Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

I was going to tell you about our fun Monday, complete with photos, but the dogs decided to roll around in something dead tonight.  Did I mention we have 3 dogs?  One would have been bad enough, but three beasts rushing inside for dinner reeking of hot dog and eau de rotting rabbit was gag inducing.  Nothing says I'm a boundary-less pet lover like washing all three dogs at 10pm in my PJs.  My neighbors must love me. 

[Last summer I noticed there were a bunch of spiders on the exposed foundation at night and, having a paranoia of brown recluses, having in short order heard about a co-worker's second massive oozing recluse bite and also hearing about a local lady who died after putting on the sweater one was napping in, and being concerned about my son playing in the basement, I decided I needed to take a picture so I could identify them.  After experimenting a bit, it turned out the macro setting worked best.  So next time you see your neighbor taking close ups of her wall at 11pm, quite possibly in her PJs, just remember there might have been a completely logical chain of thought leading up to that moment.]

This reminds me I never wrote about my dog, Max.  I will soon - though it's one of those sad dog stories, because he didn't live forever.  Max had a fetish for stuffed animals and live skunks.  He was too proud to fetch balls but would gather all the stuffed animals he could find into a big pile and then lay down to rest nearby.  He never ripped a seam.  I found him in a shelter, though we later decided he was mostly Belgian Shepherd.  And, as all good sheepdogs, Max was happiest when his people were sitting in a circle - he would sit slightly outside, facing away from us, watching for stray wolves and schnauzers.

We lived in a condo in LA with him and, absent yard, Matt & I would take him on long rambling strolls through the neighborhood.  Late one night, when Matt was off somewhere, I was going to take him out for a 3 minute 'last call'.  Except there was a full moon and the weather (*cough*  - unlike here) was gorgeous.  So we ventured off along one of our many paths, this one edging a bit of open hillside.  He suddenly lunged for something and was whipping whatever it was back and forth in his jaws.  My first thought, for a blissful half second, was that it must be a rabbit.  Then a wave of skunk hit me.  I was so close the spray was wet - and he hadn't yet let go.  I had to wade in and grab his neck for him to release.  No, it was WAY worse than you think - though due to humankind's amazing ability to adapt to almost unimaginable horrors, I eventually stopped retching.  To his credit (unlike my current menagerie) the smell was even too much for my poor pup (whose fur was ALSO wet) and he stopped at every slip of grass on the way home, trying to wipe it off. 

I left him in the garage and went to the grocery store to buy tomato juice at 1am.  WHY anyone else had to be in the store at that moment is beyond me, and not only other shoppers, but other shoppers who had to finish at the exact same moment I did and get in line behind me and my 15 gallons of tomato juice.  And not only other shoppers with bad timing, but other young attractive prom king-queen type shoppers.  Who politely stood in line for one...two... three... seconds before I FELT them look at each other and "suddenly remember the pickles".   Equal parts mortification and hilarity.

This would be life lesson #136:  don't get in line behind the gal in yoga pants buying 15 gallons of tomato juice at 1am.  Chances are she's not making Bloody Marys.


  1. I hope you saved at least a *little* of the tomato juice for a bloody mary -- sounds like you really needed one.

    Under the heading of What We Do For Our Pets, I had a pet rat once, who eventually got sick and died. Afterward, my father revealed that during the couple of days of her illness, he had crafted an absolutely gorgeous red-velvet-lined walnut coffin for her. He's an excellent woodworker and also a huge animal lover (he once took my *hamster* to the vet). You gotta wonder what the anthropologists will think when they dig that one up.

  2. This post made me laugh out loud!

    Go, you, for remaining such a dedicated pet owner. The quality of life for our dog Benya has diminished since Maybelle has entered the pack. I'm not sure we'd be washing her at 10 pm (or perhaps I should be fair here and say that I'm pretty sure *I* wouldn't be washing her, but it might well be that the guy in the family would be).

  3. Julia - Your dad sounds awesome. That might be one of the sweetest things I ever heard. (MY hamster got a shoebox). And you know his efforts will be documented for all time in Anthropology Today.

    Alison - Unfortunately my dogs have suffered too - walks are a rare event these days. The baths were necessary simply to let them back in the house. THEY probably would have preferred it if I left them stinky & outside since they're the ones who rolled around in in the first place. They would have barked at my poor besieged neighbors all night though.

  4. I needed that belly laugh!!! Oh my god... you are so funny! Of course I can sympathize as I am the cat owner with a flashlight looking for my cats at 11 pm (not now that they are all gone,:()
    I can just visualize Max sitting with that back to you vigilant!