Dirty Dogs and They’re Done Dirt Cheap

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.

dirty-dog-copyThen 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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Filed under It's a Dog's Life

It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated

12030349_10156801560420354_588056629815306578_oI went to The Oscars.

Do you like how nonchalantly I said that?

It’s actually more like, I WENT TO THE OSCARS!!

It’s true. I can’t even remember the last time I even stayed awake to watch the entire Oscars and now I attended the actual event. The other big difference is I wore an actual dress as opposed to feetie pajamas and my duckie bathrobe. Although if I wore my feetie pajamas and duckie bathrobe, someone might have mistaken me for Lady Gaga, which could have been fun.

Now before you think this is a regular occurrence, I can assure you that I have never been on any list, long or short, to be considered for attendance at any Hollywood event, ever, that would even include Charo.


However, this year, a friend of a friend of a friend who knows Kevin Bacon (naturally), who is friends with someone who knows my husband gave him a ticket (my husband, not Kevin Bacon) to the Oscars. My husband was allowed to bring a guest, so, knowing this could be the last decision he would make in his life were he NOT to include me, he included me.

I was pretty excited about this, because it gave me a chance to reunite with some old friends I haven’t seen for awhile. First there’s Jennifer Aniston who’s wedding I attended in my dream one time. Then there’s Julia Roberts who has the same name as a friend of mine whom I’ve hung out with several times (my friend Julia Roberts, not the other Julia Roberts). And of course Jennifer Lawrence who was coming out of a restaurant bathroom stall one time as I was going in. I would have stopped to talk to her but I had drunk a lot of Diet Pepsi and I had to go. I expected that they would all be excited to see me, as well, until I realized they would have to climb to the 1018th row at the top of the balcony in the Dolby Theater to come visit me where I was seated.

IMG_2205 copyIn anticipation of this big event I had to get an Oscar-worthy dress. I had asked Valentino to design one for me, but shockingly, he didn’t return my calls. So, I perused some couture dresses online to get a sense of what was out there, but ultimately decided that IF I did happen to have $34,000 to spend on a dress, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing on my blog, but flying in my private jet to the Maldives for a weekend of R&R with Jennifer and Jennifer and making phony phone calls from the plane to Kanye. Since I did NOT have $34,000 to spend on a dress, though, I considered making one out of my window treatments like Maria did in The Sound of Music. However, considering the ancient state of my window treatments, I knew I would look like someone wearing a dress that was made out of window treatments, so I bought one instead.

IMG_2161 copy

IMG_2162 copy

I also thought about asking our local jewelers to loan me some diamonds like Harry Winston does for the A-listers who walk the red carpet. However, since I knew I would be walking the blue carpet, which is the lesser carpet they have for friends of friends of friends of Kevin Bacon who are attending, I thought the best I could hope for from our jewelers was a friendship bracelet and some fancy dog tags.

And then, of course, there was the Spanx. I tried desperately to find Spanx that went from my chin to my ankles, but alas, the best I could do was a one piece version that went from the top of my ribs to the bottom of my thighs. When I complained to the saleslady that I couldn’t breathe, she replied, “Yes, but you’ll have a clean line under your dress.” I told her I was sure it would make a nice epitaph on my headstone when I died from suffocation: “Here lies Tracy. She had a clean line under her dress.”

12771705_10156803961405354_1233260421667093841_oFashion issuers aside, the truly exciting part of going to the Oscars was being at the party after the Oscars and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous (many of whom had no desire to rub elbows with me. Yes, I’m talking about you, Matt Damon).

Sadly, while there were a lot of celebrities at the party, there was also a lot of paparazzi. Every time I got within spitting distance of a screen star, I would get pushed out of the way so the photographers could get a shot of the celeb. This happened several times until finally, I got up close… really close… to Leonardo DiCaprio, enjoying his big moment after winning the Oscar for Best Actor.

12764417_10156803961360354_6545627314654306948_oThere he was, suddenly right next to me, chatting casually with Stephen Spielberg!

Unfortunately, he appeared before me just as I stuffed a giant brownie into my mouth, and as I tried to congratulate him, I ended up spitting partially chewed brownie onto his Oscar.

And there you have my big Oscars moment.


Still, it was an honor just to be nominated, I mean, invited, and I enjoyed every moment of this exciting journey.

I was just sorry I didn’t get a chance to use my acceptance speech for a new category they had this year:

Best Actor to Impersonate an Important Person at the Oscars.


©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

“Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant. Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs” makes a great gift!! To get a copy for you or a cool mom you love, CLICK HERE

To become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, Visit me here
To follow me on Twitter, visit me here


Filed under Celeb Encounters, Uncategorized