand in life-threatening ways for dogs and cats. But Fey ate all kinds of bones she wasn’t supposed to and was fine. I had to wrestle a drumstick out of her mouth more than once.

  4. Nooooo! Hahaha. Nico also eats anything that drops on the floor. Or anything that she can find on the street. Including small plastic bags that contained steamed buns that some porky person ate and later threw on the ground. Corn cobs too, and she doesn’t vomit them, so she must digest them… She loves all kind of vegetables, including raw onion :/

  5. Who would have thought! I would have expected a tummy ache not a stink bomb. What a sorry state when you have to depend on the training and obedience of your dogs to counteract the lack of same in the in-laws!

    1. Well, the dogs didn’t mind. And I suppose the noxious gas clouds they created did serve as natural consequences for my in-laws. Sadly, though, they never could admit their complicity.

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