14 September 2014
Each year, to re-teach the Elements of Story, I use David Sedaris’, Big Boy. In the story, he visits the powder room and finds a large turd in the toilet. The ensuing battle illustrates both internal and external conflict. Students also analyze the theme. Sometimes, they come up with “Poop happens.” Other times, they explain that you will have to clean up messes that you didn’t make.
Both themes are apparent in a life with dogs.
First, poop happens.
Second, because I am the only one in the Hooker Horde with opposable thumbs, it falls to me to clean up the mess.
Today is Sunday and it was my intent to sleep past my usual 5:00 am wake-up call. But, around 5:00 am, I woke to a foul smell. I rolled over, pulled the blankets snug, and buried my head in the pillow.
The smell, however, permeated the air with a dark pungent odor. I got up taking Betty White with me. Panting, Faith padded behind with enthusiasm.
With each step the smell worsened. I peeked into the guest bathroom, extra bedroom, and the TV room. Nothing.
When I reached the stair landing, I knew whatever it was, it was downstairs. Waiting.
Carrying Betty White, I whistled for Gus who leapt off the bed and started bounding down the stairs.
Fortunately, both Gus and Faith, stepped around the giant puddle of diarrhea in the dining room on their way to the back door. I set Betty White outside with them and surveyed the damage.
In the past, when friends with small dogs take care of Faith, they joked, “You need a snow shovel to clean that up.”
Often, it takes two bags to get it all. Sometimes, I use one bag on my hand and another to collect it.
Along with the puddle of diarrhea, there were regular-sized and shaped droppings along with more liquid like leavings all around the table.
Even though it was close to freezing outside, I opened all of the windows to air out the house. Then, I lit mimosa-scented incense. (After all, it was champagne Sunday.)
Using a roll of paper towels, I mopped up the diarrhea.
Then, I invited the dogs to come back inside. Gus scampered back up the stairs and into bed. Trying to stay warm, Betty White leapt up onto the sofa and curled herself into a ball.
Faith looked at me with soft brown eyes and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to wake you up.”
Next, I scooped up all of the solid waste with toilet paper and flushed it.
After that, I moved the chairs from around the table and carefully slid the table off the rug and into the kitchen. Made of Japanese ash, the table is rather heavy. Pulling from the end closest to the kitchen, I felt something squish beneath my bare foot.
I walked on the ball of my right foot until I moved the table and could wipe my foot on the parts of the carpet that were clean.
Being careful to not spill any of the runny waste, I folded up the rug I purchased just about two weeks ago after a similar event compliments of Booker, into what appeared to be a giant eggroll, and carried it out the front door and beyond the gate.
I wiped up what had leaked onto the hardwood floor, added water to the steam cleaner and gave it a thorough steaming. Then, sprayed the hardwood floor cleaner and scrubbed. At this point, I was grateful for my curling team experience as it taught me how to “sweep” and scrub.
Once the steamer, the mop and the cleaning supplies were put away, I returned the table and chairs to their home in the dining room and decided it looked just fine without a rug under it.
Then, I picked Betty White up, whistled my standard tune for Faith to follow, and went back to bed.
My heart hurt for Faith knowing she was embarrassed. I snuggled with her and apologized for not hearing her get up.
This is just life with dogs.