Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shit to Pay

Wants to remain anonymous

Waiting tables on Friday nights at the Elks Lodge provides me with enough leftover food to feed the dogs for a week. They dine on prime rib, rib-eye steak, halibut, chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rice, homemade rolls, and squash – not a bad supplement to their organic kibble. I merely give them a spoonful each night to sweeten the bowl and let them know what great dogs they really are. Last week I actually had four boxes of leftovers that weighed between 2-3 lbs. each, that I put in the freezer. I cannot believe how much food is wasted – working in a restaurant is evidence of just how much we toss without a second thought, while thousands of people go hungry every day – but that’s another subject.

On Tuesday I placed one of the boxes in the kitchen sink to thaw, and forgot about it. The next morning much to my amazement the box while still in the sink, was empty with only a few grains of telltale rice on the floor. There are only two likely culprits that had access to the kitchen overnight – Bear and Mikki, the Old English Sheepdogs. I threw the empty box in the trash and made breakfast for twelve dogs. Bear walked away from his bowl making it all too obvious he was the one that consumed the three pounds of steak. He never leaves food so I can only assume he is too full of beef to care much about oatmeal and yogurt. Whatever, it’s a done deal so there is no point in mentioning it. A dog must be caught in the act to understand when you tell him a behavior is unacceptable.

Later in the evening I went to dinner and indulged with my girlfriends – one has just signed the closing papers on selling her home and the other had her possessions moved to Hawaii where she just bought a house. Not one, not two, but THREE Cosmos – one too many for the girl known to be a cheap date. Returning home to twelve canines I took another box of leftovers out to thaw but this time I put it in the oven, out of sight out of mind. Off and on during the night I heard the Sheeps walking around downstairs but they are often restless on summer nights when there is so much light.

The following morning the dogs would not let me sleep past their usual get-up time of 6:30. There is no mercy this morning, only hell to pay. I grabbed my sweatshirt, found my shoes, opened the loft door and stumbled down the stairs in a fog behind ten dogs going down and the Sheeps trying to climb up. This is too much chaos in the wee hours of a rainy morning – the perfect time to be sleeping. Sigh. . . We quickly get into a bottleneck situation, the lead dogs stopping abruptly at the bottom of the stairs and flat refusing to move forward – what the hell?

Oh NO, the dreaded fear clinches my already queasy tummy. I have a hunch something is lurking at the bottom of the stairs, just waiting for me as I wade through the frozen-in-space canines. That’s when I see it. OMG not today, ANY day but this one, please. Piles and piles of runny excrement scattered in blobs throughout the first floor everywhere – thank God for vinyl flooring. One of the Sheeps obviously had a major blowout and the results cover the floor. I try to always look for the good in any disaster – so the good news? The stairs appear clean and that is a consolation. Adding dogs with shitty feet to the equation would have plunged me over the edge into the black abyss.

And the smell, well it’s pretty bad. Finally getting around the dogs, I know what I have to do and it isn’t pretty. Paper towels, a trash bag, a bucket of disinfectant and a mop, but first I have to lead each dog around the poop infused obstacle course without stepping on anything. No worries they make a wide berth around each pile, walking on their tiptoes. For over an hour – before I even have a pee - I cleaned and I cleaned and I cleaned SHIT.  GAWD, it was exasperating.

No face shots!
The Sheeps have been coming to dog camp for five years and have never had an accident in the house. No doubt they were trying to wake me up from my alcohol induced sleep but failed to do so. I wonder if they are sick - is it one or both of them? Maybe I need to call the vet. Several hours later after multiple cups of coffee it finally hit me. I had totally spaced out the box of steaks that had been consumed just 24-hours ago. Of course it was Bear because he’s the one that ate the three pounds of rich food and was merely purging it out of his system. I realize with relief he’s not sick at all, just stuffed. It had to come out somewhere and when the urge hit him, it happened to be in the middle of the night when the house was asleep. Poor boy must have been traumatized, albeit relieved.

Today was a long day but we managed to get through it by washing blankets, rugs, floors and butts. OMG it’s going to be an early night. I had shit to pay all day and I’m exhausted! Serves me right. . . The work of a dogsitter is done for today.

Woof! Woof!
We Woof You BearBoy!