The day started out badly enough when the bank teller asked for identification to deposit a small amount of cash into our checking account, but it went downhill from there. Here’s what happened next:
Our dog, Milo, is a lot of things, but one thing he isn’t is a happy car traveler. Since the day we brought him home, he has whined and howled almost the instant the car is in motion. He’s not the type of happy go lucky mutt who hangs his head out the car window. He has squirmed and screamed and wiggled out of every backseat harness ever invented until his butt is on the cupholder and the rest of him is on Mrs. G.’s lap, howling at the moon. This makes his bi-monthly trip to the dog groomer a test of everybody’s patience, and today was that day. With Mrs. G. and I back home from the bank and still a little perplexed and annoyed over having to show identification for a small cash deposit, we prepared to take the dog in for his spa treatment.
“C’mon, Milo … get in the car,” I said. Milo is smart enough to know that this can lead to no good, so he refused to get in. I mean flat out refused, and he ran away only to flop on the driveway, behind the car. “That car is going nowhere,” he said as he became twenty-five pounds of boneless dog, belly up, and sprawled out on the pavement. I have no idea how a dog knows that it’s ten times as hard to pick them up when they’re upside down, but that’s where we were. We finally wrangled him into the car and got to the head of our street when the usual moaning began in earnest. I swear it sounds as if he’s trying to talk.
“Please take me back home. I look fine. I don’t smell that bad. C’mon. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease.” Mrs. G. had him enveloped in her arms in the front seat while I cracked the windows so his concussive wailing didn’t echo inside the car and burst our eardrums. Normally he squirms and howls a lot, but this was extreme.
After the nerve-wracking ten-minute drive to the grooming place, the car was parked, and I took the leash while my wife was still exiting from her side. Milo and I were several paces ahead, and he was tugging as if trying to uproot an oak tree. One would have thought he was anxious to see his groomer, and once the electronic eye on the sliding entrance doors saw him, they opened and then closed behind us, leaving us in a dog vestibule behind the second set of doors. Meanwhile, my inquisitive wife was still outside, wondering why the courtesy dog poop bags were the size of trash bags, and why they weren’t in the dispenser, but rather flapping in the breeze like poop bag flags at the United Nations building. Meanwhile, I figured out why Milo was in such a hurry.
Encased in the safety of the vestibule, Milo hunched up and let fly a cord of poop that shocked me both in size and speed of extrusion. “What the … Milo … here?” I said. Meanwhile, other people with shaggy dogs, sacks of pet food, goldfish in bags, and kittens in carriers were heading for the doors on both sides, unaware of the spicy landmine that awaited them. I tried to get Mrs. G.’s attention from inside my glass booth, but she was busy being a good neighbor and rolling the poop bags back up so they wouldn’t blow away. They weren’t actually trash bag size; they were just attached to one another and, ironically enough, slathered in dog poop. Someone had used the bags like one of those cloth towel dispensers one sees in public bathrooms to wipe off their hands which, for whatever reason, must have been frosted with dog poop. Why? Who knows why people do what they do. Why don’t banks take cash?
So, here’s the situation: I’m guarding the monstrous load of vengeance crap so somebody or their dog doesn’t step in it because Milo, with the skill of a bridge engineer, dumped this ginormous scooter pie squarely in the middle of the walkway. He was now as relaxed as could be, calmly enjoying the afterglow while I was waving people back as if this were a mound of uranium. Meanwhile, my wife was freaking out about her own situation. She finally gritted it up, tore off a bag, and sprang into action. I timed my departure with Milo from the holding tank the moment the outside set of doors opened, now trapping Mrs. G. in the zesty poop foyer. I wasn’t about to fall on that grenade twice, but like a champ, my wife took care of business.
While I was checking in the dog, I could see Mrs. G. asking the cashier for the location of the bathroom, where I presumed she went off to take a Silkwood shower and burn her clothes. With Milo checked in and off to take his own soapy bath, I went out to the car and waited. A few minutes later, my wife appeared.
“That really was the opposite of fun,” I replied.
We drove back home and had some lunch, killing a couple of hours until the dog was ready to be picked up. Whenever we come back home with him, there are none of the histrionics he shares with us when we go somewhere with him. He must sense that he’s heading back to his own territory, and once we got home, I let him out into the yard where he surveyed his kingdom. It was as we had left it, and all was right with the world.
Dogs have it made. Unreasonable life circumstances such as irrational banking policies or urgent poop discharges in awkward places don’t faze them. Food in the bowl, water beside it, a comfortable, safe place to hang out and everything is perfect. We take care of them and easily forgive them their mistakes, even one as awesomely bad as causing a chain of events that left one of us elbow deep in canine nastiness. As for Mrs. G., her day got a lot better once she got home, although I would not want to be on the other side of the counter the next time she goes to the bank.
I wrote the above story last year, but I was reminded of the events yesterday when we once again took Milo to the groomer.
On the way to the groomer, he was actually quite calm. Calm for him anyway. He was a little whiny, but he was comfortably straddled up on Mrs. G’s legs, looking out the window. It’s not the ideal position in many ways because the barrel of his poop shooter was eye level, but he was quiet and not too squirmy. You pick your battles.
I think we both noticed the smell at the same time, which meant that Milo let a little dog perfume loose, but a second or so after that, an aromatic dog grape popped out and landed between my wife’s legs.
I guess he had one in the chamber and his anxiety bested his manners, which unfortunately happened right in front of my wife, but luckily there was no thrust behind that missile. I felt bad, but I was present at the birth of our daughter, so, you know, I’ve seen some stuff.
I was laughing so hard I was crying.
She picked up the nugget with a Kleenex, and let it fly out the window. The turd, not the Kleenex because that would be littering. I personally would have made an exception to Mother Earth and flung the entire collection out the window along with my pants, which would have been fluttering off the wiper blades on the car behind us.
Things were picking up on the way into the shop, where Milo was a little heady from the scent of the million dogs who passed this way before him. We got him inside without a hitch, where he sat obediently at my feet.
I didn’t even notice the pile he left near my shoes until my wife asked for some paper towels.
Just another day in dog world