All of 2020: A Story about Dog Poo

This is Abby (the human) and Lulu (the dog).

That pic is from 3 months ago, which means Lulu is now 45x bigger.

He is not a labradoodle, after all.

He is either a small, black bear, or a moose, or a husky, feral, adorable kindergarten boy named something that ends with -y. Like Kenny. Or Jeffy. Or Tommy. 

You know the one. He’s the kid who has NO IDEA how long his limbs are. He’s Bambi on the ice, made from 73% sweetness and 27% flailing. He takes corners too fast and runs into walls. He eats with pure joy and creates a colossal mess. Never did he ever finish a meal without spaghetti sauce or jelly to his eyebrows and wiping his face on his shirt. 

That is Lulu. 

Abby’s chore is loading the dishwasher, and Lulu is her helper. He’s a toddler — an enormous, almost 6 month old toddler — so he still likes to help with chores. Abby puts the dishes in, and Lulu prewashes every single one with his tongue. He is very thorough.

Last night, Lulu’s collar caught on the lower basket as he was enjoying his task, and, as he pulled back, the entire basket came with him. Loaded with dirty plates and bowls. Flatware in their smaller containers attached to the whole contraption. 

Lulu flipped out.

Flipped. Out.

A dish monster had attacked his neck and wouldn’t let go. So he did what any small bear/moose/kindergartener would do. 

He ran.

He yelped, and he kept yelping, and he sprinted, hauling the dish monster with him. 

He was terror personified.

Dishes were flying.

Flatware became aimless projectiles.

Lulu tried to scramble away, but howling and bolting only increased the cacophony and therefore his fear. His barks became desperate. He sounded like a dying bull seal. 

He and the basket demon clinging to his neck came tearing around the kitchen table toward where I was standing, and BECAUSE I AM A GD HERO WITH YEARS OF MOMMY EXPERIENCE, I sprang into action. 

I was a ninja, friend. A cool-under-pressure, graceful ass ninja as I instantly understood my three-fold goal — stop the dog, calm him down, slay the basket monster — and, heedless of the danger, threw myself in their path.

I hit a steel chair on the way down, bruising my left flank, but every hero knows sacrifices must be made when we’re saving the world. 

I flung my arms around Lulu’s neck as I skidded under his body like I was sliding into home plate. A sharp pain pierced my foot, but it was irrelevant in the scheme of things. I hugged Lu to my chest, holding him immobile and crooning, “I got you. I got you. It’s ok. You’re ok. I got you.”

He licked my face as he began to calm down, relief apparent in each slobbery pass. Old chili from someone’s days-old dinner stained his mouth, which he gladly wiped on mine. Such are the rewards of valor in the midst of peril.

“Shhhhhh,” I whispered. To Lulu and also to me.

Greg and Abby laughed as they picked up scattered dishes. 

I didn’t let Lulu go. We just stayed on the floor comforting each other. 

His heart was still racing, and so was mine, and, frankly, it was thoughtless and inconsiderate of my family to indulge their mirth when they should have begun planning my Courage in the Face of Grave Danger parade. Or raced to my side with a neck brace and smelling salts. Or at the very least grabbed a paper towel so I could wipe chili off my face.

It’s fine, though. No, no; keep laughing, Greg. It’s FINE. 

I eventually hauled myself to my feet, one of which was gushing blood. (Full disclosure: it was either gushing blood or just missing the topmost layer of skin and not bleeding at all. One of those things is true, and I know which one I’m standing by.)

Except I didn’t make it all the way to standing before I slipped in Lulu’s poop and fell back down. Because yes, of course the sweet moose shat himself in the commotion. And of course I fell in a big old pile of poop while trying valiantly to fix the cascade of things gone wrong. 

And if that, friends, isn’t a metaphor for 2020, I don’t know what is. 

It’s a crisis. It’s sudden. It’s barreling toward us. The noise and chaos are overwhelming. We do everything in our power to mitigate the danger and manage the catastrophe. The universe laughs at our efforts. And we end up sitting in a pile of crap. 


That’s your uplifting story of hope for the day.

You’re welcome.

Sending love,





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12 responses to “All of 2020: A Story about Dog Poo”

  1. HOW did I miss this when you posted?
    I must have been camping without any connectivity. I probably was — it has been my mental health saving grace this summer and fall — but I hope it was worth it, because I just howled out loud with mirth and horror.

  2. Oh man…

    That is way funnier and more tragic than my story.
    Binx. More accurately, Her Majesty Binx, Queen of Darkness, came to me as a tiny little 4 week old inkspot with a cold and the LOUDEST maiow ever to be born of an inkspot.

    At about half grown, she LOVED paper bags. Loved them. Had an unhealthy obsession. It all came to a climax one day when she managed to get her head and one front leg through a loop of one of those little paper gift bags. And All. Hell. Broke. Loose. She became pure energy, streaking through the house at speeds only a terrified cat can achieve. I swear at one point I heard a sonic boom. Or maybe that was just the bag bouncing off the bottom of the futon as she darted under it.

    Long story short, the handle broke and she vanished from Human vision. We didn’t see her for 2 days, an impressive feat of concealment in a 2 bedroom trailer. When she came creeping out, trembling, my (now ex), in one of his “look how funny I am!” moments, picked up a paper bag and rattled it slightly. We didn’t see her for *another* three days, most of which I spent bawling him out.

    She never did get over that incident. She loved *plastic* bags after that, but never went near another paper bag again.

    Keep on keeping on my friend. 2020 will come to an end. It has to. And the dishmonster will be defeated.

    You are the Hero we need.

  3. This exact thing happened to us at my mother-in-law’s house. Their small moose is a golden retriever named Angie. Angie got caught, shook, and dishes went flying. None of them broke, however, because they were all Correlle and that stuff really is indestructible. So we unhooked her and she fled to her crate. My husband bent down to pick up a piece of steak that had gotten thrown during the carnage. Except, it wasn’t steak. It was a turd. In his bare hands. Yay. <3

  4. This made my daughter and I laugh so much! Thank you so much for sharing this.(I do enjoy your more serious side too, but this was just what we needed tonight!)

  5. You gave me a much needed laugh. This morning we put our amazing, but very sick, cat to sleep. It does feel like another pile of dog crap to struggle through.

  6. Your writing sparks my imagination and I can picture EVERY single piece of that montage as it played out. The universe/my family laughs at me as well, as we land in literal and proverbial poo. Thank you for the laugh, the head nod in understanding, and the wave from the dark. Right here with ya girl. ♥

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