My husband and I woke up at 1:30am to the sound of our German Shepherd barking. Then the stench hit us. There was no mistaking it. He had diarrhea. The smell was so intense that we both scrambled out of bed to survey the damage. Our shepherd must have been spinning as he pooped because what we found can only be described as some kind of sacred geometric architectural conjuring of Stonehenge. I quickly covered it with paper towels, got him outside (all while trying not to gag), and we began the clean up. Once cleaned, we let the other dogs out of their crates to go out, if for nothing else than a breath of fresh air. We did a first floor walk through to make sure we didn’t miss any other druid-like creations, brought the dogs inside and settled into bed a little after 2am. Wide. Awake.
You know those nights. You’re sleeping peacefully when something jars you from your dreams and you just can’t get back to sleep no matter what you try? Exactly like that. Fast forward to 5am. Barking. This time it’s from the puppy, an 8 month old, very fluffy, very happy cocker spaniel. He always wakes us up around this time to be let out (nevermind that we let him out at 2am). So, my husband goes downstairs and lets the dogs out, all five of them. At which point, Jack, our puppy, decides to do what all dogs do best and greet the other dogs with a big ‘ol butt sniffing. He bounds over to our shepherd mid-squat and sniffs his butt just as a torrent of fresh diarrhea jettisons from his rear. All. Over. The. Puppy.
At this point, I’m just glad I’m not downstairs. My husband grabs paper towels and runs outside and chases Jack around the yard (wearing nothing but his sandals and underwear…thank goodness we live in the country). He manages to catch him and towels him off as best as he can then immediately puts him in his dog carrier. He stamps up the stairs yelling that I’m going to have to give “your dog” a bath (insert expletives here). I jump out of bed and start filling the tub as he hauls the carrier containing this morphed little stench monster upstairs.
By this point, Jack is too scared to come out of his crate and Mark ends up resting the crate on the edge of our clawfoot tub. Still not coming out. So my husband ends up holding the open carrier perpendicular to the tub and waits for gravity to do the rest. You read the title, right? Apparently, poo covered cocker spaniel puppies can defy gravity.
Jack has braced himself, paws in the corners of his carrier, against the unknowns of the bathtub successfully avoiding removal for several minutes. After some gentle carrier shaking I reached in, grabbed him by the poo saturated collar and plopped him into the tub. I scrubbed him at least five times, draining the tub, rinsing, scrubbing, until I was satisfied he was clean. He shook with fear the whole time and I gained the knowledge of just how absorbent fluffy cocker spaniels are.
Wrapped in a towel, Jack still trembled on my lap and eventually calmed down becoming his dry, fluffy, loveable little self again. I don’t know what’s more traumatizing for him, the poop shower, getting chased down by an angry, underwear clad man, bracing himself against tub entry, or the bath itself. However, after all that, Jack worked his magic with those adorable puppy eyes of his and wormed his way back into our hearts (that he never actually left). I really hope this doesn’t imprint him for future baths.
Once things settled down, I thought about how this morning’s events mirrored the things life throws at us. While we may not end up literally covered in poo, like poor Jack, sometimes it sure feels that way. I noticed another thing too. When all was said and done, Jack was back to his playful, loving, happy little self, just thankful that he had a helping hand to get through it all.
Isn’t the same true for us? When we get dumped on, we have a choice. We can stay covered in the muck and mire and let it destroy us, or we can simply rely on a little help, seen or unseen, to get us through even the most sh**ty situation. In the end, it’s our attitude that makes or breaks us. Time for a bath, and an attitude check.