The Innocent Victim
When your life revolves around nine dogs, your life is blessed with a symphony of fragrances. The smell of love carried on a furiously wagging body. The smell of delight ferried on the backs of loud "Welcome Home woo-ahroooooos!" as you walk in your door. The smell of excitement leaking from pores when you grab your purse and keys. "Take me! And me!" The smell of contentment rising like heat waves from comatose forms in front of the fireplace. The smell of anticipation after a trick learned and performed. The stinking stench of your own fear when you find that new lump on your Very Old Dog. And the blessed blissful smell, so like the delicate notice of a wild Lilly of the Valley found in a surprising shady spot, when that lump turns out to be Nothing. Nothing at all.
My life abounds with other smells too. I am married, for these twenty-four privileged years to an Italian. Coming home to our little farmhouse after a long day of lure coursing in the cold, wet New Jersey or Pennsylvania November fields, to the ambrosial aroma of Bill's simmering sauce. The anticipation of that smell made the trip home faster. And writing that, I am reminded of the van on the way home from those coursing trials. Wet dog clothing smelling faintly of laundry detergent. Mud, apples, and the morning's empty coffee cups. The comfortable smell of a long day spent with a good soul-friend and laughter. A vehicle full of deeply satisfied canine snores.
I so miss those weekends.
Then there are the more mundane scents. Dog farts. I have found that dogs do not have to fart. It is entirely dependant on their food, and that is entirely up to the provider of same. You may recall our recent revisit to the land of the Green Gasses when I switched to a new food. We have left that land and returned to Life Without Peeling Paint, with a simple switch back. There is the odor that accompanies picking up poop. Well, it's just part of it and we can all be grateful when the bag doesn't break. That's a lot of gratitude from me; my days are full of lots of bags. Our bedroom in the morning can smell fairly doggy. It's a gentle reminder to their Servant that dogs should bathe, too, and their bedding needs laundering as regularly as our own.
There's the embarrassingly hard to explain smell of forgotten Bil-Jac liver treats in your pocket at a Mainstreet Board meeting with the town's fanciest Movers and Shakers. A smell repugnant even to my own dog-loving nose, and I know my fellow board members believe it emanates from my mortified self.
This morning we hosted a smell-o-rama in the Casa Renzulli Kitchen. Bill, a confirmed non-breakfast-eater for his entire adult life, has changed his ways. A Silly Diet from two years ago had the most excellent side effect of transforming him into a regular morning feaster. And his Italian heritage prevents him from ingestion of boring cereal or ho-hum toast. So this morning he was sauteing onions and Canadian bacon to decorate his perfectly sunny side up eggs.
And I am here to tell you that particular onion was the stinkiest specimen of oniondom ever created. I unsuccessfully tried to refrain from critical comment.
"Jeeee-sus Almighty Gawd that think stinks," I lovingly declared. "I think I'm going to be sick. Onions with shredded wheat have always been my idea of a perfect start to a perfect day."
Bill has a confident nature and a strong ego and he couldn't have cared less about my expression of displeasure. His breakfast was delicious.
"That has to be the Worst Smell in the World," I gently suggested. "You are grossing me out," I said with love.
Bill licked his lips and read the paper.
I busied myself scrubbing the cutting board for the third time, exclaiming to myself, "Pee-yooo. Nasty stank. Yuck."
Then, when Bill had finished eating his much maligned meal, he was loading the evidence into the dishwasher. We have a deal with the dogs. They are the pre-rinse cycle, licking the plates and platters on the floor. They are not to indulge in further pre-rinsing of dishes already loaded in the dishwasher. This is a safety feature of The Contract, due to the presence of sharp knives, wine glasses, and the like. Swede William prefers to opt out of this contractual agreement. As do Lindy Loo, Mama Pajama, Fat Charlie, and anyone else when we aren't looking and often when we are. But Swede William is the most determined.
Bill was just saying, "Get out of there, dogs," when all hell broke loose, along with the entire bottom tray of the dishwasher. It was attached somehow to Swede William who was trying to beat a whippet-speed retreat. Dishes crashed and broke. Poor Swede William cried out the injustice of it all, obviously feeling that the Man Servant had unfairly attacked him with the dishwasher. I finally got him untangled - his tag had gotten wedged between the silverware trough and the main tray - and he flew out of the room.
And then, as Bill and I were sweeping up the broken glass and porcelain, there was that smell. As my brain processed what the old olfactory cells were sending up, I said, "That was either the world's rankest onion, or am I smelling anal glands?"
Bill choked, "That is no onion."
Swede William had clearly been of the opinion that the Attacking Dishwasher Tray was going to kill him and he did what nature provided as his Last Hope of Survival. He let loose with his anal glands. All over the kitchen.
And once again I was humbled by the dog gods.
There was, most certainly, without any possible argument, a smell much, much, ever so much worse than Bill's breakfast onion.
As I humbly went about cleaning it up, I made a mental note. Good, kind, wonderful husband. Occasionally smelly breakfast. Not worth bitching about. Got it.
Hug your smelly hounds!
And don't forget to enter the drawing! See the next post and good luck.