The horror which ensues in this story is enough to make anyone a.) second guess being a dog owner and b.) question their sanity in the decision to have 2 children, be pregnant and have a puppy at the same time. The events below are completely true and have not been embellished. No one was hurt during these events, but one woman was completely exhausted by the end of the day.
I spent the morning collaborating, sharing, and brainstorming in a monthly meeting of a group I like to call, “Fantastic Lady Entrepreneurs.” Reserving a meeting space at our local Panera, my dynamic friends and I sipped ice tea and ate scones while our children happily played together.
I left the meeting feeling uplifted and energized from our conversation. The kids were well-behaved, I felt great and was ready to take on the day!
Skipping into the house, I promised the children I would make them lunch as soon as I put a load of delicates in the wash. Letting the dog into the backyard to do his business, I went into the laundry room for 20 seconds, tops.
Humming to myself and slightly amused with my good mood, I passed the sliding door which looked outside and noticed my 9-month-old puppy rolling around in the grass.
My smile quickly faded as I immediately recalled a similar scene I had lived just 24 hours before.
“Cooper!” I yelled through the glass, struggling to open the lock.
Banging on the door, my crazed dog began to sprint around the yard, knowing full well he had done something wrong.
As I ran out to the grass and Cooper whizzed by my pregnant nose, I could smell it. The dog had rolled in his own poop. Again – for the second day in a row.
“CRAP!” I yelled.
From behind me, my 5-year-old son said, “Don’t say, ‘crap’, mama.”
“Yes, thank you,” I replied and cursed in my head for no one but Jesus to hear. (sorry, Jesus.)
Pulling my cell phone out of my pocket, I realized I needed sympathy and called my husband.
A helpless Peter sat at his desk listening to me as I ranted on about his new puppy. The suggestion of leaving the crap smeared dog in the back yard until he got home did not amuse me in the slightest.
I am no dainty flower, I proudly thought. I can do this!
I quickly hung up with my spouse, determined to tackle this situation head on. After all, I had just come from a powerful meeting of entrepreneurial genius women – I could certainly clean up a feculent dog.
First, I had to distract the kids. If there is one thing I do best is learn from my mistakes. Yesterday, the children “helped” me wash Cooper, which quickly turned into 30 minutes of squealing in our echo-y bathroom. Momentarily wishing for the powers of a genie to blink and reveal a fluffy and poop-free pooch, Cooper’s stench shook me back into reality.
Leading the pup around the house to ensure he didn’t double dip in a pile of his own waste, I stooped down to talk to my 5-year-old son, Raymond.
“Raymond,” I whispered, now, a wild-eyed crazy person. “Cooper just rolled around in his own poop. Yeah, gross, right?”
Sensing the desperation in my voice, Raymond gloriously said, “I’m going to play in my bedroom. Cooper stinks.”
Now for 3-year-old, Ann. Amused by a shallow sink of water, I stood her up on a step stool in the bathroom. After suggesting she wash Mr. Duck with a toothbrush, I left Ann smiling and splashing in the sink water.
Cooper and I set off to the backyard.
As I unraveled the knotted hose from the hose keeper, I noticed something white glimmering in the blackness of my dog’s back hair. The bright sun revealed what I suspected. I closed my eyes and wondered how the day got so bad, so quickly.
As I looked at my droopy eared puppy, I sighed.
Cooper was covered in MAGGOTS.
Gagging, I turned on the hose and flicked the repulsive larvae off his back, dousing poor Cooper with doggy shampoo. Scrubbing his black fur, the suds swallowed up all evidence of filth and as I looked into Cooper’s pathetic eyes, I wondered if he wished he lived with another family.
“If you didn’t roll around in poop, I wouldn’t have to give you a bath!” I said to my Newfoundland/Lab Mix.
My thoughts were interrupted by my daughter’s voice happily singing in the bathroom, “Get clean, Mr. Duck. Get clean,” she sang.
“Raymond!” I hollered from the empty screen door (which had recently been blasted through by the dog, so only a frame existed). “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am playing with my trains.”
Fabulous, I thought. What a great boy.
Tethering my wet dog to our patio table, Cooper relaxed on the warm brick while I threw my soaked clothes into the laundry room. Momentarily forgetting I was pregnant, I leaped through the air like a gazelle, taking the stairs two at a time. Cringing, I grabbed my pregnant belly and slowed down.
Crisis averted. Take it down a notch, Elizabeth. I told myself. Changing into fresh clothes, I checked on Raymond who was contently playing in his bedroom.
“Cooper is all clean. Thanks for playing while I washed him up.”
Raymond smiled at me and went back to destroying the Island of Sodor with Godzilla.
As my body relaxed from the last 30 minutes of mania, I stopped in the bathroom to check on Anne.
Confusion coursed through my veins as I stared at my soapy and soaking wet daughter. Ann smiled innocently up at me, brushing pink hand soap into her scalp with a toothbrush.
“It’s an accident,” she replied.
Laughing, I took Anne’s slimy hand and lead her upstairs to the bathroom. As I opened the door, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by my son perched on the potty with a magazine, waving his hand at us.
“No, no, please!” he said with a grunt. “I need my privacy.”
This story originally appeared on Parenting Without A Parachute.