(Warning: If you’re weak of stomach, or just easily grossed out, this entry might not be for you.)
For Thanksgiving 2013, we held our actual holiday meal until Friday evening because most of us were traveling on Thanksgiving day itself and didn’t want Amber to do all the work. Turkey was cooked, casseroles were baked, potatoes were mashed and cranberries sauced. Finally it was time to eat and all dogs were forced out of doors save for Maya. While the tighty-whitey contraception system had been working so far, we didn’t trust Bailey not to figure a way around them. Despite Jim’s assurances that the old man couldn’t make the climb atop our dog, he’d demonstrated that the prospect of “gettin’ some” had made him rather spry, for we’d caught him succeeding in “taking the position” on more than one occasion. Maya was secured in our bedroom behind a baby gate while the rest of us dined. This resulted in quite a bit of loud St. Bernard singing on her part, though, so Ashley went and closed the door to the room as well. This resulted in even louder St. Bernard howling as well as clawing of the door. Finally, she took the dog downstairs and put her in the laundry room of Jim and Amber’s basement and closed that door. The howling continued all the same, but it was a bit more muffled from that distance.
After the meal was completed, and I was well and truly stuffed, Amber took some leftovers downstairs to the spare fridge in the laundry room. She returned quickly, ashen of face.
“Um, Maya made a mess down there and… and I’m not cleaning that up,” she said.
Now, the wife and I both heard this but, despite being the person who’d put the dog down there in the first place, she looked at me as if to say “your turn.” I grunted and headed downstairs to see what horrors the dog had wrought.
Upon opening the laundry room door I was smacked in the face by the overwhelming stench of dog poo and dog pee. Then I saw both and knew the true horror that awaited me. I kind of wish I’d taken photos, because the degree of horror was pretty impressive. On the floor directly in front of the laundry room door was a wide puddle of dog pee. And, as she had done at our house when left in the garage, Maya had trod through the wide puddle of dog pee and had then wiped it all over the back side of the laundry room door, as well as pretty much the vicinity. There were drying pee-prints everywhere. Beyond the puddle was a section of industrial carpeting and about one foot onto its surface was the largest pile of dog shit I’ve ever seen. Naturally, she’d trod through it a bit too, so there were big doggy poo-prints daubed around it, limited almost exclusively to carpeted surfaces. I began to curse.
Twenty minutes later, I was still cursing and was still not finished cleaning up the mess. I’d soaked up the pee, decontaminated the area with Clorox spray and had cleaned the back of the door. I’d also removed the mountain of poop, which surprisingly only took one trip as I used a triple-ply collection of plastic grocery bags as a giant poo-bag. However, when it came to cleaning the remaining poop that was smeared into the fibers of the thin carpet, I shuddered. I knew I was probably going to have to hit it with a brush and foresaw getting it under my fingernails for certain unless I could find three layers of surgical gloves first.
Amber came to my rescue. She has a magic spot-cleaning wet-vac device that you fill with cleaning solution, set atop a stain and press a button. It does all the soaking, scrubbing and vacuuming of the remnants for you. And if the stain isn’t completely gone, you can just press a button and do it all again. So I spent the next half hour watching it as it cleaned and sometimes recleaned all the dog poo daubs remaining in the carpet. I then emptied the spot-cleaner and politely cleaned up the device itself. I was all prepared to call it done and go ask Amber to come inspect it when I noticed another spot of poo that I missed, as well as a previously cleaned spot that appeared not to have been cleaned so well and I had to get the machine back out again. By the end of the cleaning process I’d been down there for over an hour.
I found Amber and my wife in the kitchen upstairs.
“You owe me SO big,” I told my wife. Then I added, “In fact, you owe me a… well, we all know what it is that you owe me.”
“You really do,” Amber told her. “I saw what he had to clean up. You really, really do.”
The wife sighed and rolled her eyes, but what could she say with her sister backing me up on the prospect of wifely favors owed?
This, so far, has been the only positive thing about having a dog that refuses to be housebroken.