In honor of Dudikoff’s 5th birthday today, I decided to repost this humiliating story. I hope you enjoy it.
Before moving to Poland, miscommunication was something that happened to people like Jack Tripper or Frasier that was normally resolved in 22 minutes or less. Now it’s a part of my daily routine, and if I’m lucky, it’s resolved in less than 22 hours.
Like the time when I was in the hospital and my doctor said, “You have test. Your stomach healthy.” And just as I was feeling pretty good about passing a test I didn’t even know I had taken, I was brought into a room full of female medical students to get a high colonic. Only as the tube was inserted into my rectum before a live studio audience did I realize that I was going to take the test and later my stomach would be healthy. To their credit, when the procedure was over, their English was very clear: “You feel like you must go to bathroom more than anything in world. YOU. MUST. NOT.”
Man, I wish that last paragraph was a joke.
All of this comes with the territory of being an American in a country with one of the most difficult languages in the world. My wife’s English is good, but every so often we discover a blind spot with the language that we didn’t know was there. The best example I can think of is when our Shih Tzu Dudikoff was suffering from priapism, that is, he suffered from prolonged erections. Apparently, the blood would be unable to drain from his penis when he was excited and he’d be stuck with an erection, at first annoying and eventually painful.
Dudikoff is typical for his breed, which means he is overwhelmingly cute and frighteningly stupid. Like most Americans, I often consider what my life would be like in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and in every possible scenario, Dudikoff is dead within the first five minutes (I usually have him beat by a good five to ten minutes!). While he has many talents, his greatest gift is getting sick just when we finally manage to start saving money.
The first time I noticed that something was wrong was when I returned home one day and Dudikoff didn’t greet me at the door. Instead, he stood in the middle of the living room, frozen in place. I called to him and he didn’t budge. When I picked him up, I was greeted with the kind of erection that would make Ron Jeremy blush. It was huge and completely disproportionate to Dudikoff’s body to the point that I wondered if what I was seeing wasn’t his penis, but rather a severed baby’s arm that had somehow been Frankensteined to my dog’s crotch. I put him down, both impressed and nervous by the discovery. Since I didn’t know what to do, I figured the best course of action was the classic wait and see approach, as if declaring, “Your move, penis!”
20 minutes later, Dudikoff was still standing in the middle of the living room, his giant penis throbbing against the floor with the rhythm of his little heart. The sound was becoming my Tell-Tale Heart, amplifying my guilt to the point that I could no longer ignore it, but I didn’t know what to do. The veterinarian was within walking distance, but I didn’t know how to carry Dudikoff down the street without brandishing him like a weapon. Do I cover him in a blanket like E.T. to avoid scaring children? Could I be arrested for indecency? What if Dudikoff misunderstood my carrying him as some kind of twisted foreplay? Wouldn’t that severely damage our relationship? What would the veterinarian think? Was I dressed too sexy? Should I change my clothes? And while I pondered all of those questions, the erection faded and Dudikoff went back to his normal happy self. I gave him a treat and a pat on the head. I took him for a walk around the block, terrified that the erection would return, peering out of the underside of his belly like a shark fin.
When it happened again, my wife was the one to find Dudikoff. Because my wife is not me, she immediately took him to the vet. She called to let me know what was going on, and I ended up meeting her at the vet’s office a short while later.
The two of us standing there in the office with the veterinarian and Dudikoff sitting on the table felt like a bad family show that was in its ninth season and had run out of ideas to milk drama. When the veterinarian asked if this had happened before, I played dumb.
The veterinarian explained to my wife what we had to do in Polish, speaking somberly and meticulously for what seemed like a very long time. When they finished talking, I asked, “What do we have to do?”
My wife turned to me and said matter-of-factly, “We have to give Dudikoff a blow job.”
“Excuse me,” I said.
“We have to give him a blow job,” she said again.
At that moment, I could see our future. I am returning home from a particularly long day at work, exhausted and hungry, and when I open the front door, my wife is standing there holding Dudikoff at arm’s length. Dudikoff’s mouth is open, his tongue hanging out, his tail wagging with frantic happiness, and his penis, bloated and purple like an unripe eggplant, appears to be reaching out for me. My wife, hair frazzled, tears in her eyes, is screaming, “It’s your turn to blow the fucking dog!”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Did he just tell you that we had to blow the dog?”
My wife sighed. “Yes.”
I looked at the veterinarian. His arms were crossed and he was nodding.
“Really? That doesn’t make any sense.” I was doing my best to remain calm.
I could tell that the veterinarian was getting nervous. And my wife had the kind of look on her face that suggested that I was being abnormally dense.
“Just so I’m clear here,” I said. “When Dudikoff gets an erection, the only way to cure him is to put it,” I lowered my voice, “in my mouth?”
As I said in my mouth, her face went pale and she cried out, “No!” She quickly made a loose fist with her left hand and made a sudden jerking motion.
“Oh, a hand job! Excellent!” I said. I gave the veterinarian a quick thumbs up. I could tell he was slightly concerned about my swift overabundant joy at the idea of giving hand jobs to our dog. “That’s such fantastic news,” I said, wiping the tears of joy from my eyes.