Tuesday, September 06, 2011



Dear Lord...

I almost didn't write about this, because feces is not a subject that I discuss very often, even with my closest friends and family.  The subject is rarely appropriate. 

Before you get too concerned about the path this post is going to take, though, I assure you, I'm not talking about people poop.  I'm talking about dog poop.  Lots and lots of dog poop.  I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance for even talking about poop at all, and for any crudities that may go along with that. 

Now, before I get to that part of the story, I'm going to need to back up a bit to yesterday, one of the rainiest days we've had in a long time.  *dream sequence music and wavy lines*

This is a long story.

As any of you long time readers know, Steve and I don't leave our dogs out in the rain if we can help it.  When it rains, we let the dogs out to do whatever business they have to attend to, and then we bring them back in and put them in their kennels.  Yes, that sounds dumb, but it's just easier not to have to deal with sopping wet animals.  I'm sure you'd agree.  Our dogs kind of hate this, because they don't like being penned up inside the kennels all day, but usually they are very good about sleeping and being quiet while in there.  One of the ways we trained them to get in their beds is to give them a treat once they are in there.  That is a two edged sword, though, because we have to give them a treat every time they go in, even if that's multiple times a day.  Yesterday was a more difficult day to keep them in the kennels because the rain lasted all day, Steve and I were both at home, and for some reason, when they can see us they would rather be out of the kennels getting petted rather than sitting in there just watching us.  So we had a day of them going in an out several times.  Butler was especially ornery, because he kept on getting up and demanding we let him out (batbatbat at the door with his paw.)  At first it seemed normal, like he just wanted to be petted, which was mostly the case, but a few of those times I realized he needed to go and take care of some business out in the yard.  This happened several times, and that should have given me a clue what was to come, but I'm apparently not smart enough to put two and two together.  Right before Steve and I went to bed, Butler had started doing the whole batbatbat at the door thing again, but because we had just let him outside less than an hour before putting him in, we thought he was just trying to get us to pet him again.We just told him to lie down and go to sleep.

Let's fastforward to this morning, shall we?

Today would have been a frustrating day without the subsequent poop issue, because I turned off the alarm clock in my sleep.  That isn't a big deal for me since I'm worthless and unemployed, but I'm the alarm clock keeper for Steve, and when I realized I'd turned it off, he was already late for work.  Oy.  He jumped up and ran to call his office, only to also realize he was not only late for work, but he had a doctor's appointment that he'd be late for if he didn't hurry and get out of the house.  Oy again. 

While Steve was rushing to do those things, I walked into the living room.  I had noticed a smell before walking in, but still didn't realize what it entailed, but when I got all the way in there...well...horf.  Butler had not just been wanting to be petted the night before.   He had some serious business to take care of outside, and since we hadn't understood this, he had to take care of it inside his kennel in a most disgustingly loose and copious way. Apparently, Steve and I had not realized that the other one had been giving the dogs their treats, so we were each giving them one when they'd go in.  That probably wouldn't have been an issue with just regular milk bones, but one of their favorite treats are some rawhide chewies made for cleaning their teeth, and the bag specifically says that too many of them would cause "gastric distress."  Understatement, folks.  Serious understatement.  

I'm going to pause here to tell you that at that moment, I suddenly remembered that we'd forgotten to put the trash can at the street the night before.  Since we'd been out of town last time the trash was picked up, our can was over-full and we didn't have room to put anything else in there, which meant we had at least one big, full trash bag sitting in the garage waiting for the can to be emptied.  We simply couldn't wait another week for the trash to be picked up, so I yelled to Steve that he needed to get the kennel outside, I let the dogs out- getting smacked in the leg and foot with a befouled dog's tail in the process- and I ran to roll the can to the street.  Oh, and it was raining.  Still.  I could hear the garbage truck, but couldn't see it, so I grabbed the can, started pushing it through the yard and struck a hillock of grass, which caused me to fall...hard.  It is only by the grace of God that the garbage can didn't open and spread trash all over the yard, but I have a feeling I might have had a complete come-apart if that had happened.  I jumped up, ran the can to the side of the street, only to realize that the garbage men had already passed my house.  I'm pretty sure I shouted some fairly foul language up into the rainy sky at that point.  I just stood there by the can, wet and bedraggled, and looked pitiful.  Luckily, the garbage man saw me and let me take the can to the other side of the street so it could be emptied by the big claw arm thing, so at least our garbage issue was solved.

After dragging the can back into the garage, I ran around to the side of the house and grabbed the hose.  I turned it on, thinking Steve would be bringing out the kennel any second.  It didn't come.  I was standing out in the rain getting soaked, when I saw Steve walk out of the house, sans kennel, going "HURK.....HUUUUURK!"  SIGH.  Look, I don't blame him for dry heaving.  It smelled horrible and even on the best days poop is gross and no one wants to have to deal with it.  However, I was wet and cold and had just face planted on the lawn.  I was NOT in the mood do deal with anyone's weak stomach.  I ran into the house, grabbed the kennel by the door and dragged it out one handed, pretty much destroying everything in my path.  Once I got it to the lawn, I tried spraying it with the hose, only to realize I didn't have the spray attachment.  So Steve brought me that and I tried to put it on, only I forgot you have to turn the hose off to do that, and I got sprayed in the face by the hose.   Gah!!!!!!!!

Finally attaching the spray thing, I started spraying out the kennel, and that was just... horrible.  I couldn't get the poo out.  Some of it had dried in there.   It was stuck to everything, and every few seconds I'd have to tip the thing over to empty poo water all over the ground.  That is where I almost lost my composure.  Seriously, the last thing I wanted was to be seen standing out in my yard, looking wet and homeless, standing next to a kennel filled with dried-on dog poo, holding a hose and crying, but I came close.  I was afraid I was going to have to climb into the kennel and scrub it out, and I just didn't think I could make myself do it.  Poor Bear was standing there, completely soaked, looking miserable and whining at me like he was thinking "Hey, I didn't poop on anything! Could you at least let me go inside?"  Butler was the only one who seemed to be happy.  Covered in his own filth or not, my guess was that he was feeling much better and so he was just running around, barking at stuff, and having a fine old time.

Steve finally came out, having composed himself, and informed me that we could take the kennel apart.  Hallelujah.  He managed to get the pieces apart and so I could get at the inside with the hose much easier, and he went inside to get ready to leave.  I had to take Butler's favorite toys, hose them off, and then throw them in the washer with about three bottles of bleach.  I also found a long handled brush that I could scrub the inside of the kennels with and a bottle of spray bleach to disinfect.  It was raining harder by this point, but I wasn't in a position to leave off what I was doing.  I knew I couldn't leave the dogs out there in the rain all day, but Butler was still covered in poo and he had no kennel in which to sleep in until I cleaned this one out.  When Steve came out to leave for his doctor's appointment, he made an offhand remark about wishing we had a spare kennel.  So I made the executive decision that he needed to go by Petsmart after his doctor appointment and get a new one.  I know that seems extreme, but I was desperate.  He left and I stood out there for another 45 minutes scrubbing the damn kennel down.  Oh, and to top all that off, something stung me on the neck while I was doing that.  I was not happy.  When I finally got the kennel clean, I took the hose over to the fence and called Butler over.  I spent the next 10 minutes trying to spray him off, but he would run away every time.  I don't blame him, I'm sure the water was cold.  I walked into the house to warm up a bit, only to hear the phone ring.  It was Steve.  He needed me to come to Petsmart with the truck to pick up the new kennel, because it was too big to fit in the Challenger.  So I jumped in the truck, picked up the kennel, and we got home with enough time for Steve to help me put it together before he had to leave for work. After that I was on my own again.

I managed to get Bear inside and sort of dried off.  He was not happy with me at all, and he looked like a drowned rat.  I got him inside and into his kennel, and then had to go deal with Butler.  I knew there wasn't anything else I could do but give him a bath, but have you ever tried to wrangle a beshitted 90 pound Lab into a shower stall when he hates water?  We usually have him washed at the vet's office because we can't handle him.  So, yeah, that was fun.  I was able to get him all the way through the house and into the bedroom before he remembered "BATH!"  I literally had to pick up his front legs and walk him into the bathroom.  I trapped him in and turned on the water, and it was the only time I've ever been glad the bathrooms in this house were small, because he couldn't get away from me.  I managed to keep him in the shower, holding him down with my side while scrubbing him and soaping him up.  I even had to wash his butt, and I don't ever want to do that again.  He didn't like it, I didn't like it, and I'm fairly certain he's going to need therapy now.  I'm just glad I had gloves. 

I was in the shower with him in my bra, sweatpants, and my athletic shoes - all soaking wet by the time I was done.  I tried to dry him off, tried to soothe him a little, but I'm pretty sure he hates me now.  He shook all over my clean, hanging clothes, all over the bedroom furniture, and all over the living room.  We both dripped as we went down the hall and I finally got him into his new kennel.  Once he was inside, I was so relieved, but I felt so disgusting.  I'd been washing my hands and keeping as far away from the poo as possible, but I'm sure you'll understand that just dealing with a mess like that can make a person feel foul. Also, by that point the water heater had been almost drained, so I couldn't even take a bath right away.  Oh, the humanity.  I had to sit around, freezing and wet, until more water heated.  It took about 30 minutes before I felt sure there was enough hot water to disinfect myself, and then I took a long, hot shower.  If I hadn't been so sure it would damage my skin, I would have sprayed bleach all over myself too...but I had to settle for anti-bacterial soap. 

I'm finally clean, but I still feel like I'm coated in filth.  I'm starving, but the idea of actually eating anything I touch is making me gag, so I'm going to have to wait until that passes.  I know it wasn't Butler's fault that this happened, and I'm not mad at him, I just wish he could have somehow managed to open his own kennel, open the kitchen and garage doors, and gotten outside before he pooped everywhere.  I know he doesn't have thumbs, but is that too much to ask? 

I think I'm going to need another bath.  *shudder*

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