The dog smelled bad.
Not merely dirty doggie bad. But smelled-like-he-rolled-in-dead-things bad. It was the kind of smell that singed your eyes and made you wish for a head cold. Or a Hazmat suit.
It had been a year since he smelled this nasty and I had forgotten that this was a seasonal issue. There were things in the backyard that had long since died, then decomposed under the ice and snow for six months until they reached optimum decay, only to be discovered by the dog when the spring thaw began.
Then of course there was the mud. Mud that has been sitting under snow for six months tends to get a really nice, pungent, swampy scent that is like a combination of slimy frog, rotten plant life, and dead fish. Since we live nowhere near a swamp, I have no idea why this would be the case, but nevertheless it does, and the dog loves rolling in this, too.
When you combined the dead thing scent with the putrefied mud and rolled it all into dog, you got a smell that was so powerful, if harnessed and converted to energy, it could likely power the world for the next millennium…. If the smell didn’t kill everyone first.
There was no question the dog needed a bath – or maybe a week in a NASA decontamination unit – but the question was, who was going to do the dirty deed. I was pretty sure it was beyond my humble bathing capabilities, or anyone else in my family. This was a job for a professional. But it must have been a big week for smelly dogs because I tried several groomers with no luck. The earliest appointment I could get was in a week and I was certain that if we waited that long, our house would melt from the fumes.
Not wanting to give him any more time to ferment, I decided I would take one for the team and wash the dog.
I ran out and got this special dog shampoo for really, really dirty dogs that roll in mud and dead things (yes, there is such a product) and hauled him into the bath.
The first shampoo took off the mud. The second shampoo took off the dead things. The third shampoo took off another layer of something leftover from Halloween. By his fourth shampoo the water finally ran clear and there was nothing left but dog.
Surprisingly, he was actually smaller and whiter than I had remembered.
The good news was, the dog was finally clean. However the bathtub and the bathroom looked like the aftermath of a mud wrestling competition. So next I cleaned the bathroom, and then all the towels I had used to clean the dog AND the bathroom. Four hours later, just as I put the last load of towels in the dryer, my husband walked in the door.
“I washed the dog,” I announced. “Doesn’t it smell better in here?”
He sniffed and then wrinkled his nose.
“No,” he stated.
“What do you mean?” I demanded. “The dog smells great!”
“Yeah,” he said. “But you stink.”
©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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