When A Sign Tells A (Bad) Story

Sometimes a sign does more than just provide information.  Consider this warning bolted to the gate to the pool at our hotel, for example.  Doesn’t it leave you wondering what must have happened, on some grim day in the past, to cause a hotel to post a permanent notice that people who have “active diarrhea” — in itself an extremely evocative phrase — shouldn’t swim in the pool?  The mind reels!

You’d like to think that it’s not necessary for hotels to notify guests that if they are suffering from uncontrollable physical conditions that are inevitably going to soil the water in a communal pool, thy shouldn’t take a dip.  After all, chlorine can only do so much.  But apparently that’s not the case.  It’s just another sign — in this case, a literal one — that the normal code of behavior no longer holds, and the world is going to hell.

A Dog With Diarrhea

When you come home from work and see a can on your kitchen counter of prescription diet food for “canine gastrointestinal health” and instructions from the vet for what to do with “diarrhea/vomiting dogs,” you know you’re in for a fun time.

IMG_1773Obviously, we knew that one of the dogs had a problem, because the signs were everywhere. We also knew that it was Kasey, because if it were Penny the telltale signs would have been a lot larger. Dogs with diarrhea aren’t exactly shy about leaving tangible reflections of their condition wherever they happen to be, or very responsible about cleaning up after themselves. When your dog has diarrhea, there’s not much you can do except shrug with weary resignation, clean things up as best you can, and call the carpet cleaners to schedule a visit.

Our vet doesn’t know what caused the condition. She says it just happens sometimes. No surprise there! If you were somehow able to follow your dog around and list exactly what the dog had deeply smelled, stuck their snout into, eaten, licked, or chewed, you’d be incredibly disgusted and have a list of potential causes of diarrhea that is five pages long. We’ll never know what gave Kasey the trots . . . and that’s probably a good thing.

For that same reason, the first entry in the prescription instructions for “diarrhea/vomiting dogs” — “no food” — struck me as hilarious. Sure, we can control what we put in the food bowl, but no force on earth can restrain Kasey from discovering and promptly snapping up an outdoor poopsicle, a months-old raisin that rolled under the refrigerator, or the remains of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich dropped by one of the little kids across the street that has been ground into the pavement by passing cars.

I’m happy to report that Kasey is better now. The medicine and special food worked, and she’s back to strutting around the house with a spring in her step, pursuing her eternal quest for food with dogged determination. The carpet cleaners are due on Monday.