Monday, June 15, 2009

How NOT to Start a Monday

Our sincere thanks to Lisa Ochoa for this account of a morning in the life of a whippet owner in the country

How NOT to Start a Monday

AKA Smart Decisions at 4:00am: Mom 2, Banjo 0

The alarm woke me at 3:45 from a sound sleep and a pleasant, albeit
unremembered, dream. I hit the snooze and contemplated sleeping in a bit, until 4:15 or so, then decided that I would get up on time and give Rafa some extra runs with his Frisbee. So I got up and went to the bathroom to get dressed. Once in the bathroom, I looked at my work clothes and decided that, since we had had an overnight thunderstorm, I would go down in pajamas and dress for work later.

Both of these simple decisions turned out to be much smarter than they appeared at the time.

I came yawning down the stairs, started the coffee, and let Banjo and Zorro out. After a few minutes, I went out to bring them back in. Zorro showed up right away, so I let him in the house and started yelling for Banjo.

I did not realize at the time what a mistake this would turn out to be - not until an unbelievably dreadful odor smacked me in the face like a sack full of rabbit guts. The said smell was closely followed by Banjo, who came leisurely trotting around the side of the house, licking his chops and wearing a satisfied expression.

Without a word, I went right back in the house and mixed up a box of baking soda, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and a couple of squirts of dish soap. I grabbed the bowl of mix and a leash and went back outside. By now, Banjo had figured out that the morning routine was no longer on track, and he eyed me warily. The wariness became disgust as I tied him to the flagpole and covered him thoroughly with the destinkifying mix.

Banjo in full Pout Mode is a sight to behold; you would never guess that a skinny black dog could push his lower lip out that far. I left him tied to the flag pole to soak while I considered my options.

I still had four dogs left to take outside. I had a pretty good idea what Banjo had caught, but I didn't know if it was dead or alive or wounded, or where it was, or if it still had any ammo left in its body (based on the evidence I doubted it, but you never know). It was still dark out, and while I didn't exactly relish the idea of searching all three acres with a flashlight, one dog tied to the flagpole was one more than I wanted there at that hour of the morning.

I finally compromised by leash walking the remaining dogs. None of them were amused by this unexpected break in the routine, but they all survived and none of them joined Banjo at the flagpole.

Then I went back to Banjo, rinsed him, and took a sniff. He was still pretty gamey, so I coated him with the remainder of the destinkifier and went in the house and fed the rest of the dogs. Then I came back out and rinsed him off, and followed that up with the old stand-by, Fluffy Puppy shampoo, which has an agreeable baby powder scent. As I was lathering him up, that old line from Mel Brooks' Frankenstein "could be worse - could be raining!" ran through my head.

And right about that moment, the drops began to fall from the sky ...
I finished rinsing Banjo as fast as I could (helped along by the
sprinkle that quickly became a downpour); then we ran into the house.

I toweled him off and he made a beeline for his La Z Boy, where he lay GLARING at me and muttering under his breath. (It's a lucky thing that I don't speak whippet as he would almost certainly have had his mouth washed out with soap.) I gave him his breakfast, which he refused to touch until Suckerdaddy Pat came downstairs and commiserated with him about the Dreadful Treatment he had received.

I finally got to have my long-delayed cup of coffee, and then polished off the rest of the morning tasks in record time. By now, the sun was starting to rise, so Suckerdaddy Pat went out to see if he could locate the Scene of the Crime. I joined him about halfway through the search, and we walked purposefully around the vegetable garden and then around the house toward the orchard.

We were hit by a wall of Eau De Skunque Le PEU! in the middle of the south field, close to the lean-to. As if that weren't enough, several large clumps of black and white hide were lying around the area.

We pieced together the evidence (no pun intended), and decided that Banjo had apparently made the spur-of-the-mom ent decision that Chunk O Skunk would be a nice addition to the morning menu. The skunk declined to be so honored, but Banjo is fast enough that he avoided the full extent of the skunk's displeasure, while the skunk was close enough to the lean-to to be able to make its escape (we assume, there were no major body parts in evidence).

Thoughts about this incident:

1. It just goes to show that listening to those little whispering voices that say "get up on time!" and "don't get dressed for work quite yet" is a wise idea.
2. Coffee should be drunk BEFORE the first round of dogs comes back inside.
3. Don't tempt fate by saying such things as "could be worse "
4. It would have taken a lot longer to bathe a long-haired dog.
5. This might be one of those times when Banjo is Suckerdaddy Pat's dog.
6. Time to replenish the mothballs out in the lean-to!
7. If Banjo is going to start beating on skunks, I am going to have
to start keeping the ingredients for Destinkifier at work. Despite
numerous washings in everything ranging from kitchen cleaner to
heavily perfumed hand lotion, my hands still smell faintly skunk-like.

And, of course, the obligatory poem, for all you Lynyrd Skynyrd fans out there:

That Smell

By Banjo Ochoa-Reynolds
(with apologies to Allen Collins & Ronnie VanZant)

The mornin's dark, Mom lets us out,
To pee and start the day
There's something furry up ahead,
Look what's movin to the lean-to.

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of skunk surrounds me

I grab it up, and spit it out,
Then grab it up again,
CHORUS: (you fool you!)
Its skin and hair lie all around me,
But the O-Dare would defeat most men.
CHORUS: (hell, yeah!)

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of skunk surrounds me

Now they call me The Main Man
Tacklin nasty critters is my job
I'm sure I'll be all right tomorrow
And tomorrow I'll bite that thing again!

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of skunk surrounds me

One little problem that confronts me
Got a skunky odor on my back
Just one more fix, Lord might do the trick
One hell of a price for me to get my kicks

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of skunk surrounds me

So how's your Monday going?

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