When Theo is Gone: Part IV

I’ve gotten lots of feedback that you all are enjoying these stories from When Theo is Gone!

Some of you are probably doubting the truth behind allllll these crazy stories. I mean, really? How can all those things happen to one person? Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m not the only one.

Before we had Tera, Theo and I were gung-ho about all kinds of pets in our lives. We had two cats, a dog and a lot of chickens. We loved our chickens, we loved our cats and we were ok with our dog. We laughed at everyone who told us that we wouldn’t feel as attached to our pets once Tera arrived. HAHAHAHA. I’m here to tell you that we are down to one cat.

But, I digress. This post is actually a guest post! Written by Mom, who witnessed first-hand the chaos that develops as soon as Theo kisses me goodbye and drives away for his 24 hour shifts. But I’ll let her tell the story:


We got to stay with Suz and Theo for about three weeks after Tera was born. Part of the reason we were there was to help Suz while she recovered from the birth and got used to being the mom of a newborn. The other reason, of course, was to meet our grand-daughter!


On the days when Theo was gone, I was the one who took care of all the animals, which at that point was five chickens, two cats, and a dog. Theo left for work around 4:30 a.m. So when I got up around 7, John or I would feed the cats. That was easy enough, other than making sure the cats didn’t escape to the cellar when you opened the door to the stairs where their food was stored. Simultaneously, I’d let the dog out of his crate to go outside. Then while he was doing his morning business I’d throw some food in his bowl and then head across the yard to feed the chickens.


One morning I got up and went to the bathroom. “What is that smell?” I wondered. Then I went to the dining room to start the task of feeding the animals. The smell got stronger and fouler. I went to the dog crate to let the dog out and was overcome by the smell! It was then that I noticed that the poor doggy had had diarrhea in his crate. I knew he didn’t mean to, but, of course, he WOULD do it on the day Theo was not home! I had to pull out the sheet he slept on and get it to the washing machine without spilling diarrhea all over the floor. I was about gagging by the time I got it down cellar to the machine! Then I had to pull out the plastic tray thing on the bottom and get that outside to hose it off. And, if that wasn’t enough, he had also gotten it on the wall and floor near his cage. So I ended up scrubbing the entire floor and part of the wall with bleach.


He was not acting particularly sick, so I took him for a walk later in the day. We were walking merrily along when he pulls off into somebody’s yard and squats….and did diarrhea in their yard. Ewwww again. No way was I going to try to scoop that up into a bag, but I kept looking around furtively, hoping the owner of that house was not home and did not see our dog fouling up their yard!


And why did the dog have diarrhea? Well, I’m not entirely 100% sure, but I have a theory. Theo had brought home a bag of stale hotdog buns that somebody at work was going to throw out. He was going to feed them to the chickens, but laid them on the patio table. Later, while I was cleaning up the mess outside I realized that the dog had eaten the entire bag of hotdog buns. Methinks poor puppy was maybe a bit gluten intolerant!


The next day when Theo was home all day, the dog was just fine.




The dog’s favorite extra-curricular activity when Theo was not home was chasing the chickens. And the chickens’ favorite extra-curricular activity when Theo was not home was escaping from their pen. And even if they stayed in their pen, the dog had figured out how to get in (probably the same way the chickens got out).   One day when I was doing dishes, I saw the dog chasing the chickens. I yelled at him to stop and brought him in the house. Then that night when I closed up the chicken coop after the chickens had gone in to roost, I couldn’t find one of the chickens. Suz and I were out in the dark with flashlights, making chicken bawking noises, trying to find this silly hen. We finally found it behind the bushes. Her wing was all chewed up and bleeding and she looked terrible. I was sure we’d be having chicken stew the next day, but in a day or two she was like new.




And then there was the day I went out to call in the dog. I couldn’t find him, so I assumed he was in the chicken pen….again. But he wasn’t. He was nowhere to be found. I called him and whistled and then I heard him snuffling and whining on the other side of the fence. Suz and Theo’s fence was a chain-link fence on three sides, but the fourth side was a wooden plank fence. The neighbors on the other side of that fence had two big black labs. Because Theo wasn’t home, the dog got bored, I guess (actually, WHY do these things happen only when he’s gone?) and went to find some playmates. He had dug under the fence and then squeezed himself under and was having a great time playing with his new pals. The only problem was, he couldn’t seem to squeeze himself back under to return to his own side of the fence. It had just rained and everything was muddy and I had to dig out the hole a little deeper and pull the dog back under the fence. He and I were both a muddy mess, so I had to bring him in the house and give him a bath in the tub. He was not very happy about that. And then, of course, I had to mop the dining room floor and the bathroom floor since he had left muddy footprints on them; I also had to scrub the tub. And Theo? He got to come home to a clean dog, a clean floor, and a clean tub!

So you see…it’s not just me!!! Things really DO fall apart when Theo is gone!

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