SWF seeks That Person


The moment I opened the door, I knew. The air was different. I just knew.

Throwing my purse and lunch bag to the couch, I made a beeline for her kennel, calling her name as I went. “Foxy? Foxy, are you okay?” I was sure of what I would find when I got to her, but had no idea the extent of the damage – until I crouched down and saw it with my own eyes.

I was immediately on the phone with the emergency vet.

“Hello, I have an emergency. Actually, it’s not an emergency-emergency, but just this thing that’s happened and my dog is in her kennel and I don’t know what to do.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “Slow down.”

“I mean, everything’s okay, it’s just that my dog – ”

“Do you have an emergency?”

“No. I mean yes! I mean, I don’t know. My dog is sick.”

“Your dog is sick?”


“Is she breathing?”

“Yes – ”

“Is she vomiting?”

“No – ”

“Is she conscious?”


“Is she – ”

“Ma’am, my dog has had an explosion of diarrhea.”

I waited. Silence hung on the line. Finally,

“Is that why you called the emergency vet?”

I explained to her that my dog had been spayed on Friday, and that the clinic had told me to keep her incision dry at all costs, and that since I’m a rule follower to the fullest extent – I spent years using a full 1” of toothpaste on my toothbrush every time I brushed because that’s what the package told me to do – I wasn’t sure how to clean her without water hitting her belly, and also do you know how much toothpaste I was going through?

“Well, you’ll just need to be careful – keep her incision covered while you wash her off.”

“Ma’am, I don’t think you understand. My dog is covered – covered – in poop. There’s no way I can get her clean without washing every moment of her body.” I thought about some of those… moments… namely the ones beneath the tail… and what it was going to take to get her clean (that is, my own personal fortitude).

“You’ll probably want to get someone to help you. Just keep the incision covered and you’ll be fine. Good luck!”

And that was that.

I scrolled through the contacts in my phone wondering who to call. Because who is That Person? WHO IS THE ONE you count on in moments like these? I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have That Person* – because the yearbook didn’t call them out in the superlatives, “Friend Most Likely to Help Scrub Caked Shit Off Your Dog Whilst Protecting Her Lady Parts.” I knew that this was going to be a solo endeavor.

Like a surgeon in an OR, I prepared the bathroom. Towels – check. Dog shampoo – check. Hair in a ponytail – check. Okay. Let’s bring her in.

I opened the kennel door, and my crap-crusted dog bolted out like her life depended on it. “FOXY!” I screamed, as she tore under the dining room table, hiding between all of the chairs, rubbing poop into the rug. “No! Come here! COME HERE.” I pulled her out from under the table, and we retraced the brown paw prints back to the bathroom.

Friends, someday I will find the words – but tonight’s moments in that bathtub are beyond my current storytelling abilities. I am now familiar with areas of Foxy’s body that, frankly, I never want to think about ever again.

And I’m sure she feels the same way.


*If you are That Person, please let me know. This is an arrangement best decided upon in advance, like the meeting place for your family if your house burns down or where you’ve stashed the fake passport when you need to make a run for it.



  1. Peg Achterman on January 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Oh Annie – if I lived in Denver I WOULD be that person*. Poor you – poor Foxy. I hope the above is an “after” picture. And I hope you had a bottle of wine sitting around and that you have consumed several glasses of it.
    *Note: I am the person for clean ups, house maintenance issues, some car issues (at least rescues), ER visits (human and pet) – I am NOT that person for anything fashion-related. And kind of questionable on dating issues – but I can say “I’m sorry” and “he’s a S#%T with the best of ’em.
    But then again – I’m in Seattle. I have no doubt there are “persons” in Denver for you too.

  2. Hilary on January 20, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Annie! You should have called me. Let’s just say that now that I’ve delivered two human beings into the world and subsequently seen my share of “explosions,” if you know what I mean, my personal fortitude is high. Plus, my policy for all dog-doo-cleaning calls is to bring a bottle of wine. So–DUH–I’m clearly a strong candidate for the position of Your Person.

  3. Michael on January 20, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Love you, Sweet Pea. Alack, I live too far away :-(

  4. Peg Achterman on January 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I KNEW Hilary would be one of your Denver people!

  5. Janelle from Canada on January 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Ugh… Totally would have been your person! I blame Canada on this one, friend :(

  6. Brent on January 20, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    I really really like you, Annie. And if things were different, easier, you know… But I just don’t think we’re at that stage yet. I need time, before I can really commit to, you know, cleaning the dog poop from your rug and holding the uteran opening and all. I guess I’m saying, let’s just be friends.

  7. Pat Cassidy on January 20, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    I’m not that person! I’m sorry but I can’t stop laughing–your writing skills are amazing Annie! Probably best to buy a new house. :)

  8. Christine Crowe on January 21, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Oh Annie! Is Foxy okay? I’ve had those moments with my pup, not fun. Good work doggie mama!

  9. Sarah on January 21, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    So not that person, sorry. I agree w/Pat – your ability to paint pictures w/words is pretty phenomenal. Glad all is well :).

  10. Major on January 21, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Ms. Parsons,

    Im THAT PERSON. I have stories that I can’t post publicly due to FCC regulations. However, if you ever find yourself in that situation again and you can’t wait the 45 min it would take me to get there…You can do a lot with two bread bags and some rubber bands. Think surgeon gloves that go beyond your elbows.

    Call me next time.


  11. Gina Nykerk on January 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I clearly have not told you about the time Elijah projectile vomited (no exaggeration) all over the table and floor at The Hornet – and even though grandparents and parents were in tow (granted, Angie was a partial recipient of the projectile) I – yes me, the Aunt – cleaned up ALL of it, to much appreciation from the bus boy. All that to say, friend, dog s**t don’t scare me. I may not always be available to help but you don’t ever hesitate to call me. I would be honored to be that person for you. :-)

  12. [not the] Best Blog Ever on January 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Ohhhhh… Poor Foxy. POOR ANNIE.

    For the record, I am not Your Person. I’m sorry. I can’t even handle my own kids’ vomit, for Pete’s sake. My husband handles the vomit and really bad blow-outs; I handle the blood.

    You have my permission to call him next time, should need arise.

  13. mom on January 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Gina Nykerk – you are a hero! SERIOUSLY!

  14. Alexis on January 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Oh man. This is hilarious! Poor you. Unfortunately, this story feels too familiar. Like the night we left Finn the puppy in his kennel while we went to a baseball game. And it was hot in our house…I guess too hot…we don’t have air conditioning. And we came home to an explosion of diarrhea. We could smell it the minute we opened the door. It was in the crate, out the crate windows, all over the puppy. Finn bolted the minute we opened his crate and we ran after us, gagging, trying to keep him away from everything. And there we were at midnight, hosing down a crate and a puppy in our back yard. Gagging. Yeah, fun times. If I lived in Co I’d be your “that person” cause I understand. Sh*t happens.

  15. Paul Parsons on January 21, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    We live 58 miles north of you and will come prepared to hold our breath and cleanse the dog of all horrors. By the way, did you read Becca’s FB post today? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . so are they sharing germs?

  16. The J to your AM on January 21, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    AHhhhhhhhhhhh! Phenomenal. So sorry… I can taste the smell from Detroit! Doggie diarrhea is the foulest smell on earth. I’ll be on the lookout for some Glade coupons to send your way! Lerrrve you:)

  17. Joey on January 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Big thanks to Major for the bread bag idea. That’s some next level poop patrolling.

  18. ash on January 22, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    you are an incredible writer. I am cracking up and dry heaving all at once. it must be magic.

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