Friday, June 19, 2009


No, not the "White Anglo Saxon Protestant" type. Minky recently redefined it into "Whirring Angry Stinging Pestilence from the Pit of Perdition."

On Monday, Minky went one round with these little beasts of barbary and lost badly with a TKO (technical knock out for you non-pugilistic types). And I think it was our fault. She loves to snap at flies and we have encouraged her every time they find their way into the house. It has become part of her job description. We forget she isn't very discriminating when it comes to small, buzzy, and wing-ed. I think that tripped her up early Monday morning when she was outside.

Grizzly called my name while I was still in bed and he was downstairs making coffee. He is up early for work and sometimes finds me already at my desk. But if not, he does his thing (after turning off the snooze button at least eight times and no I am NOT even CLOSE to exaggerating), and takes off for work.

There are only a few exceptions to this routine. They all involve horror. The very second my name is called or he appears at my bedside, something has gone desperately or freakishly wrong. It stops my heart every time. My only response to hearing my name under these circumstances (or when he uses that tone) is and will forever be, "WHAT'S WRONG?!!!"

A sample list of his responses:

"They've attacked the World Trade Center." (Clearly the worst one ever.)

"Somebody bashed out the window of your car."

"There's something dead down here (cat hunting by-products)."

"I think Bess is home." (A beloved cat who had been missing for months - it wasn't her. It was a demon in white fur who summarily tried to rip my head off. He doesn't always check his facts before mustering me in my groggy state.)

I have never been summoned to breakfast, say, with the table all set and waiting for me. No exquisite sunrise has been announced. No bouquet of roses ever beckons. No, my name in the morning equals calamity. I really think he better balance this out one of these days or I may suffer a major coronary before hitting the floor running.

Monday morning, I heard my name. "It's nothing," he intoned. "I just want you to see something." Uh-huh. I bet it's not breakfast. "Minky's face looks swollen. I gotta take off and I just wanted you to keep an eye on her. I think she got bitten by a black widow and it could be crawling around the house somewhere." Okay then, honey. Thanks. I'll go back to bed now. Why would I worry? Have a good day. I'll try to remember to fend off poisonous attacking arachnids as I watch our dog go into anaphylactic shock. Bye-bye, now.

I took one look at Minky and either something bit her or she had taken up the habit of chewing tobacco and had perfected the art of stuffing her gums. The left (your right) side of her face was swelling. I grabbed the not-so-great camera (because I still can't remember we have a better one) and snapped this:

She looks a little concerned.

I hauled the kids out of bed and said, "Hold her while I shave her." I was, of course, looking for the telltale sign of two puncture points indicating spider fangs. Looking through hair is impossible so I needed access. Shaving is my immediate answer. If you ever develop head lice, don't come and see me. There'll be no nit-picking. I will shave you bald. Here's how poor Minky appears this morning:

Doesn't she look depressed? Well wouldn't you if I'd only shaved HALF your face? I promise, if I see you, I'll shave your whole face, eyebrows included. Oh, and the vet commented I removed her whiskers, too. Critics. I was trying to save her life. From a black widow. Who was stomping through the house heat-tracking us.

In the next few hours after Mr. Shock-and-Awe left for work, Minky's face swelled to three times this size and her eyes became red and puffy. I had dosed her with Benadryl but it didn't do much. So, it was off to the vet for a MONGO shot of Benadryl and then a steroid injection. And by then we could see little pin-pricks rising under her chin and on her snout where it became obvious the black widow was non-existent and a wasp, or wasps, had been the culprit(s).

Minky will be a wiser dog now, I hope, though she won't be ready for any close-ups on the silver screen with her unfabulous hair-don't. And the house has been temporarily restored to a bastion of safety against marauding black widows, and that is a comfort.

However, Grizzly remains a serious threat to my health.

(Legal disclaimer: Grizzly insists he also mentioned wasps as a possibility. My hearing was temporarily disconnected after I heard "black widow." The End.)

Copyright 2009


  1. lol as long as grissly is declawed, it should be fine lol
    Poor pup.I am glad it was nothing serious

  2. Okay, I know this is not a humorous situation, but I actually have teary eyes from laughing. So, first, let me say, poor little pooch. I hope he's feeling much better. Now, I've got to say that you have to be one of the BEST, humorous writers I've ever come across. The whole Mr. Shock and Awe bit has me in stitches. The heat-seeking arachnid comment is still making me laugh. Then there's the shaving stuff. Oh, lord, I can just imagine your instantaneous sense of "oh joy" when your hubby awakes you from your slumber! Ah man, I'm still cracking up about how he mentions a black widow in the same sentence where he says he's off to work. Yeah, I think your fella and my fella are related! Again, hope your doggy is feeling better, and best wishes to you for sleeping in tomorrow! :-)

  3. Oh Minky!! Wowsers, I feel your pain :) Or I sense it at least! But only you Robynn, could spin this into such a wild story to read!! And now how is she doing? Did the benadryl put Minky into a stupor? Is the swelling going down? oh please update later for me!!

  4. Oh, my poor Minky! That is one depressed lookin' girl there, but I'm glad she's doing better.
    I bet you regret the whole "snappin' at flies" thing now, don't you? ;-)
    When ours used to do the fly thing, it would make me URP... and now I have kids who want to do the same thing! (double URP) They'll eat ANYthing!

    But this post? Hun, it's decided me against marriage. I remember what it's like now. You're lucky, really. Mine used to give the "call" when he couldn't find his socks or when his.. butt*ahem* itched. I was expected to go and have a look and give my professional opinion. Yes honey, you have hemorrhoids.
    Never again, thank you VERY much!

    (were you wearing your stretchy pants while administering to sweet Minky? They help, ya know)

  5. If he was so unconcerned, couldn't he have written a note? Men are weird!

  6. As one who has a puppy who is obsessed with catching flies I predict having a similar situation on my hands at some point in the future.

    I hope your's has learned his lesson.

    Oh and very funny

  7. I have GOT to call you if/when an oddity of the day arises (seriously). You have such an eclectic knowledge of those things anomalous in nature- you blow me away. And I TOTALLY understand your husband's call in the AM and what it mean to you.
    I don't normally chuckle out loud while reading, but did at not expecting a nice breakfast when your name was called.
    p.s. Our pups do the same thing- :-( and with wasps

  8. awwww Minky! You are STILL beautiful. Glad it was not the Black Widow,.. did you ever see the old movie "The Incredible Shrinking Man?" ... Talk about insects and things being ready to eat you! Feel better Minks!

  9. HA! I think Molly is related to Minky. She had the exact same thing happen to her a few months back. She came in one day (looking hilariously downcast) and the left side of her face was all swollen. We assumed bee or wasp; I guess we were probably right. She does have a way of playing with everything that moves whether it be a bug or the cats tail. :-p

  10. First, If I was told that there might be a black widow spider in the house some where, i would have left the house not go back to sleep! LOL

    The poor dog. I hope she's feeling better.

  11. I give a brilliant arachnid lecture with my trusty 18 year old chilean rose back Tarantella. I suggest you allow me to give this lecture to you including the part where you pet my beloved pet. I'll leave fast orange bitey t hing of doom and Morella at home.

  12. Poor poor Minky - being in pain, and then being posted...what's a girl to do? It's great that you got her to the vet before she got any worse. Noth'n sadder that a sick dog!!!

  13. I learn new words from you all the time. I'm itching to go look up the word pugilistic even though I have a fair idea of what it means.

    Oh poor Minky!

    And I do hope your name will be called for breakfast...or a sunrise soon :)

  14. Hilarious the way you tell it, but poor poor Minky.

    I just hope your kids never got head lice at school! ;-)

  15. OMGosh, Robynn...that was a great laugh! I'm so sorry it was at poor Minky's expense. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it this week.

  16. Poor Minky! Bee stings hurt--and I can see the hurt in her eyes.
    Glad she's better now!

  17. Minky is adorable! You are such a talented writer. Hopefully you are looking into making this a career?!

  18. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for taking time to leave a comment on my blog. Yes...that is Allison Krauss followed by LeAnn Rimes.

  19. Poor Minky, I hope she is feeling better and learned her lesson. Reminds me of the the time my pup tried to tango with a porcupine and got a face full of quills and surgery! Thanks for visiting my little ol' blog and admiring the japanese fabric. I hope to make little bags when I find the time. And for now I'll just admire them!

  20. Awww poor lil Minky. I hope she's doing much better now. She reminds me of our dog Tippy.. she's a jumper and a nipper of all things with wings. I made Ashley come read this post and she's in there now telling her not to chase flies... lol she's telling her in this sweet sincere voice and Tip is looking at her like "Yeah Right..just open that door so I can get back to bidness"
    I have to say thanks for putting all the humor in that story.. cuz you know I woulda been bawling.
    Y'all have a great weekend..enjoy the party.

  21. Poor Minky! I'm glad to hear it was just a wasp and not a black widow bite, hopefully he has learned his lesson. Our cat does this all the time though and hasn't learned yet. I was totally incaptivated by your writing! You told your story so well!!!
    And thank you for the kind comment on my blog today! Those pictures were taken by my 16 year old daughter (I would have never noticed the bug at all lol)
    have a great fathers day weekend!

  22. Aw sorry for Minky...this is what you meant when you said "it was a creepy crawly week for you too"'m not laughing at poor Minky...just the whole story...where to all those words come from girl??? My story wasn't funny just this huge thing crawling on my floor and I'm not afraid of spiders!!! need to write a book, short story or something!!! Or how about a compilation of your blog posts??? Something to think about...