|The culprit... I suppose this whole episode wasn't easy on him either...|
Yes, literally, this is a blog about crap. What a great start!
I remember when we first told my parents that we were pregnant, my mom was immediately concerned about the mix of dogs and kids. Her concern was somewhat justified; Newman is a mutt (though we refer to him as a Humane Society Jewel) and their best guess for his breed is pit bull... I mean, American Stafordshire Terrier, mixed with chow, possibly shar-pei, and who knows what else. The media seems to hate pit bulls (maybe Pit Bull, the singer, will bring some respect to the name... ok, who I am kidding?) and my mom would send me articles about children being mauled in parks by random pit bulls. In our case, we felt the need to defend Newman. He is far from being the perfect dog (like his non-biological sister, Kenna, a sweet border-collie mix) but vicious and aggressive he is not. Our dogs were part of our family before we had kids and they were not going anywhere, at least not until they proved to be a problem, and then too, it would be toss up between getting rid of the children or the dogs (we struggle with this more on some days than others).
Three kids, and still two dogs, later, life in our home has gotten a little bit crazier. It seems like one of the kids is always fighting some illness, and when they aren't, we are busy getting maximum use out of our Bissell Little Green Steam Cleaner, cleaning up after my now senior dog. As much of a hassle as it is, at least she is predictable. Same spot and same time, if you don't let out her beforehand. Some nights, Dave hears her nails walking across the hard wood floors at 5 am and tries to run down and let her out before she squats. Still, most mornings, I still wake to the sound of the steam cleaner and laying in bed, I think to myself, "I am married to a good man." It is now part of his morning routine, much like the coffee he brings me. If I had to guess his love language, I'd say it is "acts of service".
A few weeks ago, Silas was fighting an ear infection and a cough and he was having trouble sleeping. He was up at all hours of the night, mostly because he couldn't fall asleep with all the coughing. I tried several times to explain to him that when he felt that glob in his throat that was making him choke, he needed to spit it out, but he made little effort to follow my instructions. Finally, he is asleep and after what only seems like five minutes of sleep for me, Dave comes in and says that there is a mess in the family room and he can't clean it up. If we are analyzing the English language here, "can't" really should have been "won't" since he really IS capable of cleaning it up. We both assumed it was "my" dog, so down I went. Half way down the stairs, I realized it was going to be bad. Worse than I thought. There was one large clump of poo, surround by a pool of diarrhea. I was choking as I tried to scoop it up with my rubber gloves on and what was clearly not enough paper towels. After the worst of it was done, there was still a large green spot on the rug that required lots more blotting and scrubbing. I went back to bed an hour later, and laying in bed, I couldn't help but wonder if I there was a large smear somewhere on me. I couldn't escape the smell... somehow it managed to permeate everything... I thought that I should change, shower, maybe scald myself with boiling water to disinfect myself, but fell asleep before I got the chance to do any of it.
I let both dogs out later and watch for their bowel movements... somewhat gross, but I was curious as to whether or not the spell had passed. Kenna wandered around and did her usual thing... Newman, on the other hand, looked nervous... finally, he squatted and the evidence emerged (literally). It was him! He spent most of the day outside while I apologized for blaming Kenna for the incident. She stayed indoors being hand fed grapes and fanned with large palm leaves.
On Monday, I get a call from Dave. Newman had spent the morning in the basement because we weren't taking any chances with him destroying the living room, or any room with fabric. Dave went home for lunch and reported that Newman had squirted everywhere! I told him that that was a bummer and how sorry I was that he had to go home to that. I went on with my day, grabbed the kids and went home as usual. I opened the front door only to be hit by the worst wave of poop smell. I sighed thinking that Newman had pooped again after Dave had seen him that afternoon. I walked downstairs, and as described by Dave, there was poop everywhere... on the washer and dryer, deep freezer, trail-a-bike tire, carpet, bags of clothes for Goodwill (I am pretty sure they won't want them anymore), floor... almost like a Jackson Pollack painting gone bad... and over several canvases... I couldn't believe it. It became clear that Dave had surveyed the damage when he came home earlier and thought to himself,"Heck no! I am not messing with this!" I left Silas under the watchful eyes of his big sisters, grabbed my gloves, 409, Resolve, and other cleaning supplies. Sadly, a face mask was not on my supply list. If you have ever had to clean up feces, you know it is bad. If you have ever had to scrape dried feces off of uneven surfaces, you know it is just plain disgusting. Rubber gloves on, I had to scrape some of the poop off with my nails to remove them from the crevices of the concrete. I had told Ella to tell Dave not to come downstairs when he got home; I was not ready to forgive him just yet and was really upset that he had just walked away from it and allowed the crap smell to spread through our house. I am a smell-sensitivie person; I love perfume, fabric softener, scented candles and in a pinch, Febreeze. This seemed like a sick joke.
I heard Dave come home, followed by Ella's warnings for him not to come down. But he did anyway. I continued to scrub knowing he was standing there. I knew that if I spoke, it wouldn't be good. He tried to make his case: he had limited time, he was wearing a suit, he didn't want to go back to work smelling of diarrhea (dog diarrhea no less), etc.. All were valid reasons but it didn't change anything or make the smell less rancid. I nodded and told him to leave. I think I was polite.
An hour later, I surveyed the area and felt a slight gleam of satisfaction. Although there was a slight residual odor, the smell of Mr. Clean was starting to permeate the basement and I had managed to remove most of the poop- I figured what I missed may end up being food for whatever bugs are down there scavenging. Now that it was over (the smell was still lingering throughout the rest of the house though... time to refill the Glade Plug-Ins), I had to laugh, only because it was the only thing I could do. Being upset wasn't going to undo anything, though I do think that the next time he encounters a room full of poop, he will think twice about walking away from it. So perhaps, some good came of it:).