Not only does Fritz have Pizza Eating Disorder, he's a chocoholic. I know, I know, chocolate isn't good for dogs. It can make them sick; it can even kill them if they eat enough. Fritz, however, has always stood ready to commit choco hara-kiri like a loyal samurai.
In fact, Fritz's first chocolate binge in 1998 opened my eyes to one major life-changing realization...
Jerame was in love with me.
When Jerame and I started dating, Fritz was not impressed with him. In fact, he hated him. Jerame lost at least a dozen shirts to the little guy. Every time Jerame would goof around and start laughing or our voices would get loud, Fritz would "attack" him. He'd chomp down on the edge of Jerame's shirt and start pulling like it was a rope bone.
Yank. Yank. Tug. Rip.
(Thankfully, Jerame never got the same treatment as the guy I dated before him. Once while we were having sex - at the climax when things got loud and a little forceful - the little guy thought I was being attacked. He chomped on the poor guy's ballsack and started pulling. That was the end of that relationship!)
Jerame was very tolerant of Fritz's needs. One of the dog's habits was sleeping in the bed with me. He's tiny and didn't take up much room, so I'd always let him curl up with me. Unfortunately, Fritz was a burrower. So while he'd start out curled up next to my chest as I lay on my side, he'd end up under the covers in between my legs. Every. Single. Time.
A very sick puppy
We used to keep a candy dish on the coffeetable. We'd fill it with all sorts of junk, but since chocolate is one of the major food groups it was always well-represented. This batch of treats was Hershey's miniatures. I dumped the bag into the glass dish, had a couple of pieces and went out to dinner with Jerame. We'd been dating for about three weeks at this point.
After our date, Jerame dropped me off at my house. I walked in the door and stopped dead in my tracks. On the floor was every single wrapper from the entire bag of chocolates. They were all licked clean and neatly unfolded until they were flat. He may be small, but he's tidy. He'd eaten the entire bag of chocolate candy.
In a panic, I called our vet. He said I needed to get Fritz to throw up all of the chocolate. I was supposed to force a bit of hydrogen peroxide down his throat to make him vomit. I grabbed the bottle and tipped it down Fritz's throat. Nothing happened.
I gave him a bit more. Still nothing. I waited.
Suddenly it started. The poor bastard started puking and retching up melted chocolate goo everywhere on the (thankfully!) linoleum kitchen floor. I put him outside on the back porch and kept an eye on him as he got sick. Fritz vomited chocolate for almost an hour. Huge globs of the stuff smelling sickly like chocolaty goodness. When he finally stopped I called the vet back.
"Did he vomit it all up?" asked the doctor.
"He puked for almost an hour. There's a ton of it out there." was my reply. My roommate agreed. The crisis was averted. He'd puked it all up.
Love is in the air
I went to bed, Fritz curled up next to me and we went to sleep. The next morning I woke up to that sickly sweet smell again.
Fritz had gotten sick during the night and thrown up more chocolate goo. All over me. He'd apparently tried to wake me up because all over my comforter, my crotch, my sheets, my chest, and the floor was crusty chocolate vomit. I was covered. The bed was covered. And my room stunk to high heaven.
I put Fritz out on the back porch again and called Jerame with my story of woe and warm chocopuke. He was working an afternoon shift that day and offered to swing by and pick up my bedsheets. His apartment complex had a laundromat. I had to go to work and wouldn't be able to wash the nasty sheets and comforter for about 12 hours. I gratefully accepted.
What man do you know would pick up nasty bedsheets covered in chocolate vomit and go wash them? That's dedication, devotion and love. I knew then that Jerame was in love with me. And any man that'd be willing to help with this situation was automatically someone you knew you'd want by your side through sickness and health, better or worse.
As we've come to Fritz's golden years and faced the realization that the big day is coming soon, I've had plenty of time to reflect on Fritz's contributions to our family. He's not just "my dog;" he's ours. As Jerame said the other day, Fritz has been in his life longer than any other pet he's had. They're connected too.
Because Jerame loves him just as much as he loves me.
Till death do us part.