(It says "American.  Saturday")

For some reason this note pinned to the back of the pants I picked up at the tailor's on Saturday made me so happy.  It probably shouldn't have since this nice man has tailored almost everything I own at this point and we should be on a first name basis...but he's taught me all the french words for "please take the waist in a million inches and let the rear out about as much" and that's good enough for me.

It's kind of funny, now that I think about it.  I pass his shop most days on my way to work and we say hello and exchange greetings (sometimes copious amounts of greetings) and he doesn't know my name.  Maybe he's too embarrassed to ask after measuring all my body bits...

But either way, it makes me happy to have established routines and familiarities with the people in my neighborhood.  Even if they do know me simply as "American".

I'm also not concerned that he's spelled it in the masculine form...should I be?


Don't Eat Pete

Anyone think this looks like a picture from a parody folk album cover?
Maybe this one?

We had at least some idea of what we were getting into when we joined the Foreign Service.  We lived in Jerusalem before joining and picked the brains of all the Foreign Service officers we went to church with on a regular basis.  We figured out what things we could do without, what made our house a home, and tried to articulate and grow the characteristics that made for successful Foreign Service experiences and less successful experiences - to the extent that you can tell those kinds of things from being a nosey norah.

We focused on things like resilience, flexibility, emergency preparedness, ingredient substitution, and of course, amazon shopping.  But we never thought about pets.  And then last year we got an adorable puppy who took over my heart and is slowly taking over my bed.  And then the other night he hopped up on the table when I wasn't looking and ate the last bit of tagine I made for dinner: beef with caramelized onions and raisins.  Both of which are highly toxic to dogs.

Of course we panicked and then googled around and then panicked some more.  Evidently, some dogs who eat even a small amount of raisins can go into acute renal failure within a short period of time and if not aggressively treated, they can die.  We called our local vet's emergency number (since it was almost midnight at this point) and he assured us that since everything was cooked and Buckley hadn't thrown up he was fine and he'd see us in the morning.  But the internets told me that being cooked didn't matter and that we should induce vomiting (which I only now know I can do at home with a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide).  So we called our vet in the US.  She told us to take him in immediately and induce vomiting.  Then we called our state's Dog ER number (yes, there is one of those) and they told us to take him to the vet immediately and induce vomiting.  We called our vet back and explained that if we could get the stuff out of Buckley's system in the first two hours he wouldn't have time to absorb the toxins and we could avoid IV's and dialysis machines later on.  But you know what he said?  He'll be fine, I'll see you in the morning.  And then stopped answering our phone calls.  So we called another vet in Morocco that we'd worked with and he said the same thing*.

So that was that.  I just kept having images of the poor pupperoni going into kidney failure in the night and my hopes that the vet had all necessary doggy dialysis equipment, should it come to that, were not high.

"I'm sure they don't medivac dogs"  I said to Max in a panic, "What will we do?"

After thinking for a minute he said "We'll drive him to Spain.  We'll leave first thing in the morning and be there just after lunch."

And don't think either of us wouldn't have done it.  I really wrestled with whether to let my inner crazy person out on these vets and demand that they come to my house immediately because my dog needs you and don't you know my husband's a diplomat?, a course which I abhorred the moment I thought it...but still wanted to pursue on some level, and just trusting the local vets who have, no doubt, kept many dogs alive after they ate things the shouldn't.  We watched Buckley for a few more hours and after he fell asleep we did too.  The vet called us in the morning to see how the night went and told us he'd cleared time to see Buckley.  Maybe he'd felt my death lasers coming for him in the night.  After a few shots and a blood test he was given a mostly clean bill of health.  We have to administer something to him every morning to help his body flush the toxins, but he's back to his table hopping self.

I'm pretty sure when it's my child I will let my crazy person out, but it's not something I'm looking forward to.  Maybe we overreact in America about this kind of stuff sometimes, but not having the option to overreact feels terrible.

Anyway, all's well that ends well.  We are dog sitting this weekend and a puppy sleepover was just the thing to set everyone's crazy meters back to normal.

*It might seem like I overreacted, but I'm a first time dog owner.  Cut me some slack.