Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

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A Pet Lover’s Lament: Hocka-Hocka-Burnin’-Barf

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 by Lisa Ricard Claro   No Comments Yet | Posted in Uncategorized

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Rigby – Pitiful, Pitiful


Thanks to everyone for the get-well wishes. I’m feeling much better this week, and Penny is relieved to be off the hook now that my cold is gone.

I wasn’t the only sick puppy in the house last week. Penny’s furry partner in crime, Rigby, decided that last week was the right time to get sick. His illness mimicked a stomach virus, so you know what that means: Epic. Gastric. Explosions.

On Thursday I arrived home around two in the afternoon. I let the dogs out to roam our fenced yard, and after about 30 minutes they wanted back in. Little did I know that opening that door would lead to a period of time which will henceforth be remembered in the annals of Lisa History as The Unfortunate Afternoon of Poop and Goop.

So there I am in the kitchen poking around for lunch, hoping for a miraculous discovery of potato chips or coffee ice cream—don’t judge my meal choices—when my ears caught the first strains of that harsh gastric symphony resounding through the air. I closed the pantry door and narrowed my eyes. I tilted my head. Was that—?

Hocka-hocka-hocka-BLAAARP! Hocka-hocka-hocka-BLAAARP! 

I shuddered. Great. One of the animals just puked. So much for lunch. I grabbed the paper towels and took a step toward the family room from whence had emanated the disgusting cacophony of—


I curtailed my fancy-pants thought process and hightailed it into the family room. Rigby’s head hung low, but his eyes followed my progress. Ever pleased to be in the same room with one of his humans he forced his tail into a pitiful wag, once, twice—

Hocka-hocka-hocka—“No! No, no, no! Not on the hardwood floors!”—BLAAARP!

Hocka-hocka-hocka—“No! Not on the carpet!”—BLAAARP!

Great. Just great. Five huge puke spots consisting of ooey, gooey, half-digested breakfast and great lumps of bubbling slime.

I gulped and stared at Rigby. Rigby stared back. He had the good graces to appear contrite.

“Poor buddy. What did you eat, fella? Huh? What did you eat out there that upset your tummy?”

Rigby sidled over and offered me the most pitiful of looks. Of all the pitiful looks in the Universe at large, there was none so pitiful as his. Pitiful, pitiful.

“I guess your tummy feels better now, huh big guy?” I scratched behind his ears and gave him a quick rubdown. “Go lay down while I clean this up. Feel better pal.”

Rigby offered the barest of wags—oh, so pitiful!—and wandered off while I surveyed the mess.

This was not a paper towel job. This was a get-a-spoon-to-pick-up-the-gunk-and-put-it-in-a-doubled-up-grocery-bag job. This was a scrub-with-old-towels-and-beg-hubby-to-clean-the-carpets-immediately kind of job. I headed to the kitchen for the puke pick-up gear and returned to the family room ready to wipe and wash.

My daughter appeared at the top of the stairs. She bore the perky expression of one not about to dive elbow deep into the dubious dregs of Rigby’s hocka-hocka-burnin’-barf. “What’s going on?” She leaned on the stair rail, all cheery in her innocent oblivion.

“Rigby got sick,” I said. “Five times. It’s really—”

“What’s that noise?” She straightened up, her head cocked to listen.

“What noise?” I said, but then I heard it.


“Sounds like the cat’s puking in the kitchen,” said my girl.

“Will you—?”

“Incoming call,” said she, rushing off. “Sorry! Work! I really have to get that.”

Grumbling, I abandoned Ground Zero and marched into the kitchen where Bailey the cat had, indeed, hocked up a fur ball of mammoth proportions. The damn thing was the size of a breakfast sausage. Poor kitty. I rewarded the clearing of her intestinal tract with a quick purr-eliciting nuzzle, cleaned up her matted mess, and on my way back to the family room caught a whiff of the next round of trouble.

Rigby looked over his shoulder as he walked away from me, dropping stinky puddles of poop the size of silver dollars in his wake. The furry lad’s tummy wasn’t better at all, and from the gurgling sounds expressing themselves from the region of his belly, his gastric distress had only increased. And I had a pathway of poop to prove it.


My daughter redeemed herself by answering my desperate call. Rather than put Rigby in the backyard where he might feast on whatever natural disaster had caused his problem in the first place (yeah, we’re thinking he dined on a snack of Dead Squirrel), she leashed him and sat outside with the old boy while I cleaned up the messes. My hubby, ever my gallant Prince Charming, arrived with a portable carpet cleaning unit, industrial strength, and spent the next hour making our carpets spotless. Honestly, if there’s anything sexier than a man cleaning up dog poop and puke stains with nary a complaint, I don’t know what it is. (Well, okay, I can think of a few things, but this isn’t that kind of a story.)

You’ll be happy to know that the vet gave Rigby a shot and meds that cleared up his gastric ailments. The cat has, for the time being, refrained from eliminating sausage-shaped fur balls from her digestive tract.

And me? Well, I’m just happy the house is back to— 




Serendipitous Stuff


Do you share your space with a dog or cat? If you do, then you know what the hocka-hocka-hocka-BLAAARP sound is. You’ve heard it after your dog has eaten a cricket/rock/giant-grassy-knoll and regurgitated it, in its entirety, at your feet. You’ve heard it ten seconds before the dropping of a fur-ball or dead mouse from your cat’s mouth—usually on your clean bed sheets. What is the absolute worst experience you’ve had with the hocka-hocka-hocka-BLAAARP? If you don’t share your home with a furry companion, why not? Is the BLAARP factor to blame?

Thanks for hanging out with me. See you next week for more of the Naked Truth!


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