Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's Not Just Dog Poop Needs to be Scooped!

I was thinking the other day.  Thinking about some of the most horrifying, disgusting things that have ever happened to me.  Yes, I was talking to my fifteen year old son, of course.  After much thought, I think I've got it narrowed down to four experiences, all of which involved someone else's bodily fluids.  For obvious reasons, this particular blog entry's going to be light on photos.

For even obvious-er reasons, this blog entry might gross you out.

The first awful, disgusting thing on my list?

I must have been seven or so years old, and there was a stray dog in the school yard.  Smallish, mostly black, some grey around the muzzle.  I played with him before class, KNOWING that I wasn't supposed to mess with unfamiliar dogs (something that the vicious bite and subsequent rabies series when I was five should have impressed upon me in a big way).  Right before it was time to head into class, the dog barfed on me.

It was the worst smelling thing I'd ever experienced in my entire seven years.  The smell was overwhelming, devastating, AND the vomit was acidic, actually left the skin on my leg red and angry.  Knowing that I would be in a world of trouble for playing with a stray dog, I didn't go to the teacher.  However, it didn't take long for the poor kids sitting next to me to fill teacher in.  My father was called, and  . . . well, it got ugly.  It often did.

The second involved a child my then-roommate was babysitting.  The girl was maybe four years old, and had been complaining of a belly ache.  The roommate's solution?  Donuts and hot chocolate.  My roommate had just picked me up from work (I was a barmaid/bartender at a local hotel), and we were driving the kids back home to their mom when the little girl exploded all over me.  Until that moment, I'd had no idea a small child could be that full of vomit.  She soaked me neck to crotch, and I was sitting in a puddle.

That I didn't puke myself was a miracle.  Probably due to the fact that, for the most part, it just smelled like donuts and hot chocolate.  I wound up stripping down to nothing in the front seat of the car in the parking lot of a local bar.  I pulled on dry clothes (there was laundry in the trunk), sat on a blanket, and mostly didn't die from horror.

My third most horrid experience?  Camel spit.  At the zoo, petting the pretty (?) camel, when it hocked a loogie all over me.  I spent the rest of the day reeking of camel puke.  Which is incredibly foul, lemme tell you.

And number four?  Oh, gosh, that's really a toss-up (no pun intended).  But, while stepping in a pile of human feces and feeling it squidge, cold, up between my toes was really bad, I'm going to have to go with another fecesaster.  Hubby and I were vacationing up in Montana with our dogs.  We were staying at a cute little place in Ennis (not too far from Virginia City and Lewis and Clark Caverns) called Riverside Motel and Outfitters.  Not swanky, but solid if you're looking for a clean, quiet place to stay that allows your dogs and gets you in close to the sights in Montana.

So, back to the dogs.  Since being on vacation means being cooped up most of the time, we liked to take the pups out into the middle of nowhere and let them run around  a bit.  On one of these excursions, near the banks of the Madison River, we heard noises.  Terrible noises.  Grunting and thrashing and growling.  I think we knew right then.  See, there's a  tone to a dog rolling in something awful--a vibe, if you will.

Oh, gosh.

Bodhi had found a pile of human excrement.  A very FRESH pile.  Understand, there was an open public restroom not 200 feet away, but some skeezy creep had taken a dump right there, at the water's edge.  And yes, this was absolutely HUMAN feces.  And Bodhi?

Was COATED in it.

Hey, quick aside here--if you ever find yourself SO desperate to take a dump that you can't walk 200 feet?  CLEAN IT UP WHEN YOU'RE DONE!  Seriously!  Put it in a bag and dump it in the trash can (there was a trash can right next to the open bathroom).  And if you can't do THAT?  If you're too far away or don't have a bag?  BURY IT.  Dig a hole and push it in with a stick, then cover it up.  Have a heart, wouldja?

Okay, so back to Bodhi, the amazing feces-coated dog.  If you've ever seen the Madison River, you'll understand that we couldn't just toss the dog in.  Especially not Bodhi, who was so afraid of water that he wouldn't walk across "polished" cement because it LOOKED wet.  Had it been JoJo, we'd have just tossed in a stick over and over and "fetched" him clean.

So here we are.  Crap-coated dog.  Right next to a river we don't dare get into to grab water (again, if you know the Madison, you know why--we didn't want to die).  No water in the truck.  The stink is horrifying--being spread around and ground in really does awaken the bouquet of feces.

So what to do?

Well, we have a couple of bandanas, some wool gloves, a bottle of my favorite shampoo ever, and a 12 pack of diet 7-Up.

Did I mention the pea-soup fog of Amazonian-sized mosquitoes?  Yeah, there were those, too.

So there we were, scraping Bodhi down with the bandanas, wetting him with diet 7-Up, then lathering him with my favorite shampoo (which was a wonderful cherry bark and Irish moss concoction that I never could stomach again).  Rinse with more diet 7-Up, then more shampoo, lather again, rinse, repeat until out of soda.

And when the soda ran out, was the dog clean?

Oh, hell no.

But he was clean ENOUGH that we could spread out a blanket (which we later threw away) and keep him from doing a real number on the inside of the truck.  Then we hauled him back to the motel, where we dragged him, struggling, into the shower (there was no tub).  I stripped down and showered with him because I, too, now stank of feces.  I lathered us up, rinsed, lathered again, over and over until the water ran clear and the smell was gone.

I don't think either of us ever recovered, and it was a few years before I could drink diet 7-Up again.  As I said, my love affair with that shampoo?  Absolutely over.  I was never able to smell it again without smelling human feces.

And here's a picture of the dogs, taken around the time of the crapsaster.  Bodhi's the Pit Bull-mix on the left. No, we didn't know he was a Pit mix when we got him.  No, we will never get another Pit/Pit mix--he was a disaster on all fronts.


  1. Ew. I thought my dog eating out of the litter box was bad. :)
    My roommate (mom) bought her dog a realistic looking skunk toy and she loves it, I'm concerned because we have a burgeoning skunk population and I don't want her to see one and think it's a toy. She weighs less than 5 lbs and it would not turn out well, plus she's way too small to sleep outside so we'd all suffer if she got sprayed.
    I want to know what kind of shampoo you used, it sounds nice.

  2. Yeah, we avoid toys that look too much like real animals for that very reason--we don't want to teach the dog that skunks, raccoons, and mice are fun to kill. The shampoo? I don't think they make it anymore, but it was cherry bark and Irish moss, and it wasn't very expensive, really. I can't remember who made it--Willow Bay? Willow Creek? Willow Lake?

  3. It keeps making me think of Halsa. I don't know exactly what fragrance they used but it smelled like a forest floor.