The odor is strong. It is a cross between New York extra sharp cheese, Garnier Fructis Color Shield shampoo (it’s paraben-free), and a bucket of white perch left behind under an aluminum boat seat in mid-July.
While the added detail of the material used to construct the boat might not be necessary for you to know, the reflective qualities of unpainted aluminum do magnify the sun’s rays to a level that could quickly bake a tray of buttermilk biscuits to a golden-brown hue. You should smell what it can do to a bucket of perch.
Initially, when she returned from her walk, she rushed by, heading toward her water dish. I suppose that mouthwash wasn’t on her mind, but it should have been. I was standing on a stepladder, well above the fray, and the odiferous invisible wall of stink wafted up to my nasal passages from at least four feet below.
Sammy had taken her for a walk. She had been cooped up in the camp while I slowly installed a series of electrical outlets to the screened-in porch. She sat at the door and whined while I drilled oblong holes through the wall studs to run the 12/2 wire. It makes you sad to hear a dog longing to be outside, but I didn’t want her to get into something if she wandered off, unsupervised.
I’ve seen a couple of porcupines in the vicinity this year, and I know she has the heart of an investigator. I don’t have any desire to pull out quills while trying to keep her under control. She is a strong dog.
Ellie tends to stay within the line of sight, but she also knows when it is time to— subtly— fade out of view. At that point, her hearing becomes very spotty. It must be the thick forestation that blocks the friendly “come-hithers.”
I sometimes resort to a bit of yelling. Often, I do some searching and hiking, but there are moments that I only have to slam the truck door a couple of times. The sound of someone leaving without her company has a healing effect on her eardrums. So far, we have avoided a trip to the audiologist. Dog audiologists are expensive; at least, that’s what I have heard.
Sammy—Ellie’s bestest friend—took her out for a saunter and swim. He said that he spotted the not-so-fresh pile of something dead upon the rocks by the water. He surmised that a member of the weasel family had shredded some formerly swimming soul into a pile of post- mortem perfume. The sunbaked rock turned the pile o’ leavings into Ellie’s latest eau de toilette water with a strong emphasis on Toilette.
His story—and I believe him—was that Ellie first moistened her black hide with a frigid dip. Once she reached the perfect level of fur hydration, she exited the water and quickly made her way to roll in the pile of whatever she smells like now. She favors using her face as a probe when she is rolling around in dead things. Understandably, the face is located on the end of the dog where I spend most of my time. It makes sense, however, that the opposite end of this dog currently smells much better. No, I did not double-check.
Sammy tried some Dawn dish detergent on her muzzle and melon, but it merely caused us to sense a stronger level of stink. We put her out on the porch to dry, but that’s where I was. It seems that heat—and stink—rises, and I was on the ladder.
Once I completed the electrical endeavor, I went to the shower room and selected the only shampoo currently available on this jagged edge of America—unless I decided to drive into town for something more powerful. Yes, I used the Fructis, but I would have used any shampoo left behind in the shower by the official owner.
Ellie and I wandered to the shore and waded in. Spring-fed lakes tend to warm slowly. Certainly, we did not expect it to be warm in May. Still, it’s shocking to a man— and maybe a woman— but Ellie seemed to take the temperature in stride. I began to scrub her as well as I could with no collar present to grasp. She is a pretty obedient dog, but she did not want to stick around for the full-Fructis and cold-water soaking treatment.
The scrubbing was a side-show. Sammy watched from the porch. I did my best while could managing to keep my nether regions from dipping too deeply into the clear and cold cleanser of weasel—or otter— condiments.
I’d make a joke of singing soprano, but it’s overused in similar situations. Suffice it to say that I felt a slight tingle. I sensed a smile on Ellie’s fully Fructis-foamed face as she pulled toward deeper water so she could rinse thoroughly.
Drying off was typical mayhem, like that which occurs when drying off any non-compliant four-legged beast. You have lived it. I don’t need to explain.
The trip home was pleasant enough with the windows rolled down. By the judicious opening of the driver’s side window, one can create a crossflow of scent if you open the passenger’s side rear window a bit more. It’s science.
Ellie didn’t seem to be bothered by the faces I made in the rearview mirror. Most involved the scrunching of my abnormally large nose along with guttural sounds that indicated that I was about to pull over to wretch on the roadside.
The following day, as Ellie soaked up the sun in her bay window of choice, I noted that the ceiling fan was moving the air around as expected. Once her black fur came up to temperature, there was a strong and fruity rotten fish odor that lingered nicely. I pulled the curtains to keep the sun from baking her fur any further.
I had placed her long-loved fluorescent orange collar in a plastic bag. Once I opened the bag, it allowed a bit more of the sour smell of death to drift through the house. I removed her nametag, and I tossed the old collar deep into the garbage.
I did drive into town for a new collar. Fully believing that I had some powerful scent removing shampoo under the kitchen sink, I skipped buying from the display of miraculous elixirs that guarantee a scent-free dog. That was an oversight.
When I returned home from work on Monday night, I found that the house had been ravaged further by the stink of the beast. More scrubbing was necessary, and we have knocked the stench back a bit more. I did not have a pleasant dog-centric odor enhancing shampoo on hand, so I kicked it old school.
Ellie has since been spritzed with a bit of water-diluted Dolce & Gabbana “The One.” I rarely spritz myself with store-bought attractants, but it’s good to have a bottle of it around in case your dog takes on the odor of fish. In this case, dead fish.
Now the house smells like the foyer into a Caribbean Island casino on “All You Can Eat Fried Grouper night,” right after the recently docked cruise ship customers spent ninety-bucks on duty-free cologne.
Man! I’m feeling lucky.
The good news is that Ellie is enjoying her new collar (photo provided).
Have a wonderful Thursday!
I want to thank you all for stopping by the blog site. Thank for your support both moral and financial, and thanks for reading my stuff.
(Copyright Tim Cotton Writes 2021)