Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dog Poo Christmas

(Post by Evan)

I was ten years old. Earlier in the year we had acquired our first family pet, a cute little Samoyed-Sheltie mix puppy we named Tia. The rules for Tia included the proviso that she could be indoors during the day, but had to sleep outside or in the garage at night. I understand my parents’ logic on this matter since it obviated the need to wake up in the night or wee hours of the morning to let the dog out when the need arose.

On our first Christmas with Tia, my 8-year old sister Audrey thought it was a crime that our poor little doggy couldn’t spend Christmas Eve with us. She sneaked out of bed and secretly ushered Tia back into the house and sheltered her in her bedroom. Audrey easily got away with this since she, being the only girl, had a room to herself. (I had to share my room with my two younger brothers.)

Sometime during the middle of the night, Tia awoke with the urge to do what dogs do when their bowels and bladders are full. Being unaccustomed to having to alert a human of her need, I’m sure she tried to find what she figured to be an acceptable spot to do her duty.

Due to our past proclivity to catch Santa in the act and/or getting a sneak preview of the newly arrived gifts before Christmas morning, my parents had slightly barricaded the hallway to discourage nocturnal exploration. All the children were required to meet with mom and dad before anyone was allowed out to see what Santa had delivered. Once we were gathered and had exchanged Christmas greetings, being the oldest child, I felt it was my duty to be the first one into the living room to assess the Christmas bounty when the barricade was cleared.

I gleefully ran into the sunken living room with its avocado-green shag carpet. I had barely gone three steps when my bare foot made contact with the “deposit” made by the dog. Although it took me a second to register what happened, I didn’t have much doubt as to what I stepped in.

I was furious! I was mad at the dog. I was mad at whoever let the dog in. And I was really grossed out that I had dog poo on my foot! (I really hate poo.) Everyone was laughing at me. I remember my mother trying not to laugh, but I could see her turning her head with her hand over her mouth and secretly snickering. After my father gained some semblance of composure, he told me to go wash my foot off. He also asked my mom to clean up the mess on the carpet. He assured everyone that Christmas wouldn’t start until I got back.

I hopped down the hallway and into the bathroom where I turned on the spigot in the bath tub to let the warm water flow over my foot. I didn't dare scrub until all the chunks had been loosened and rinsed away. After a full disinfecting with mounds of soap, I headed back to the room to get on with the Christmas joy.

The gift distribution duly commenced and all was forgiven for the moment. A few minutes later I was asked to fetch a large present behind the tree. I dutifully got up and made my way to retrieve the package when, all of a sudden, I felt the familiar squish of another “dog bomb” between my toes.

At this point there was no containing it. I howled with disgust. Everyone else howled with laughter. My family members were all literally rolling on the floor with tears streaming out of their eyes laughing at the unbelievable bad luck I had just encountered. I screamed, “It’s not funny!” trying to garner some sympathy. But after a moment of fuming, a smile cracked my face and I too started to laugh, albeit grudgingly.

It took a while, but I eventually forgave my sister for her indiscretion and everyone else for laughing at me. I am now able to look back through the clear lens of hindsight and see just how funny this really was. I have since shared this incident with my children. They beg me to reprise the story each holiday season. I laugh with them each time I recount the story of The Dog Poo Christmas.