Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Ollie Freeway Barf Massacre

You guys. You know how I don't love animals? I mean, it's not like I hate them. It's just that I don't understand them.

When I was a child, we had a number of animals at our house. For example, there was the Queen of Colors. But obviously that wasn't a positive pet experience.

Then I had a bird named Feathers who was mean as Hell and I think may have actually just been a reincarnation of the Queen of Colors. Feathers used to attack anything that was put in his cage. One day he accidentally got out and flew to my closed bedroom door, pacing back and forth in front of it for a good two hours while seven-year-old Eli sat at the far end of the bedroom crying and waiting for Bob and Cathie to come help.

DCFS should have a record of that unexplained two-hour wait.

Then we had an adorable dog named Winnie whom I loved with every fiber of my being and who hated me with every fiber of hers. That dog bit me every single day of her untrained spoiled existence.

So as an adult I've just been a little confused about why anyone wants any pets at all.

That was until Ollie came into being.

Matt told me he had finally gotten a dog. Wanting to be polite, I decided I would stop by to meet him and feign excitement for his purchase. I was not expecting what then happened.

You guys. Ollie dove directly into the center of my enlarged heart. I love him with the strength of a thousand hurricanes. I want to have him surgically connected to my body. If someone told me I had to choose to either never see Ollie again or let an entire village of children die, I would think about it.

I have begged Matt to let me babysit Ollie at every opportunity. And so Matt agreed to let me have some special Ollie/Eli time every Saturday morning.

I'm truly not exaggerating here when I tell you that I had a hard time sleeping the night before our first play date. I kept checking the clock throughout the night, upset that there were still several hours before Ollie would be dropped off.

I was so excited that I actually got up at 3:00AM to write out a schedule in pencil for what we would do that day together.


Ollie came. We played. We napped. I took him to Bob and Cathie's house and let him run around the back yard while I helped Bob trim some vines. And then finally it was time to head home and drop Ollie off with Matt.

I was so pleased that our day together had gone so well. I was so happy to discover that I do still have the capacity to love animals.

Then I pulled onto the freeway and things took a turn for the worse. Worst? Which is it?

Look. I don't own animals. I don't know what is appropriate. I probably shouldn't have had the puppy sitting on my lap. There's likely some kind of standard safe practice for driving with an animal. But I just let Ollie sit on my lap. Judge if ye must.

Ollie was fine. Sleeping. Tired from his long day of playing. Basking in the glory of what was most definitely the best day of his life. Then suddenly, like he was waiting for me to get to the freeway so I couldn't just pull over, Ollie stood on all fours and began dry-heaving.

Eli: Ollie? What's wrong?


Eli: Ollie? Are you going to throw up?!


Eli: Ollie, please don't do this. Please stop. Please no. I'm begging you.





Ollie threw up. And threw up. And threw up. More food than I think he's had to eat in his entire short life. Pieces of sticks and grass and dog treats and furniture. Everything he's been holding in for months.

And I started screaming. And swerving. And trying to catch the vomit in my hands. And twisting my body in any way I could to keep the pint of puke in my lap from running down to the seat. He projectile vomited onto my chest. He puked all over every square inch of my shorts. Some of it got onto my face. The puking wouldn't stop.


I felt the vomit seep through my shorts and underwear. I felt the wet dog puke soaking all the way through. I started gagging. And dry heaving. And trying desperately to keep myself from joining in.

I pleaded with him to cease. I begged him to just wait until I could pull over. But he didn't listen to me. He just kept puking.

I seriously thought the car was going to fill up all the way with dog vomit and I was going to have to roll down the windows to let it pour out so we wouldn't drown.

Ollie flopped down in it. He was covered in his own vomit. We BOTH were. He curled into a little ball on my lap, soaking in his puke, as he continued to throw up. I continued to scream. All while flying down the freeway at 80 miles per hour.

Matt was already parked in front of my building, waiting for us to show up when we screeched to a halt right next to his vehicle.

I opened the car door and a puke-soaked Ollie flopped out and onto the ground. I rolled out of the vehicle immediately after him, shaking the dog vomit off of me.

Matt stood in front of us, horror struck.

Ollie walked over to Matt sheepishly, apparently done puking.

Matt: Uh . . . do I even want to know what happened?

Eli: Your animal just ruined my whole life.

Matt: I'm so sorry. Did he ruin your clothes? WAIT A MINUTE! Are you wearing MY shorts?!

Eli: Huh? Oh, it looks like I am.

Matt: And that's my shirt!!!

Eli: Oh this old thing?


Eli: How does anyone get anything?

Matt: Well most people BUY their own clothes. But apparently you're ok with stealing.

Eli: Matt. Your beast just vomited on me for 20 minutes. I am going to liberally take whatever I want from you for the rest of my life.

Matt: Fair.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Well shoot. I just laughed so hard I cried. Thank you.

  2. The imagery! I can't breathe!

  3. Oh gosh. Ollie sounds like he could be a good parent trainer, because that sounded a lot like when kids get sick. Except they are in car seats at least, so if they puke on you, you don't have to drive at the same time. But oh gosh. It is amazing all of the crevices barf can find. I feel your pain.

    And you have a valid point. Enduring twenty minutes of being barfed on should come with some perks. You would take his clothes regardless, I'm sure, but at least now he can't complain.

  4. That dog is beyond cute and this whole tale made me snort!!! Your way with words often bring me to tears (laughing/crying) but mostly laughing. I took a break from technology for a week and my first thing I picked to read Stranger.

    what is Ollie? Havanese?

    1. He's a cavoodle. But don't ask me what that means.

    2. Isn't it a Bichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with a poodle?

    3. No, it's just a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with a miniature Poodle. Designer dogs are a male and a female purebred that are then crossbred. You don't normally crossbreed an already crossbred dog with a purebred. Then you're starting to turn the dog into a mongrel/mutt type of dog.

  5. I have had the same pet experience. Except mine involves my own two dogs I've owned for 14 years and a constant supply of shit on my very expensive dining room rug. And there is no Matt to give them back to. Puppies are cute, pet body fluids are not.

  6. I think I broke a rib from laughing so hard!

  7. I have two dogs, one big and one little. The big one has the weakest stomach I have ever seen in a living creature. Several months ago, we were cuddling in the couch and he randomly threw up over my legs and directly onto the couch nailing two of the cushions and the ottoman. The smell refused to go away for weeks regardless of what cleaning products I tried to use. This week, I had all but forgotten about that incident and we were cuddling on the couch and his head was in my lap when he looked up at me with this weird smile. He hacked once (which didn't really indicate what was about to happen because it was more like a cough) and then he proceeded to projectile vomit all over my lap, chest, and of course the couch, in the EXACT same spot as last time. I almost went from having two dogs to one that day...

  8. Aww. I imagine you're currently still screaming, but it's okay, Eli, it's over. There, there. Leave your car windows open for a few days, though.

  9. LOL this was the best ever.

    Also, everyone, just remember...90% EXAGGERATION! *cough cough* So in reality the dog coughed a little and spit up a bit of phlegm.


  10. Aww, he totally got car sick. Does Matt have a crate for him? Crate him in your car next time... if there is a next time.

  11. Oh my god! I'm crying some serious tears! Are you as excited for next werks playdate?!

    1. I had to read that twice, because I was picturing Eli twerking with the dog... *shudder*

  12. Well, reading that made me gag and heave too. I do not deal well with vomit. Baby spit-up doesn't bother me but once they are past six months old I really don't like to deal with it. I have six children and one of the things I am most grateful for as they have grown up is when they get to the age where I don't have to know anything about them vomiting. They are now old enough to rush to the bathroom all by themselves. Phew!

  13. ELI!!!! THE TITLE OF THIS POST MADE ME THINK OLLIE WAS RUN OVER BY A CAR ON THE HIGHWAY!!! I couldn't even laugh I was so relieved!

    1. That is EXACTLY what I thought as well. Not until the very end could I let loose my laughter.

    2. Haha. I don't know how I didn't notice how that might have looked! I guess I just can't even fathom that Ollie could possibly die. I'll alter the title so as to not ruin anyone else's day.

    3. Much less traumatizing. Thank you.

    4. Now I'm curious what the original title was...

  14. I ran over a dog on the freeway once. It was very traumatic. I like your story much better.

  15. Be glad this happened in your car on the freeway. Let this be a lesson to you to never let Ollie sleep in your bed. Nothing worse than waking up to the sound of a dog heaving, knowing it could be a matter of seconds before it pukes all over your face and pillow. The instant alertness kicks in and you are jumping up grabbing the dog to get it off the bed. So far, I've been lucky and always moved Buffy in time. Having a dog definitely makes me less interested in having kids since I hear they are much worse and the instance of having a child puke into your actual mouth are alarmingly high.

    1. That has happened to me a few times, and unfortunately a couple of those times I was not fast enough. Pretty gross to wake up an a panic and then have puke on your bed :P

  16. Eli. Thanks to you I am starting my week out with a huge smile on my face. Thank you for taking the time to write these things. You have no idea how many smiles it brings.

  17. Reading this at work...newish full of people during some testing...I'm convulsing as I try NOT to laugh out loud. My face hurts, as do my ribs.

    Note to is for working. Not stranger reading.

    Made. My. Day.

  18. Hahahaha! Poor Ollie and poor Eli! Luckily my dog has never vomited on me. I cannot say the same for my husband. He's still paying for that one!

    I hope you don't give up on Ollie and will continue your playdates! Maybe just try to avoid the car? Poor little guy. Poor car. (Does your car have a name? I can't remember it!)

  19. Wow. I can't believe no other Strangers have bothered to answer your question, they were all so excited to tell you how much you made them laugh with your plight!

    I think, grammatically, it's "worse," since you're really only comparing a really great day to its opposite. But in light of how horrific the tale was (even at 90% exaggeration), "worst" COULD apply. But only if this episode of your life can really be considered, BY YOU, to have been the "worst" thing you've experienced yet. If it's not the worst thing you've ever experienced, then play it safe and stick with "worse."

    I'm very glad Ollie likes you and trusts you enough to share ALL of his vomit with you and your car. That's a real milestone for a non-animal "lover."

  20. !!! You just lived through one of my biggest fears. I have the most pronounced gag reflex of anyone I know and if an animal started throwing up in my car I would most assuredly have to pull over so I could join in.

    In other news, I am currently fostering TWO lovely dogs, in case you want to tempt fate again. We might have to drive all the way across half the country to meet up, but providing you with an infinity of awful pet stories would be more than worth it for me. For all of us, really.