For once I was going to have a real romantic Valentine’s Day. My daughter Gladiola was off spending the night with her girlfriends, so me and my gentleman friend, Lust, could have dinner for two with red wine and candles, right here in my kitchen, and afterward snuggle up on the couch and watch an Elvis movie and feed each other dessert – chocolate-dipped strawberries, maybe.

It don’t go like that

First of all, it turned out to be dinner for three, because we’re joined by a family connection who happens to be a dog. I got to explain.

His name is Tchoupitoulas, and his father is Chopsley, the Chihuahua who belongs to my mother-in-law Ms. Larda. Tchoupitoulas’s mother is my cousin Luna’s Dalmatian. Yep, a Dalmatian. Chopsley must have been one determined Chihuahua. If we had got this conception on YouTube, he would be famous. Instead, Chopsley got chopped, so it won’t happen again.

Anyway, my cousin Luna had a paternity test done, which proved Chopsley done the deed. So Ms. Larda took responsibility and found the puppy a home with my friend Awlette.

Now, Awlette had her own Valentine’s date, and evidently it was going to be quite a date, because she brought Tchoupitoulas here and said she’d pick him up in the morning.

He has grown into a Dalmatian-sized dog with a high voice.

I got to say, he’s a very polite dog; more polite then my grandkids in some ways. He eats whatever is put in front of him. Even if it’s put there by mistake and ain’t actually food.

We have our candlelit dinner, and Tchouppy scores a piece of steak for being a good boy. Afterward, we all three get cozy on the couch to watch Blue Hawaii. Then Lust notices he can’t hear the dialogue. He yanks off his hearing aid to check the battery and drops it. Tchouppy dives for it, and we both yell “No!” and Tchouppy scoots away. We chase him down and pry open his mouth, but the hearing aid ain’t in it. It’s gone.

So the question is, how do we get a hearing aid out of a dog? I call up my son Gargoyle in Baton Rouge, and he goes online and reads me the directions of how to safely make an animal throw up. He says we got to be very careful and do it exactly, step-by-step.

Step one: “Give the animal one teaspoon of three percent hydrogen peroxide for every five pounds of body weight.”

I check the medicine cabinet and would you believe, I got it. It ain’t peroxide to make me blonde, either; this is the medicinal kind.

Next, we got to find out what he weighs. I kick off my sexy high heels and get on my bathroom scale barefoot. Lust hands me Tchouppy and I clutch him and get slobbered on, while Lust bends over and adjusts his glasses and tells us to hold still and writes down our combined weight. Then I put Tchouppy down and get on again by myself, and we subtract.

Tchouppy weighs 40 pounds and I have gained five pounds since before Christmas. Harumph.

Then we measure out the hydrogen peroxide, mix it with leftover gravy and Tchouppy slurps it down.

Step Two: “Shake the animal gently to mix the hydrogen peroxide with the stomach contents.”

Shake him? I could barely hold him on the scale. Lust picks up his front half and I take his back half, but it’s hard to keep a grip on a dog while you’re shaking him. Finally we just hold him and jump up and down ourselves. One, two, three. Nothing. One, two, three. Nothing. This goes on until we’re exhausted. We put Tchouppy down and he runs around, all smiley, like dogs do.

Step Three: “If no results, repeat treatment once only.”

So we give him more gravy laced with hydrogen peroxide, and we pick him up and jump. And jump. And jump. Still nothing. We give up.

I stagger over to the couch to throw myself down, and my bare foot hits something in the carpet. I pick it up. It’s Lust’s hearing aid.

Then the dog throws up.

And that was my romantic Valentine’s Day.

Lust says it proves we can work as a team, and obviously we were meant for each other. I say next year he takes me out to dinner.