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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Have I Mentioned That I Have a Dog to Give Away?

Hell hath no fury like a blog scorned.

I love my dog. Not in that way, you filthy pervert, but I still love her. Really. I’ll be sad to see her go, but clearly, she has to go.

Have I mentioned that my dog got ‘skunked’ last night?

Now, I used to think that skunkings were a suburban phenomenon. Something that happened way out there, in the hills and hollers. I was rather forcefully corrected last night, when my poor wife and poorer dog came clambering up our front steps after a run-in with one of the foul-smelling striped critters. Luckily — for my wife — our dog Susie was off-leash, and therefore my wife wasn’t in danger of getting struck directly by rodent ass juice. Susie, however, was just about as unlucky, and unhappy, as a dog can get.

Have I mentioned that the skunk sprayed our dog in the mouth?

So, when I ran downstairs to answer the door, I was greeted by a harried, worried wife, and a miserable, panicked, frothing-at-the-mouth dog trying to expel her tongue from her body so she wouldn’t have to taste anything ever again. Oh, and of course, there was a third, um, presence at the door, as well. I call it ‘Goddamn, make it stop! For the love of Christmas, make it stop now!‘ Except that it smelled worse than that. Much worse. I’d be more specific, but the smilie hasn’t been invented to approximate the face I made when I caught the first whiff of foul skunky-butt raunch. Clearly, something had to be done, and fast. So, of course, we hustled the dog to the bathtub. Which is inside, through the front hallway, and up the stairs. Leaving us plenty of territory to infect with the foul-smelling filth along the way.

Have I mentioned that we weren’t thinking very clearly at this point?

At that point, my wife and I cleared our heads a bit and each assumed a role. She became ‘Hold the Dog in the Tub Woman‘, while I morphed into ‘Run Around Like an Idiot Trying to Help Man‘. Whose battle cry, if you’re not familiar with it, is, ‘Whaddaya need? Whaddaya need? Whaddaya need?‘ That was my contribution for the first three minutes of the ordeal, until we got our heads screwed on straight. Then, I was put to good use. I fetched dog shampoo, and paper towels, and people towels (which is to say: old, ratty, bottom-of-the-pile, disposable people towels), our seldom-used doggie toothbrush and poultry-flavored toothpaste (why the hell don’t we humans get to use that? I’d brush with chicken paste. Wouldn’t you?), and a bag of jerky treats. For the dog. Or to stuff up our noses. I didn’t really have a definite plan at that point.

While I was gone on my quest, pandemonium ensued. The shower rod came tumbling down. The half-wet dog got half out of the tub, but was coaxed back in. Rampant, unfettered splashing followed. My wife’s T shirt got wet. Hey, every situation has a silver lining, right? But I digress. Back to the action.

Have I mentioned that my dog despises baths over all else in the world?

(Well, probably next to having a small animal shoot ass water into her mouth, at this point, but until last night, baths were the primary bane of her existence.)

So, I got back with the shampoo and towels and such, and we went to work scrubbing the poor dog down. Whenever she could, she’d lift a wavering paw to the lip of the tub, trying to sneak enough leverage to lunge past us. But we were watchful sentinels, and thankfully kept her in position. We started out with my wife washing, and me doing the holding and treat-offering. None of the treats were taken, of course. Our dog has a policy, which goes a little something like this:

When I’m miserable, I’m only going to be miserable, so don’t go trying to cheer me up with any treats or praise or petting nonsense. I hate you until you get me out of whatever stupid mess I’m in, and only afterwards can you go about making it up to me. But not a moment sooner.

Have I mentioned that our dog really knows how to lay a guilt trip?

Anyway, my wife soaped Susie up, while I tried to simultaneously hold her and pet her at the same time. Um, the dog, that is, not my wife. Which is not to say that I don’t try the same trick on my wife. But it seemed like the wrong time for that sort of thing, so I concentrated for the moment on trying to comfort the dog. Which failed more or less completely, and I found myself stuck squarely in her mournful, pleading gaze. ‘Kill me if you must, but please, oh please, if you have any feelings at all for me, stop bathing me now!‘ Cleraly, things were not going well, and the dog wasn’t smelling much better, either.

That’s when my wife had a Bright Idea™, which was to apply an old home remedy that we’ve all heard is helpful in this situation. Namely, the tomato juice treatment. Apparently, the acid in the tomatoes counteracts the skunk ass smell, and leaves your pet smelling fresh, tangy, and ready to be poured into a glass and garnished with celery. I’m usually a bit skeptical of these ‘folk remedy’ sorts of things, but I decided to go along with it. Nothing else was working; why not roll the dice? So my wife went down to the kitchen to find the tomato juice.

Have I mentioned that we didn’t actually have tomato juice in the house, ever?

What we did have, however, was a couple of cans of some chunky, herbed stewed tomato concoction, way back behind the soup and black beans. I don’t know why the hell we had it, or what the hell it’s supposed to be used for. What I do know is that my wife brought up the contents of one can in a plastic bowl, and spooned it onto the dog’s back for us to rub in until the skunk funk was subdued.

Now, folks, a more pitiful, heartwrenching dog you have never seen in your life. I don’t care what you think has tugged your heart stringsin the past. Greyhounds in need of adoption, or little Fifi getting her shots at the vet, or grimy homeless beasts delivered to the shelter’s back door. None of these — none — could possibly look more heart-achingly pathetic than our poor Susie, dripping wet, with a snootful of skunk juice, and with pasta sauce plastered all over her head. It’s simply not possible. Unless, of course, it was me, a few seconds after that sorry sight. Because there’s one thing I may not have told you yet.

Have I mentioned that when Susie — like most dogs — gets wet, she shakes her whole body violently, in a feeble canine attempt to get dry?

So, of course, that’s what she did. And, of course, that’s why we then had tomato chunks — and tasty green pepper parts! — all over the shower, and the sink, and the walls of the bathroom. Not to mention all over my face, and my shirt, and in my hair, seeing as how I was approximately four inches from her when she shook, and shook, and shook, and shook some more. I may have eaten more of the sauce from her back than we actually rubbed into her fur. And I wasn’t hungry. Trust me.

But we did the best we could. We concentrated on her head and neck, and when we ran out of tomato crap, we rinsed the dog clean. Or cleaner, at least. The entire bathroom smelled like skunk junk at that point, so we couldn’t be certain how much was Susie, and how much was us, and how much was the tomato-covered walls. So we cleaned the puppy up, and got some towels to dry her with, and finally let her out of the tub. That seemed to lift her spirits, and — as per her policy — she was happy to gobble down all of the treats that we would feed her. We weren’t done, though. Not by a longshot.

Have I mentioned that while I was drying the dog after her bath, she burped in my face?

Folks, if there’s anything at all in the world more heinous than skunk funk, it’s skunk funk mixed with gnarly dog breath. And I had a front-row seat for a nice big blast of just such a concoction. Please, whatever you do, don’t try this at home. I’m a professional, after all.

It was just about that time — right fucking after it, actually — that we pulled out the poultry paste and the finger puppet posing as a toothbrush. Now, I don’t know how much good we did, frankly. Susie licked all the toothpaste off the thing as soon as I got it near her mouth, and I wasn’t about to stick my schnozz next to hers to check our progress. Suffice to say that several globs of chicken-flavored goo were ingested by the dog, and that a bristly brush-on-a-finger thingy was sloshed around in her mouth a few times, and that we all had a good laugh. Did it help? Who the hell knows? Am I ever doing it again? Probably not. So there you go.

Meanwhile, have I mentioned that the dog’s head still smelled like sweet, sweet skunky lovin’?

Well, it did. The rest of the pooch was fairly tame by then, or at least as fragrant as a dog is likely to get. But her head — her head! Good lord and butter, her head! Not cool, people. Not cool at all. But we’d been washing the poor pup for over an hour, and we didn’t really have anything better to wash her with, so we let her off the hook. We kept her in the bathroom while we showered, and cleaned the foodstuff off the walls, but then we let her out. We just didn’t know what else to do. We kept her in one room for the rest of the night, and away from any furniture. We turned on every fan we own, all blowing outward, to suck the stench out of the house. And we sprayed Lysol like we were painting graffiti on the walls. The shit simply couldn’t come out of the bottle fast enough. Eventually, we made things tolerable enough to allow us to sleep. And we hoped that the lingering offending odors would dissipate by morning.

Have I mentioned that it just doesn’t work that way?

Well, it doesn’t. I woke up this morning, yawned, and lazily scratched my cheek. When I did, the evil, hateful stank on my hand snapped me fully awake. The whole sordid ordeal came flooding back to me. I checked the other hand — it reeked of nasty-ass funk stank, too! It had gotten me. I was tainted, skunked by proxy. I stumbled into the bathroom, and found that the smell there had lessened overnight. It was now only barely overpoweringly putrid. And the dog’s head? No better. It’s like a big candle of crappiness, with flames of awful nastiness licking at the noses of all who come near. Or even not so near. It’s just that nasty.

So, I don’t know what the hell we’ll end up doing. My wife tried to de-funkify the dog again today, with a product of some sort that she found at the grocery store. Skunk Away, or Scent Be Gone, something useful-sounding like that. Only it didn’t work. Now our dog smells French, or Belgian, perhaps. She’s got a strong perfumy scent, but with an underlying foulness that turns the stomach and makes you wish you could stick your head in the nearest bidet for relief. It’s better, in a way, but still a sin against all that is holy and good.

And that’s where we’re at. We’ve made it through a full day with our funky-faced dog, and we’re hoping it’s the last. I’m taking her to a dog groomer tomorrow, and I’m praying that they’ll be able to help us out. Maybe they’ll bathe her in tomatoes, or Simonize her coat, or shave her completely. I really don’t care. As long as they can make her smell like a dog again, nasty though it may be.

Otherwise, we’re just gonna have to leave her on a street somewhere, maybe with a twenty dollar bill tied to her for enticement’s sake. Surely someone will take her in, and give her a good home. Or at least a breath mint, for Chrissakes. Damn! Anyway, if it comes to that, I’ll just be sure to tie the bill to her tail, and not around her neck. Ain’t nobody getting near that dog’s head for a while. Double damn with whipped cream on the side! Yikes!

Have I mentioned that my dog’s head smells like a skunk?!? Well, have I?!?

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Have I Mentioned That I Have a Dog to Give Away?”

  1. RRaccoon says:

    That may be one of the funniest and most horrible entries I’ve read here. Lord.

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