I’m a Jeopardy® watcher. Almost a religious one. I don’t phrase my answers in the form of questions though; I’m lucky if I can spit them out before the contestant does. Since turning 40 my synaptic gaps are expanding into canyons. (Mental note: take more of that Ginsu Bolivia stuff… Is that what it’s called?)
My husband thinks I’m brilliant. He’s gracious. Or maybe his memory is worse than mine. I could never qualify to be on Jeopardy. I like the student and celebrity tournaments. They dumb it down to a level at which I can compete. I’m waiting for their Geezer tournament… finally some contestants who feel my pain.
Ever wonder about all that stuff those intellectually annoying Jeopardy contestants have stored away? Of what use is it to know that if you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar? (Or leave a decent tip for that matter.) Isn’t it more practical to know that with your $1.19 you have all you need to buy 4 oz of Aleene’s Tacky Glue, or an MP3 download from Amazon.com, or a single pill of Cialis without a prescription? (Maybe it’s Gecko Beluga? Oh, farts.)
I think there should be a Jeopardy tournament for dog lovers. Now there’s a group of people with volumes of useful practical knowledge.
“I’ll take Name that Smell for $1,000, Alex.” Sniff Sniff. “What is: the aftermath of leaving the platter of brie unattended at nose-level during a dinner party.”
Raise your hand if you’ve made that mistake. It’s a goof you only make once. Now there’s a lesson worth remembering. Brings tears to your eyes doesn’t it? I didn’t realize my mistake until we were half way through our meal. I looked in the living room to find the dog’s front paws straddling the platter and her nose fully submerged in the boursin. She had already polished off the brie.
What makes dog lovers an amazing bunch of people is that they (1.) can precisely identify the smell, (2.) they don’t seem to really mind it, and (3.) they know exactly what to do to remedy it.
Take that cheese for example. Many dogs don’t produce the lactase enzyme needed to digest milk products. So eating a platter of cheese can create a sticky situation. (Quite literally.) Since it was me who left the cheese platter unattended, in all fairness letting the dog out to try to do her business for the next two days became my husband’s job. (Hey, I’m no dummy.) What I learned in the process of living with my husband’s foul mood – which was far worse than the foul air – was that a little bit of canned pumpkin greases the skids. Bake a pie for your husband and, oh yeah, mix a little in with the dog’s food and things should return to normal.
“Name that Smell for $1,200, please Alex.” Sniff Sniff. “Oh, that’s a good one, Alex. What is: a kiss full and wet on the lips after dining at Brown’s Island’s Goose Poop Tapas Bar.”
Unfortunately pumpkin doesn’t work here. A good teeth brushing for the both of you will help. And folks, here’s the legal disclaimer: Do not try this at home. I did and can tell you that the mint flavor of the toothpaste clashes with the astringent acetone overtones of a Purell® gargle.
“Name that Smell for $1,400, please.” Sniff Sniff. “Easy, Alex. What is: the naturally-occurring odor of dogs’ feet. Or, if you prefer the scientific name: dirty popcorn.”
There’s no cure for this one folks, and truthfully who would want to? Either you love the smell of dogs’ feet on our face in the morning or you own a pet rock.
“Name that Smell for $1,600 please. Well excuse you, Alex, but it smells like you rolled in what is commonly known as 9 day old, rotted mouse flesh.”
“Finish the category.” Wow! The Daily Double! “I’ll bet the wad.” [I’ve always wanted to say that.] Sniff Sniff. “I know that well, Alex. What is: the smell of Monumental Stupidity. Otherwise known as: calling your dogs in from outdoors after the smell of skunk wafts through your windows.”
Yup. That one was my bad move too. One of the dogs got sprayed full in the face. So guess who got to hose her off in the shower? Yup again. The Hubby. (Now you’re catching on.) We happened to be at our cabin in the middle of absolutely nowhere, in the middle of the night, when it happened. Our first thought: tomato juice and lemon juice. If that’s your thought too, then let me be the first to tell you that you’re as dumb as I am. We didn’t have any tomato juice though. So we substituted ketchup. We thought it was more humane than Mr. T’s Bloody Mary mix which the family cabin happens to have stockpiled from December 1999. (Hey, no one can say we didn’t make preparations for a potential Y2K disaster!) Bathe the dog in tomato and lemons though and what you’ve got is a wet dog that smells like a bar room floor – cheap, warm year-old beer mixed with Bloody Marys – and a can of gasoline. Up close and personal, the oils in that nasty skunk’s spray give off a gasoline-like odor that’s amped up every time the dog gets wet.
My husband was the only smart one in this fiasco. He decided that the best place to sleep was on the couch under an open window in -10 degree temperatures. His nostril hairs froze but then so did his sense of smell, making him a lot better off than my sorry arse who slept with the glum pooches.
So what do you do about that skunk spray? Oxidation. Get a gallon of fresh hydrogen peroxide, mix it with about a tablespoon of baking soda and a few squirts of dish soap to create a lather. Do it in an unsealed container as the stuff gasses off. And wash. And wash. And wash. This stuff is caustic. It stings and it absolutely cannot get into the dog’s eyes. Rinse well and give the dog a nice gentle conditioning treatment afterwards to moisturize her skin. The smell will dissipate right away as you wash the dog. For lingering smells in your house simmer some vinegar on the stove all day. Light some candles. Spray tons of air freshener. Open the windows. And then check into a hotel.
(Hmmm…. Maybe it’s ninja biloba?)
Oh, I almost forgot. What do you do about that rotted mouse scent emanating from your dog’s coat? That’s the simplest, but most secret answer of all. I can tell you but then someone’s going to kill me. (And I know exactly who it is.) You see, I just drop the dogs off at my in-laws.
About the Author:
Amy Havens is the owner and founder of Goodness Gracious, LLC (www.GoodnessGraciousTreats.com). Goodness Gracious makes 100% human-grade dog treats and donates half of its profits to local animal shelters in communities where its treats are sold. Amy lives in Marblehead with her husband, their two red standard poodles, Grace and Lula, and the most adorable sidewalk special named Mae.