Tag Archives: dog poop

Poopy Pinkie Update

5 Mar

A dog with infinite patience is a treasure.

Children are impressionable and are firm advocates of the Monkey-See-Monkey-Do philosophy of life.  As parents, we’re aware of these facts, but there are still moments when we’re taken by surprise. 

My little Phoebe has been my frequent sidekick on trips to the vet with our dog Gretzky.  The most recent one, however, had quite an impact on her curiosity and penchant for reenactment.  I was folding laundry last week in the master bedroom when my daughter walked in and handed me a small hairbrush she has had since infancy.

“Mommy, can you please wash this hairbrush?  It stinks.”

I sized up the manner in which she held the thing—pinching the portion that housed the bristles between her thumb and forefinger with one hand, pinching her nose shut with the other. 

“Why does it stink?” I asked. 

“Because it was in Gretzky’s butt.” 

Phoebe offered this explanation without fanfare, and without the laughter that would accompany such an outrageous statement if it were meant as a joke.  I eyed the hairbrush suspiciously.  The evidence I was hoping not to find was streaked on the otherwise white handle—only a smear of light brown, but enough to let inquiring minds know where it had been.  The dog came into view of the bedroom’s doorframe.  He looked okay, but he was sporting those “Help Me” eyes I have seen many times since my daughter’s birth four years ago.

“Why was the hairbrush in Gretzky’s butt?”  I asked, still a little fazed that I had occasion to utter the words.

“Because I was pretending to take his temperature like the vet did,” Phoebe answered in a tone that implied I should have known this already. 

“Phoebe, only the vet is allowed to take Gretzky’s temperature.  Do you understand?  I know you wanted to pretend you were helping Gretzky, but you are not allowed to put anything in the dog’s butt.  Nothing goes in Gretzky’s butt.  Nothing,” I still could not believe the necessity of the conversation.

Phoebe, looking visibly disappointed, turned on her heel and went to sulk in her room.

And I went to the bathroom with the hairbrush.  And some bleach.

Poop Magnet

24 Feb

Stepping on poopMy husband is a kind and gentle man.  Most of the time.  Perhaps because he can be so patient, he is entitled to his quarterly meltdowns. 

The walls of our house bear the scars of my husband’s past tantrums.  A scratch in the hallway commemorates the Cracked-Vacuum-Attachment-Incident of 2005, which prompted him to bang said attachment on the floor, sending yet another cracked piece of the attachment flying into the wall.  A dark smudge ten inches up from the floor in the bedroom marks the fight he had with a roller duffle that busted a wheel after only three uses. 

Without a doubt, the king of all tantrums was triggered by our dog, Gretzky.  When the mutt decided to take off for the neighboring woods one sunny afternoon, my husband lost his ever-lovin’ mind. 

“You know what?” he shrieked in the middle of the street with his fists pumping in the air like he was at a rally. 

I didn’t want to ask what.  I waited in silence for the inevitable freak-out promised by my husband’s wild-eyed look reminiscent of Chevy Chase’s infamous “Merry Christmas!  Holy shit!”

And I wasn’t disappointed.

“F#*k him! We just don’t have a dog anymore!”

I looked around the neighborhood to see if there were children present.  Thankfully there were not.

“Now, Brendon, honey.  I know you’re pissed, but we have to go look for him.  He might get hit by a car.”

“No!”  Brendon flailed around like his was winding up to pitch with both arms.  “He ran away!  He doesn’t know how good he has it.  We feed him.  We take him for walks.  And this is how he repays us?”  And with that, Brendon turned on his heel and marched home.

Five minutes later, however, he returned with the car and we looked for our dog together until we found him. 

In addition to broken appliances and runaway canines, the thing that pisses my husband off more than anything else, is stepping in dog shit.  Unfortunately, the universe has gotten this memo, and in an effort to provide him ample situations in which to practice more acceptance and patience….. well let’s just say he is a poop magnet.  As you know, I find poop hilarious.  Additionally, knowing that it is inappropriate and unproductive to laugh, only makes me want to laugh more.  It is an incredible exercise in restraint every time I see Brendon step in yet another steaming fresh pile of crap.

The poop finds him wherever we are.  Parking lots, rest areas, parks, beaches, even our own backyard.  When it happens, I stifle my laughter and offer sticks, pocketknives, bleach wipes, napkins and other shit-removal devices.  Brendon’s over-the-top reactions to these incidents force me to adopt the veneer of zen-like composure.  Underneath, I’m on the verge of erupting into hysterics. But I do what I can.

On a car trip up to New York last summer, Brendon stepped in dog crap while stretching at a gas station.  The ensuing meltdown was epic.  And hilarious. 

“Oh just great!  It’s going to take all freakin’ day to scoop this shit out of my shoes!  I’ve had these shoes for what?  A month?  This ALWAYS happens to me! Now we’re going to end up spending money on a hotel room because it’s going to take forever to get this shit out!”

Needless to say, it only took fifteen minutes to clean out the shoe, and we did not incur the cost of a hotel room. 

Our daughter, Phoebe, has been sheltered from these shit-storms, as I offer the cleaning implements to my husband and then take Phoebe for a nice long walk while, “Daddy cleans up the poopy.” 

Last week, on a perfect spring day that I wanted to bottle, my daughter and I walked around a lake and discussed the glorious weather.  We headed back to the car through an open field.  Acres stretched in front of us.  In her brand new white sneakers she was wearing for the first time, in all that open space, my daughter found the one lone pile of dog shit.  What were the odds?  I decided then and there, that being a poop magnet must be a genetic trait.  The oddest proclivities creep their way into our DNA like little time bombs. I waited to see if my little darling would also suffer from the “shit-happens-to-me-meltdown.” 

“Mommy, I think I stepped in dog poop.  Why didn’t the owner clean up the poop like you do for Gretzky?” 

Thank the Lord!  We were going to have a calm and rational discussion.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t excited about cleaning the crap out of my daughter’s new shoes.  But I’ll take shit over a shit-storm any day.

Love Stinks

14 Feb

“It smells like shit in here.”

This is never what you want to hear first thing in the morning. My husband, Brendon, had just arrived in the kitchen.

“Where’s the dog?” I asked.

“Gretzky!” Brendon called.

Gretzky was hiding. Not a good sign.

“He took a dump in his bed,” I announced with genuine incredulity.

“Oh, no. Why would he do that? Why didn’t he wake us up?”

“I think I have an idea,” I said, a little ashamed.

Some pet owners think their animals are capable of extraordinary loyalty and understanding. I am definitely in this category. When my daughter was only three months old she had a fever that spiked without warning in the middle of the night. Well, it was without warning to me- a mere human with limited olfactory capabilities. My dog, Gretzky, had been sniffing at the infant, licking her profusely and pacing back and forth between the baby and me for the previous twenty-four hours. Gretzky had even fallen asleep in front of the baby’s nursery door, something he had never done before. The dog always slept on the floor of the master bedroom.

I had paid no attention to the dog. He had tried to tell me, but I thought he was merely being annoying. Despite my oblivion, Gretzky had been attempting the proverbial Lassie routine (Come on everyone. Follow me. Timmy’s trapped in the well), but to no avail. Our little girl woke up wailing at three in the morning with a high fever, and the dog was already waiting crib-side with hound dog eyes that said I told you so. Needless to say, I felt terrible for having dismissed his doggy clues. I don’t relay this story so that you will understand when I dress my dog up like Superman for Halloween. Just know that he is sensitive and in tune with our family and their physical and emotional well-being.

My husband is my best friend and we rarely argue. I’m not trying to be corny or gushing. It’s a fact. When we do argue it is generally a heated discussion with no yelling, some emotionally charged rants punctuated by uncomfortable silences, followed by much needed and deserved apologies. Then life goes on. That really is it. We never go to bed angry. Except that one time.

Most couples have that one fight that was a real doozey. Our doozey is actually comical in retrospect, but at the time it seemed so serious. There were even real tears. Basically it involved my husband’s aversion to giving a kid extra vitamins and my belief in doing exactly that during flu season. Then, in the middle of the debate, I chuckled to myself that we were arguing about vitamins.

Rule of couples fighting #1- Don’t laugh until the other party is at least cracking a smile.

So, I broke the rule and the whole day sucked. For my husband. But I thought we had moved on. After all, I already found the whole thing mildly entertaining. Yeah… um. See Rule #1. We entertained for dinner that night in our home, and I thought the remainder of the day and evening had been salvaged without a hitch. Until the buffer of company left. Apparently, the Vitamin War was still on.

Thinking the whole thing absurd, I resolved not to give hubby the satisfaction of an unwarranted apology or grace him with my presence. After we put our daughter to bed, I grabbed a book and headed upstairs, leaving him to lounge in front of the TV by himself. I pretended to read for about an hour. Then two hours. Then three. No footfalls on the stairs coming up to apologize or talk. Fine. I can wait. Then the TV clicked off and he went to bed. Fine. I fell asleep upstairs.

The dog was utterly confused. For the hours Brendon and I were giving one another the silent treatment, Gretzky was in crisis. The poor pooch paced back and forth, whining. He trotted up and down the stairs trying to find a spot to rest that wasn’t tainted by tension. I awoke at five in the morning and made my way downstairs to the bedroom. Gretzky was nowhere to be found.

Without saying ‘good morning,’ my husband got out of bed at eight and wandered into the kitchen. When I heard his shitty announcement, I leapt out of bed and followed him.

“So why do you think he shit his bed?” My husband really didn’t get it.

“He was upset that Mommy and Daddy were fighting. He didn’t even know where to sleep last night.”


And then we made eye contact and smiled.

“I’m sorry,” we overlapped each other.

“See, Gretzky. Mommy and Daddy love each other.” Brendon made a big show of grabbing my ass and kissing my lips. Then we kissed and hugged in earnest. Then we helped one another clean up the dog shit. And that, my friends, is marriage.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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