Game of Malts

It actually started last night.

I was innocently reclined in my easy chair, munching a Krispy Kreme donut and watching Game of Thrones alongside the fur-nugget when the Alpha Japanese Female was afflicted with a wicked case of what we suspect was food poisoning.


Shameless attempt to monetize the Malt.

In minutes, she was locked in the bathroom erupting from both ends like Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion after a big night at Taco Bell. Suffice to say, the AJF was not sparking joy.


I claim temporary insanity when I tell you that I foolishly shouted through the bathroom door about the obvious parallels between the Iron Throne and her Porcelain Throne.

I allowed that if those noises kept up I’d probably have to move North. Sounds like winter is coming. Yeah, I tossed in a few fiery dragon jokes, too, just to keep the Game of Thrones humor rolling along.


Taco Bell? Hey Mom…howzabout some nice, spicy jalapeno poppers?

My final line was “Hey hon, remember, when you play a Game of Thrones you win or you die.” I thought that one was pretty good.

She was not amused.

In fact, by the time she finally slayed her digestive dragons and retreated to bed I had been repeatedly condemned to join Daenerys, Cirece, Jaime and the rest of the gang in the punishing flames of King’s Landing. I started to get nervous.

I prepared for sleep fully expecting the next day to be a bitter one.

Oh, I should probably also mention that I forgot to start the dishwasher before retiring, a capital offense in this household especially when the AJF’s final (polite) words were “Don’t forget to…” Yeah, yeah.

Things got worse. I just knew they would.

As I made the rounds, turning off the lights and whatnot, I noticed a strange deposit on the floor in one of the guest bedrooms. Closer inspection identified the material as good old fashioned dog poo.

I was pretty sure who bore responsibility so I called the likely culprit to the scene of the crime and roundly upbraided him, even though accidents by Max are almost – like 99% – unheard of.

As usual, he ignored my imprecations, went to the master bedroom, and climbed up his dog stairs into bed seeking comfort from his Dog Mom who was still growling at me like an offended Direwolf for my alleged insensitivity.

As the old joke goes…what’s the difference between a Direwolf and an angry AJF? Lipstick.


Artist impression of AJF in the Porcelain Throne Room.

Somewhere along the line I even got blamed for Max dropping the Baby Ruth on the carpet.

Sucking it up, I grabbed my cleaning materials and sanitized the floor where Max had left his signature calling card. It was now after 11:30pm, past my bedtime, and I was ready to cut my losses.

It doesn’t end there, oh no.

Next morning, when Max awoke he was in his usual happy-dog frame of mind and bounded from the bed down his doggie stairs. Halfway to the bottom he fell off the stairs and there came a high pitched yelp. How a dog falls off stairs is a puzzle I leave to you.

Sore Paw 1

As the cowboy dogs say, “I’m looking for the man that hurt my paw.”

He stood holding his left paw high off the ground, obviously in pain. He resisted any attempt at my touching his lower leg. I checked as best I could but was unable to identify any specific injury.

I took him to the yard for his morning constitutional and told him to “walk it off” and “rub some dirt on it” but that plan didn’t work.

Paw up 3

Instructions: 1) always keep 3 paws on the ground at the same time.

The morning pee process was both pitiful and funny. Mr. Coordination tried to lift his back leg without lowering his sore front leg at which point he simply fell over, a weeble that wobbled too much. Come to think of it, this was perhaps a clue as to how a dog can fall off stairs.

I snagged an early appointment at the Vet’s. Needless to say, I was on a solo mission because the spousal unit was a) feeling weak and b) still mightily pissed off at me. She had also just discovered the dishwasher full of dirty dishes which did little to introduce peace and light to the household.

Max had X-rays taken and some blood work done, the latter, I suspect, simply to increase overall revenues for the dog doctor. I waited and watched as other dog patients came and went including an enormous Doberman on a short lead that pulled a vet tech across the waiting room like she was water skiing. Good times.

While the Furball was in the back with the Vet, the ever-friendly desk staff presented their estimate of fees for “the proposed treatment plan” which is the white table cloth version of “fixing your dog’s foot.”

To put it in perspective, the bill was equivalent to roughly 15 cases of really good beer. I took one look, grasped my chest and responded, “This is the big one! I’m comin’ Elizabeth!”

Finally, Doctor Fee McFeeFace came out carrying the agility-free little animal. She said that after an extensive examination, palpitations, and x-rays she could find no sign of trauma and most likely “your little dog probably just stubbed one of his little toes really hard.”

“What? Are you kidding me? $300 for a stubbed dog toe?”

Jeezumcrow, if I didn’t like the little bad actor so much I’d step on his foot just to get my money’s worth.

They handed over some pain meds and an anti-inflammatory, both of which I immediately swallowed. No, I kid. I pocketed them, listened to the dosing schedule, paid the bill and prepared to depart with bitter tears in my eyes.

“Here, sir, take along a doggie treat. Max was such a good patient.”

We got in the car and headed home bracing for the reception I might receive.

“Oh, my sweet summer child,” Max murmured, “what do you know of fear?”


53 replies

  1. OMG! I’m laughing so hard the tears are rolling down my legs! Ummmm, I’m calling them tears…..that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    First, my sympathies to the AJF. I’ve had more than one occasion when the ‘up elevator’ and the ‘down elevator’ were “out of order” at the same time. 😡 I’d rather have a root canal without novacaine!

    And poor Max. He had a near death experience and dad wants him to “rub some dirt on it”! You know, I would be afraid of what the AJF and Max might be cooking up for you……very, very afraid! Lol.

    So glad Max didn’t suffer anything serious. I hope both patients are feeling fit as a fiddle now. And I hope you have a quick recovery from the vet bill. 🤗
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    • As we speak, both are prostrate on the bed wondering what I will prepare for dinner. Frankly, I’m intimidated because nothing will suffice. I could cook a Beef Wellington or Coquilles St. Jacques and it will fail to make up for my intemperate expressions of humor. I am truly in the, cough, doghouse. Take pity on me, Ginger. I am doomed.


      • I’m afraid you really stuck your paw in your mouth this time Tom! Perhaps if you can get yourself infested with fleas, and endure an endless night of the AJF and Max making light of it, your situation might even out a little! But I wouldn’t hold my breath!! 😂😂
        🐾Ginger 🐾

        Liked by 1 person

  2. haha! Payback is hell, buddy! Oh, dear. Did I say that out loud? I meant to say, “My sympathies, Tom. Sorry for this stroke of bad luck you are having.” Poor AJF. Poor, poor Max. Hehehe, Tom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whatever possessed you!
    If that is what an intake of Krispy Kreme doughnuts does for you I can only be thankful that they are not distributed in Costa Rica…the place is wild enough as it is…
    But you could try the Costa Rican penal system in respect of the canine calling card. Should you accuse his lordship here you would be asked if you had seen him do it. No? Case dismissed. You could try blaming the occupant of the porcelain throne…but I wouldn’t take that course without having a suitcase packed and a destination arranged.
    Poor Max! Stubs his toe, gets no sympathy, is dragged to the vet and is now awaiting his evening meal, though after the eye watering experience you had at the vet’s office it looks as if that might be a dish of bitter herbs.
    Whatever you do, do not serve Krispy Kremes after the effect they had on you…
    And for goodness’ sake remember to start the dishwasher…I should miss your posts should you forget to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know what sometimes gets into me. I’ll be paying for my foolishness for a long time. Tonight I was told there *might* be some leftovers in the refrigerator that I could have for dinner. Max got a special meal cooked for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry, I’m with the AJF on this one. The Baby Ruth and vet bill were the karmic bill for your jokes through the bathroom door. 😂 Max is as adorable as ever. I’m glad his paw is ok.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t figure out why the Fuzzybutt dropped one inside the house. It’s such a rare event. Even as a puppy Max was very good about his, uh, functions. He holds grudges so it could be retaliation for a previous slight.


  5. I’ve looked in my crystal ball. I see that some grovelling will be required – and that’s just to get on the right side of Max! You are in the wrong about absolutely everything and will remain that way for quite some time! Be brave and keep your ‘jokes’ to yourself for a few weeks and you may yet survive. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s becoming increasingly clear that the population of WordPressians have turned on me like merciless vipers. I am a man without support. Even the Great Pyrenees has showed me the sharp side of her tongue. Can I get any respect and sympathy at all? I fear not.

      “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless WordPress Blog”
      —-Billy Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 4, King Lear:

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG! So funny! I was cracking up! I do have to empathize with the AJF as I have been that exact dragon in the Porcelain Throne receiving petty barbs and/or cold pity through the door (although my ACF likened me to an afflicted dinosaur (how she knows what a sick allosaurus sounds like is beyond me). However, I have also been the maligner on the other side of the door. That part’s really devilishly fun. Even if you have to sleep outside for a few days.

    Hope the little White Lion’s paw recovers quickly. And of course, sincere best wishes to the AJF! May a rotten donut never grace her breakfast table ever again.

    “Elizabeth! I’m comin’ ta join ya!” TOO TOO FUNNY. Thanks sincerely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Finally! At last! A WordPressian of rare discernment, balanced perspective and fair mind. Oh that empathy feels so warm and snuggly and as refreshing as the tears of my critics. So far, there has not been any significant improvement in the White Lion’s stubbed paw. Of course, he could be acting. He does love his drama and getting carried around the house. He also has his pain meds and he gets a sleepy, dopey look after a quarter tab of Tramadol. He may be enjoying the buzz too much. Early days so we’ll wait and see a bit more. The AJF is back in fine and unforgiving fettle. My cooking skills are improving.


  7. You slay me! Good job carrying the theme throughout. So sorry about little Max’s foot. Hopefully it’s just a soft tissue injury (which diagnosis is probably worth the vet fee after xrays and blood work-just saying). We had a similar thing happen last summer to Sam. Unfortunately it was the emergency after hours vet which is more than 3 times the regular ripping off…err…diagnosis and treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do love me some good cello – one of my fave instruments! Thanks for the link. You’re probably right that it’s a soft tissue injury. I scoured his x-rays along with the Vet and I couldn’t see even a hint of bone damage. I’m sure he’ll be okay soon. His eyes are bright and shiny, nose is wet and twitchy and overall is attitude is good. He’s mastering life as a tripod with dubious success. Today he started up to chase a SQUIRREL!!! but promptly fell over as he forgot he was three-legged.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just can’t think of any words to add to those that have already been spoken here. You, my friend, are in deep doodoo for this one. And Poor Little Sir Max seriously needs some treats and pets. A sore paw is not something to be taken lightly in the doggie world, you know! Maverick says to get him some Gracie’s liver treats or cheese curds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t think of any words? Well, you might have at least considered some encouraging words to the author of this tale, maybe an atta-boy for journalistic honesty and comforting susurations for all the abuse I’ve been taking. But noooooooo….dogpile! Right now it’s my liver that is being sacrificed but perhaps soon I’ll get some of Gracie’s per Maverick’s instructions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • perhaps if you go get some of Gracie’s liver treats, it will help. And atta-boy for honesty, although I’m pretty sure your wife didn’t appreciate your description of her condition. 🙂


  9. A truly empathetic hubby would, after seeing his wife with stuff comping out of all the holes in her body, would have rushed to the fridge and scarfed up the container of half eaten Mexican dinner from four months ago and joined her

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did give some thought to what noble and symbolic gesture I could make to express solidarity with the AJF. I decided to eat the rest of the Krispy Kremes to protect her. You know, just in case one of those glazed joy-nuggets was a secret vector of e coli or something. You can call me a hero.


  10. HA!!! snort-laughing here! 😀 Excellent write!!! Fun read!!! 🙂
    I gotta’ say, Poor YOU, for all YOU had to go through! 😉 AJF and Max are so lucky to have YOU in their lives! 😉 😛 😈 😀
    It sounds like Game of Trots at your place, to me! HA! But, I’m sure AJF and Max might not find my sense of humor funny, either.
    I really hope Max and AJF are feeling fit now!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh man! You like dancing close to the edge don’t ya?! For future reference, if your beautiful wife ever has a repeat of that night, it is your duty to keep your mouth closed, offer water and blankets, completely deny having heard any noises from the bathroom at all and remind her that she is, in your eyes, still a goddess.
    Poor little Max! Maybe his indiscretion was a response to his poor Mom feeling so unwell? Dogs are the ultimate empaths after all.
    We had Poppy back and forth to the vet because she was limping badly. Turned out her little knees joints are popping in and out and grinding bone against bone. We got the anti inflammatory pills too which proved a royal pain in the ass to get into her but it looks like surgery might be the inevitable solution. You should see the vet bill we have just for this year so far… it’d get more than a few cases of good beer… champagne more like!
    Hugs to my fav little Malt and best wishes to your long suffering spouse! X

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Goodness! Your intestines were spared, but your wallet was not. Owning dogs ain’t cheap, my friend. Our Tonto had his second eye out this month, and as you described Max trying to do his morning pee, I was reminded of Tonto, under the influence of his three meds, not being able to balance enough on three legs to lift the other the morning after. It was hard enough, trying to find a bush at all with a sutured eye and total blindness, so he finally gave up and peed like a girl. Bless his heart. $300 sounds like crazy talk for a stubbed toe. Each eye removal was a grand apiece. You are a good dog Papa, if not an irresponsible husband who can’t remember chore duties. 😉 I hope Max is doing well now! And surely the AJF is back to normal. She’s lucky if she missed the final GOT anyway, so I hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor Tonto. When I meet a blind doggo and see how well they adapt to their condition I am reminded of the famous D.H. Lawrence poem:

      I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

      Reminds me to quit whining at get on with life despite challenges and adversities. Like when the WordPressians turn against you for innocent humor about spousal bodily functions.

      So far, little progress on the “stubbed paw” matter. I’m suspecting it may be something else and we’ll have to drag the Malt back in for a follow up. It’s never simple, is it?


      Liked by 1 person

  13. Just a quick Vet ‘observation’, I swear that if they have the equipment then they have to use it. My 11 yr old (castrated) dog was Ultrasounded and they confirmed that he was not going to have puppies! Blood tests and large bill and now twice daily pills for life due to low thyroid activity. But he’d get our last Euro.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you were relieved to learn Mister Doggo wasn’t pregnant. I’d have been hard pressed not to ask the Vet if a second opinion was warranted. And now, off for another Vet visit!


  14. Makes me wonder how many times the signature calling has been dropped lol i sympathize … the in-laws, kandi-bar, a sweet yorkie puppy (whom we have named fondly as such bc of her signature 🤪) has done the same to us this morning hahah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kandi-Bar…I love it! I wish I could think of imaginative names like that. Max was almost called Tofu but the AJF nixed that for reasons unknown. Anyway, the Malt, almost since birth, has been incredibly good about his house training which is odd because Malts are a notoriously hard breed to house train. I’d say over almost 12 years that Max has laid a loaf, dropped a log and/or other euphemisms about 3 or 4 times, max. Uh Max. 🙂


  15. 😂😂 I love how you tell the stories . My sympathies were with AJF. Glad Max was ok too in the end. Munch did exactly thesabe to us when we were over 200 miles from home and needed a vets visit but he was totally fine 🙈


  16. They could have at least put a tiny little cast on his cute little paw and given you some tiny crutches to go with it. It might not have done him any good but it would have made you feel better…see there was really something wrong here!

    So sorry for the AJF. Hope the horrible evening is a distant memory left unremembered!


  17. Poor Max! And you! It probably sucks to fall off the stairs, but surely a few more rounds of walking-it-off and dirt-rubbing would’ve done the trick.

    On a positive note, he looks phenomenal in that fancy Krispy Kreme attire. I think The Bigly Bestest Doggie might need one of those…


  18. Max must have a secret thing for the vet, or he’s spotted the pooch of his dreams there. Ours rarely go to the vet. However, I could see my son being a bit like Max when it comes to going to school in the morning. I bet he keeps a tube of Visine handy so he can look all weepy in the eyes. “Mum, I don’t feel well.” He played 7 hours of lasertag today but Dad’s got three days off so he’s going to luck out. Off to school.
    Best wishes,


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