At 3.44am today I delivered up another alien baby from my nostril.
Smaller than its brother from a couple of weeks ago, it put up something of a violent struggle. Blood gushed in its wake in a seemingly unstoppable river. As I tried to sneeze out the troublesome matter, blood sprayed up the bedroom wall. My partner began to wail and cry as her attempts to staunch the outpouring of blood proved ineffective. I couldn't prevent myself from sneezing and, with every new sternutation, blood spattered across the wall, the duvet, and my distraught partner.
At around 4.21am, after approximately half a roll of lavatory paper lay fragmented and blood-soaked around us, and some quarter of a pint of blood had daubed everything in the immediate vicinity, I was exhausted - yet still the blood continued to gush. In her desperation, my partner cried out, aloud, to God to help me.
Now, I'm not barking anything odd, but a few seconds after this heart-rending plea, the bleeding slowed to a trickle and then stopped. The rich red haemoglobin began to clot and my partner ceased dabbing at my snout, lest she accidentally re-start the bleeding. Feeling drained (quite literally) and weak, I collapsed into a state of semi-sleep. My partner gently kissed my cheek and stroked my neck and flank, telling me what a good, brave, boy I was, how much she loved me, and what an amazing, wonderful, dog I "had been". It had not escaped my notice that she had been clutching her mobile 'phone for the last twenty minutes.
I roused myself, wishing to reassure my trembling partner that, as far as I was concerned, this was NOT "my time". I kissed her hand and began to clean up some of the spilled blood. "It's all right, Jasper." said my partner softly, "Don't worry about the mess - I'll clean it all up. You just concentrate on resting and letting your body mend itself." She asked me if I needed the toilet, but I didn't. She then gently explained that she was going to get herself a cup of water and I wasn't to worry, as she would be back in just a moment.
True to her word, she soon returned with her water and lay beside me. As a pleasant little treat, she read me two chapters of our book to send me off to sleep (she reads aloud to me some evenings. It helps her to practise her dramatic voice and diction and I take great enjoyment from hearing a story and, more importantly, the sound of her voice. At the moment, we are re-reading Jane Austen's books in order and are halfway through the first volume of Sense and Sensibility). As intended, I drifted into sleep. As I floated into unconsciousness, I heard my partner whispering thanks to God for helping me.
As you will have gathered from reading this post, I am now very much recovered. Breathing is once again easy (if not easier) and blood-free. Aside from the mildest dull ache in my nostril, I have no other ill-effects - not even so much as a headache. I scoffed down my breakfast hungrily, enjoyed a nap with my partner as we caught up with the sleep we had missed, and helped with a spot of gardening. In the evening, we went to Abbotstone, where I raced about like a happy pup - delighting in the moist grass and fresh smells after the rain of yesterday. I met a couple of young spaniels and played with them for a bit - more than able to keep up with them, and delighting my partner. Good times.
In fact, I am - in a roundabout way - somewhat grateful for the distraction provided by this episode. For, prior to these events, my partner and I were on most uneasy terms.
The problem started late on Wednesday afternoon, when my gaseous emissions proved unacceptable in our office environment. As the weather was not too hot, I was escorted by my partner to our New Teal Megane and invited to conclude my day within its doors. I minded not, and relished the chance for a snooze in complete peace and quiet. A mere half an hour later, however, all tranquillity was rent asunder.
A certain need had been knocking at my fire-escape for some while but, enjoying my snooze, I paid it no need. When, finally, I was left with no option but to summon my partner it was, alas, all-too-late. I had an attack of the profound squits all over the inside of the car. When my partner came to check on me some thirty minutes later, she let out a piercing scream at what she found. Two of her colleagues - we'll call them Keith and Lee (because those are their names) - ran out to defend her, only to collapse in helpless hysterics at what they saw and the revolted look upon my partner's face. B*st*rds. Lee actually wanted to film my partner clearing up the mess in order to post it on Youtube. Fortunately for our dignity he fled, retching, as soon as my partner opened the car door.
Keith gave us an in-car air freshener and then left for the day, still laughing. My partner put all the soiled blankets, in-car clothing, leads and my collar (also befouled) into a black plastic bin sack and spent the next hour cleaning the mess on the seats, floor and fittings of our vehicle, whilst I looked on in mortification.
But this was not the end of the matter. Oh no.
On arriving home, my partner gave me naught but a small bowl of plain boiled rice for dinner. I protested, but to no avail. Whilst I consumed this meagre repast, my partner emptied the contents of the aforementioned black plastic sack into our washing-machine and set it to its most powerful setting.
Cometh the next morning; cometh the last act in this drama. The washing-machine had proved unable to cope with the contents of my bowels and had flooded our kitchen. My partner had to fetch a screwdriver and dismantle the filter and drainage pipe - and then had to scoop out, by hand, the blockage - previously known as the matter which had soiled the garments and car interior, previously known as the liquid excrement from my bot-bott. My partner, after telephoning her colleagues to announce that we would be late into the office, and after consulting the user manual for the washing-machine, was able to mend the machine, clearing up the water on the kitchen floor as the machine recommenced its heavy-duty cleaning cycle.
Despite her justifiable pride at having mended the washing-machine without having to summon an engineer (or her able-to-fix-anything-just-by-looking-at-it mother), the achievement was soured by its genesis. To have to clean my liquid botty-feculence by hand ONCE (from the car) was, my partner claims, "bad enough". To have to clean it by hand TWICE (the washing-machine) was "a turd too far". Oh dear.
But now, harmony and love have once again been restored between us. And we smile. We have much for which to be thankful. Through good times and bad - we remain, for now, together in this world.