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The Dog Opens a Vomitorium

vomitoriumAccording to Wikipedia, a vomitorium is “a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheater or a stadium.”

Sometimes Wikipedia just blows all the fun ideas you had about a fact, word or bit of history.  Worse, when you try to edit Wikipedia so that “Fascist” really does mean “anyone who disagrees with you” they remove it.


Anyway, regarding the vomitorium, Wikipedia does mention “there is a common misconception that ancient Romans designated spaces called vomitoria for the purpose of actual vomiting, as part of a binge and purge cycle.”

EXACTLY. That’s the one I’m talking about.

Welcome to the Vomitorium!

Mike and I were getting ready to take the dog, Gordon Labradoodle, for a walk yesterday when he started licking his lips. A lot. Usually, when he’s about to barf, he’ll start licking like he has a bit of tissue stuck to the end of his tongue.

“Are you going to barf?” I asked him.

He tried to ignore me, which was weird, because normally he’d answer me.  Then he crooked his neck down and looked up at me with those “I am SO going to barf,” eyes.

Before I could do anything, he started gagging the dog #1 Billboard hit, “Hrmph hrmph hrmph” like an engine that wouldn’t turn over.

As is my custom, I made a death lunge for the nearest thing that could catch barf. A towel, a worn shirt, several socks scrunched together, paper, the iPad; I’ve employed a plethora of barf catching tools in the past. Usually, this maneuver is done in the dead of night when I’m half asleep, so I felt way ahead of the game.

I spotted a used hand towel just a foot from the future Scene of the Vomiting. Clearly, Lady Luck was on my side.

Unfortunately, Gordon was lying perched in such a way that his only option was to vomit directly off the end of the bed.  I tried to stabilize the flimsy hand towel in front of his mouth in the hopes of capturing the bulk of the barf mid-air.

I remember hoping it would be one of those petite, foamy little yellow-bile barfs.

How naive I was.

Gordon projectile vomited the remains of a full grown water buffalo into the hand towel, which, though it appeared deceptively fuzzy and absorbent, did not trap the vomit. The barf instead BOUNCED off the towel, skipping like a chunky liquid stone off the surface and arching gracefully onto my shirt and splattering to the ground around me.

Happy to check that off his list for the day, the dog licked his lips and went back to being excited about the walk, no different than he had been 10 minutes earlier, but for the yellow gruel dripping down his hairy little chin.

I surveyed the damage.  One of Mike’s enormous fuzzy moccasin-style slippers was now a vessel for puke in a myriad of colors, shapes and textures. It was just like the old days when real Indians used to make southwest hash browns in their moccasins  (source: Wikipedia, but hurry)

“Looks like your slipper caught most of it,” I said to Mike, picking up the slipper and trying to hand it to him. My thought was he could clean the slipper while I took care of my shirt, the dog’s chin and the floor.

Wild-eyed and waving his hands like he was casting a spell, Mike warded me off like I had just tried to hand him a fuzzy slipper full of vomit.

He turned and ran out of the room.

I followed Mike to find him gagging in the hallway bathroom, which nearly made me technicolor yawn myself.  The only thing that distracted me from joining the vomitorium were the dulcet tones of the dog preparing to vomit again,  back in the bedroom. I spun on my heels and bolted back to try and catch it before he filled the other slipper.

Luckily, Gordon had remembered the first rule of Dog Barf Club is “Always barf on the hardest thing to clean” and had finished up on the comforter.

So how was your morning?

Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.

38 Responses

  1. Abby

    Ugh. Chauncey is usually really good and lets us know when he’s going to puke. He’ll also lick his lips and scoot to the back door to go outside, which at least is on the kitchen floor and not the carpet. But he’s little-no projectile volcanic eruptions of vomit when he does yack.

    As for the cat, I end up chasing her around with a towel when the noise starts, which scares here and ends up creating a hairball/puke trail throughout the house. Lucky for us all, I never follow the leader and puke myself. It takes much more than that ;)
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    • Amy Vansant

      You have no idea how lucky you are. Both Gordon and his cousin, Brock, will run for MILES to find a carpet to barf on (and in Brock’s case, poop on. Moron.) Gordon won’t even eat a bone on a hard floor. He’ll find a 2″ x 2″ piece of cloth and eat on top of that.

      In all fairness, Mike has been wrestling a stomach flu, so he was a little hair trigger…
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  2. wardegus

    All three of my animals are pukers. I’ve long given up trying to catch it but instead focus on moving them to an easily cleanable surface. When I hear their retching sound I spring into action and chase them off the bed or rug or whatever.
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  3. kath galasso

    Well, mine’s usually controllable incontinence issue is not so controllable today.

    My favorite barf move, is grabbing her by the collar and dragging her large, furry ass to the area of least destruction. Sometimes it works.

    Then there are the rare occasions when she actually moves from a carpeted area to the tiled kitchen floor, all on her own.

    And yes, I have one of those men with the gag reflex. Like WTF is with that? They can down 43 shots of vodka, 12 beers and nachos and be fine. A dog starts to get queasy and that they can’t handle.

    How many more lifetimes until women run the world? Just asking.
    kath galasso recently posted..Horses and Bayonets: The Sopranos Connection


  4. Jessica

    I’ve done this dance – but with the kids. They’ve actually convinced me, with their various forms of stomach pyrotechnics over the years, that I never want a pet of any sort (unless they can find one without a digestive system). Hope your day picks up! Although really… how could it not?
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    • Amy Vansant

      Kid vomit would get to me. I’m sure, after a while, I’d grow numb to it like I have to dog vomit, but when I’m around kids and they burp up I have to look away quick and start thinking about flowers and unicorns…
      Amy Vansant recently posted..And the dog fell into a funk.


    • Laura

      I once witnessed a friend being vomited on by her toddler – that was the moment I decided “oh HELL no!” to having kids. We have cats – and yes, they do vomit too. But if they start to vomit while on me I have absolutely no compunction about tossing them across the room! We solved the carpet problem by not having any: laminate throughout the house makes for easy cleanups.


  5. Carrie

    I think I just peed my pants laughing, which is unfortunate since I’m at work.

    Also, yesterday when I got home from work I was taking my jewelry off in my bedroom when I heard the hrmph hrmph hrmph — I quickly looked around and realized it was coming from UNDER the bed so naturally I started screaming “do NOT barf under my bed. Stop, Get out of there!” Spike just acted like I was speaking human and ignored me. Bastard.
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  6. Tiffany N. York

    And here I thought I was the only one in the world who started off today with puke. I have a bulimic cat. She throws up immediately after she eats–nice big chunks of undigested food mixed with bile, grass, and fur. Always on the carpet, even though half my house has floor. I too, scream “Nooooooo!!!” which causes her to run, spreading drops of joy everywhere.

    My diva Chihuahua’s the easy one. She just poops and pees on the carpet. Much easier to clean up. Unless of course it’s diarrhea.

    Anyway, I can pretty much gauge how my day is gonna go, depending on whether the cat throws up or not.
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  7. Michele Drier

    Want a cat? He coughs up his hairballs strategically, right beside the bed where I’ll step on it on the way to the bathroom.
    OK, off to buy another keyboard because I spit coffee all over thissssmmmmmone.
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  8. Nina Potts

    Only people who have had to clean up animal vomit repeatedly can understand this.

    I once dove for the floor, hands cupped and outstretched, barely catching the vomit as it escaped my cats mouth. Many people will shudder at this. However, I had JUST had my carpets cleaned, and the cat was of course on the freshly cleaned carpet.
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    • Amy Vansant

      Yes, I think all pet owners harbor secret shame over some of the things we’ve done in the interest of time, saving carpets, etc.
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Pet Yoga


  9. Virginia Fair

    Thanks for this re-run. I am struck by the synchronicity of it appearing on a morning when my sleep was interrupted by the feline version of hrmph, hrmph, hrmph, which is ghnk, ghnk, ghnk. Dashing through the living room, turning on lights as I entered the dining room, I was too late. I found a hairball sausage swimming in clear liquid – a two squares of paper towel capacity.
    Virginia Fair recently posted..A Picture Can Inspire A Thousand Questions



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