Wednesday, March 28, 2012


We had dogsitting duty this past week.

Ugh, no pretty pictures about that.  I am just sitting down from my attempt to detox the house, sanitize the floors and carpets and couches and curtains and kids clothing and trying to rid our home of eau de kennel.

Here, pictured above, is one of the Hades beasts we were charged with.  Now multiply that mug by three. THREE OF THEM. Three, all equally demonic in their ability to run away, poo upon anything cotton-based and pee upon just plain anything. Three extra dogs. Add in the blind pug we already fight to keep alive it makes FOUR little DOGS in one house.
   As Charlie observed, "there was more poop than a poop store." (Oh, you've never been to one of those fine shops?  Well let me tell you, they're not for the faint of heart.)

    In preparation for the three-dog nightmare I removed all the rugs from the main floor of the house and blocked off any carpeted rooms. Or I thought I had. There'd be a bath mat here, a rag rug there, or a baby blanket that resembled a rug and those four-legged evil masterminds would soil it in really record time. By the second day I had everything fabric-ish off the floor. This kinked the dogs sensibilities. "What are we to pee upon?" they seemed to ask themselves and for a brief hour, they all succumbed to using the grass.
     But then the kids returned from school and in proper kid fashion flung backpacks and coats and drawings of Br-unnies (that's a bunny mixed with a bird and very fashionable with the 3rd grade sect) upon the floor.  The dogs smiled and got to work.

   By day three I'd resorted to throwing down extra sheets and drop cloths over almost every surface. I, a college-educated adult, could outsmart these urine-dribbling monsters. I would direct their pottying onto cottons which I could wash.

Or throw away.  That's really what ended up happening. And I think the dogs know that they can chalk up a win for that. When I was in the heat of the battle, desperate to keep my toddler from waddling throw dog filth, I thought I was winning as I whisked away sheet after sheet and for a brief moment had a clean haven. But when my dogsitting duties were done and I looked at the pile of soiled sheets on the deck...
      What was the next step?  I could shake out the little dried turdlettes and then throw the sheets into the washing machine...? Then in the very next load do the kids shirts?  I couldn't do it. I briefly considerd going to a laundromat. Whomever used the machine after me would never even know the foulness that went on before them.  When I was newly married and dirt-poor living in New York I had to use a laundromat. We were doing really hard, filthy manual labor repairing a decrepit rowhouse out there and I swear to you that my sooty-grey work clothes came out of those laundromat machines dirtier than when they went in. 

Now I know that I must have always gotten the machine previously used by some poor soul on dogsitting duty.
 But now the week is done and the extra dogs are gone. It cost me many loads of laundry, all my drop cloths, quite a few rugs and a costco-sized box of paper towels, but only one Saturday was ruined as the whole neighborhood worked to track down that one lucky dog-catcher who, in his own words, "had never caught one this small and my dispatcher was really hoping she could keep it."
   Ahh, I am free.
 And ahh, I am now breathing deeply of air that is not canine-tainted.  My home smells like oranges and vanilla right now.  And I guess that's the happy end to this tale. You must endure stench to be able to enjoy pleasant. That's in the Bible somewhere, isn't it?

Okay, love didn't exactly steam its way out of my pot, but after the week of stink, the heavenly aroma of oranges and vanilla ranked right up there with adoration.

No comments: