Note: I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled Bean history to report on a recent Hyacinth event. To read Hyacinth’s bio, go to Meet the Beans and scroll down.
Hyacinth is the resident bitch at Maison Bean. (Papa, if you are reading, keep the comments to yourself.) Hyacinth is a 10-year-old, 22-pound Pekingnese with a bad attitude and an eating disorder.
Every family with small children should have a Hyacinth, not because she is a cuddly, playful dog who adores children, especially one named Moose. She is not. But she is the self-appointed keeper of the floors, a job she takes very seriously. There is not a meal that goes by that you won’t find Hyacinth perched under the highchair guarding the floor from peas, carrots, noodles, cheese, blueberries and everything else. She keeps an immaculate floor, and for that I am grateful.
Two days before Book Club was to be hosted at my house, I made a double batch of walnut rum chocolate brownies. I was hoping to impress the girls with a dessert of brownies and buttermilk ice-cream. But making brownies with days to spare at Maison Bean is a dangerous thing, namely, because Papa devours brownies by the fistful. After they cooled, I put them in two plastic tubs and hid them under my bed—one tub for the Beans (me) and the other for Book Club.
That night my friend Joe came by, and being a good hostess and also seeking validation that the brownies would be a huge success, I gave him two. Joe was impressed…. Apparently, so was Hyacinth. I found her later in my room licking the bottom of an empty tub.
I started to panic. Wasn’t chocolate lethal to dogs or something?! I immediately called my friend Kat, a dog person, and left a message for her to call me stat. Minutes later I received a text from her. She was in crisis. Her boyfriend, a haughty Frenchman with a cavalier regard for women, had dumped her.
Then I called the emergency vet where I went into a short monologue explaining that my husband was out of town and that I’d just gotten to sleep my colicky baby and his brother who had a severe case of ADHD and whose meds, unfortunately, needed to be refilled, but that I was very worried about my Pekingnese baby who had ingested a whole pan of brownies.
It was 10 p.m. I was exhausted, and I simply wanted advice, not an emergency vet visit if I could help it, nor the $200 bill. Obviously, the EV didn’t want me with my offspring there either. They gave me advice. Free advice.
“Looks for signs of agitation, anxiety, panting. If that happens, Mrs. Bean, she’s having a reaction. You’ll need to find a babysitter and bring her in.”
I looked at Hyacinth. She was passed out on her pillow snoring louder than 300-pound drunk.
“If she doesn’t have an allergic reaction, you can definitely expect gastro-intestinal upset.” (She actually said the D-word, but that’s not a word I like to use, nor is it something I know how to spell.)
I thought about Book Club in two days. Visions of my destroyed living room rug went through my head.
“If it’s been less than an hour (it was!), you could induce vomiting by giving her two to three teaspoons of peroxide. Wait 10 minutes. If she doesn’t throw-up, you can repeat the procedure once more.”
“I think one time will be traumatic enough for both of us,” I said and thanked her.
I nudged my slumbering dog. “Get up, you glutton. It’s time to throw up.”
Hyacinth growled. Well, at least her disposition hadn’t been adversely affected.
I put her in the bathtub and gave her three baby medicine syringes filled with peroxide. She foamed at the mouth and looked at me like I’d really lost my mind this time.
While I waited for her to throw up, I texted Kat back that the Frenchman really was a loser and that I would have offered chocolate but Hyacinth, the pig dog, had consumed the non-Book Club portion.
Ten minutes passed without event. I should have known that Hyacinth wouldn’t let go of those brownies that easily. No way was I going through the peroxide fiasco again. I got Hyacinth out of the tub, and we both went to sleep.
Two days later Book Club was a great success and the remaining tub of brownies, which had been relocated to the top of my closet until the big night, were a hit. Hyacinth is fine, although she missed a few Cheerios on floor duty for a day, and while I didn’t exactly scour the backyard, I never saw any signs of gastro distress.
These days I have a newfound respect for my piggy pooch—the bitch can put away more chocolate in one sitting than I.