Last week Birch ate a rabbit. It was not a leisurely meal, and it was not a small one. Adolescent, perhaps. He dissuaded us from making any attempts to take it, and realizing that was our intention, he wolfed it down whole. Three gulps, top.

Well, I thought, you’re going to pay.

We’re all going to pay.

He was good the whole day! Bouncing around as usual, eager for the midnight snack. When I woke the next morning I found Birch in the hallway, looking peaked, licking his chops, and I suspected that means he’d just hoovered up whatever he’d hurled. And that was the case! On the new carpet, the recently cleaned rug, and he’d dropped a deuce in the sun porch.

Good Mooorrrrrning Vietnam, I guess.

Cleaned that up, figured that might be the worst. The rest of the day Birch was inert. A rug. Oh, he’d get up when the mailman came and bark, but for the most part he was down. Now and then he would stretch in the sun, but it didn’t seem like a lazy spring afternoon joy. He didn’t eat, which was worrisome. Dogs always want to eat. Well, his stomach was upset, and he was also full of bunny. Slopped up a lot of water from time to time.

As the day went on he got inert.

I made him some rice; didn’t touch it. Saturday morning, while I was asleep the Ring chime went off for some reason, and he bounded up from his bed in my studio and barked, and I remember being happy in the dream: he was okay! But I went downstairs and his bowl of rice was untouched. By noon he was still inert, so I called the vet, drove over, put on a fargin’ mask because everything sucks, and handed him off to another masked person.

Because I couldn’t go in the vet’s office because the fargin’ Chinese protocols for virus handling are as keen as a drunk juggler who just lost an eye, I had to stand in the shade of an adjacent building looking at the iPad screen of the X-rays. They revealed he had a gut full of disassociated bunny. Barium was administered, as well as a subcutaneous hydration and a shot to suppress the barf instinct so he didn’t blurt out the Barium.

Also in the r/x: hourly walks to get his system moving. I did two of these, and he did not want to go. I’m sure he didn’t want to go into the big wide world while feeling poorly, but he trotted along - which was heartening, except I realized he just wanted to get home.

Around 8 he started shivering.

Oh criminey. Fever? Texted the vet, who said to take his temp. Went upstairs to search for the digital thermometer, but couldn’t find it - realized it had probably lost power, and I’d tossed it. That left the meat thermometer, which was a bit too pointy. Off to the Walgreen’s On a Saturday night, thinking, for the first time in my life:

They're not going to have a thermometer. I'll go to CVS. They won't have one. Then I'll go to the other CVS. They won't have one, either.

Mask up. Check the medical supplies aisle; nothing. Ask the clerk if they had any. He checked the back; no. But there might be one . . . yes, there was one thermometer left for sale on the top of a shelf by the checkout counter, where they had gloves and sanitizer and disinfectant sprays. Hadn't realized those were back in big quantities.

Back home, lube the spike, up the keister: temp’s normal, so it’s not a fever. Vet said it was probably just massive discomfort at trying to usher the bolus to its reward.

The rest of the night, he’s no better, but goes outside, hops up on a chair, seems a bit better; looks around, alerts to noises. The goes to the grass to lie inert again. That’s where we are now, at 1:07 AM, and we just rolled up all the carpets in case there’s an evacuation in the early hours.

I’ve never had a dog be this sick this long, and it’s horrible. I feel helpless and impotent, and remember when he was just a pup, full of worms and bad things, and I had to take him to the emergency vet because he had gone flat. But he pulled through. The night before Daughter left for Brazil he ate a bag of chocolates and I had to take him to the emergency room. He pulled through.

(Note: the word-processing file in which I wrote this ends with the words "August 4th, 2017." I know what I meant by that. Later, perhaps.)


Look who's got some interest in the world again.

The next day: appetite is ravenous. Spirits high, energy returned.

And every walk is, shall we say, a bunny-redistribution project.




It's 1921.

These are from a tobacco industry journal, to state the obvious.

Life! Not a bad name.

The Patterson Brothers had another product, but they sold the brand in 1905.

Lucky Strikes.

Slyke and Van Horton:

Here’s the factory in 1924.


It’s . . . safe!

This being 1921, it’s possible they’re referring to the spit controversy, although I don’t know if that was an issue yet. Perhaps they just mean it’s made under hygienic conditions.

The Cinco! It’s only Ocho cents!

As you might have noticed, cigars were the big seller. Men smoked cigars. Hence the innumerable brands.

The day of the cigarette was thundering towards all these little players, and I assume would have the same effect as a meteor on the dinosaurs.

The Journal reported that Julius cut the price: two for a quarter.

If you have to ask for the full name, it’s not that well-known.

Now, a peculiar ad. There were several in the journal, and all followed the same format.

The text followed the conventions of the newspaper joke columns - the spacing, the upper-case, the asterisks - a familiar way of telling a story. Looks odd to modern eyes, though.

There’s the payoff - one word in the copy under the small cartoon. And there’s the slogan, waaay back in 1921.

The only brand in the pages I read that’s still around today.

That'll do; see you around.




blog comments powered by Disqus