Investigating the Smell

One day i began to notice a smell wafting from the mattress in the house. At first i thought it must just be old and full of dead skin cells and sweat. However, as time went on i realized the comforter smelled worse than all the rest of the bedding. The longer the smell persisted, the less willing i was to use the comforter until i removed it from the bed entirely and stuffed it in the washing machine. My theory was that the dog slept on the comforter, the dog hadn’t had a bath in around a year, so it made sense that the comforter stunk. I would wash it, hang dry it, and all would be well. However, when i bent down to smell the mattress my nose detected a familiar scent. Not only was it still there but i knew what it was. POO. I looked around. I first checked Sili. I knew she had to have some on her if the bed stunk of poo because Cashew didn’t sleep in the bed but Sili is not usually the one to roll in poo. Cashew is. I could not find poo anywhere on Sili. Next i grabbed Cashew and turned her over. Sure enough, she had poo worked into a flattened matted mess of fur on her neck and shoulder, all over and under her collar, and up the back of her right ear. I crated Cashew, who stunk to high heaven of animal poop. Then i grabbed Sili again and continued searching for her source of contamination. I found a small spot on her shoulder and chest. When i let Cashew out of the crate i saw how she had been sharing the perfume. She rubbed up against Sili and pushed her to the floor to wrestle. In this manner she was sharing the poo with Sili who was then tracking it into my bed. The smell had permeated the comforter, the sheets, and gone straight into the mattress. I ripped up all the bedding and threw it in the washing machine. I sprayed the mattress down with a can of febreeze until the house smelled uninhabitable. I crated the dogs for the time being and began washing the chicken shit out of our bath tub with a cleaning brush and dish soap. Once it was scrubbed clean i set it in the yard under the spigot where i filled it with water. Sili was first because i knew i wouldn’t have the energy after battling Cashew. Sili came quietly and stood shivering in the tub while i tried to be quick out of mercy. Within five minutes she was in, soaped, rinsed, and wrapped in a towel. She did not enjoy it but she didn’t make much fuss and so it was over quickly. Cashew was another story. Cashew fought me all the way to the tub. As we stepped off the porch she suddenly went paralyzed and pretended she forgot how to walk. When i hoisted her into my arms she kicked and thrashed and tried to head butt me. When we finally reached the tub she suddenly went rigid, splaying all her legs out wide so that there was no way i could get her into the water. I maneuvered this way and that while muttering profanities and trying to get one of her legs into the tub so i could push the rest of them closer together. It was at this moment that Cashew switched tactics. The moment her paw hit water she became an airplane propeller, slinging liquid every which way and doing her legs a million miles an hour in a strange sort of motion that might result if you gave someone meth and then told them to doggy paddle for their life. I did get her into the water. Unfortunately i was wearing enough of it to qualify as also having had a bath. At this point i was mad. The mattress was poopy, the sheets were poopy, the comforter was poopy, the house was all poopy, she’d gotten her sister poopy, all because she thought animal poop made for the best perfume around and frequently rolled in it whenever some was available. I decided it was likely buck poop because she had a big wad of it in her fur and only the bucks made stuck together logs of that size. The fox and coyote poop was skinnier and the doe and rabbit poop was more like pellets. I was pretty sure she stunk of buck poop. She was probably so proud of herself for the find. Free perfume. I wet her down and then worked soap into her long sticky fur. To my dismay, the poop was really in there. I had to cut it out with scissors, which she did not sit quietly for. Every time she saw that i was only holding her with one hand she took the opportunity to try to leap out of the tub, at which point she smacked into my legs and torso, drenching me with soapy water, and sat back down in the tub. I cut out as much of the poop as i could before the shivering was so pitiful i decided to stop and dry her off. The bath was over. The rest would just have to grow farther from her skin so i could cut it out without worrying about nicking her. I grabbed a towel and lifted her out of the tub. She promptly went limp to collapse into the mud and roll until she was covered in muck and decorated with bits of grass. I caught her midway down and lifted her over my shoulder wrapped in the towel, “oh no you don’t.” She kicked and protested until i got her into the house where she then shook, shook, and shook again before i could dry her, wetting all the furniture and curtains. Once i had put both dogs in their crates to dry i turned up the heat on the window unit for them. I peeled off my wet clothes and exchanged them for dry ones and set about cleaning up the mess. I dumped the now brown bath water in the yard, rinsed the tub, washed it with soap again, and placed it in the house. I put the dog shampoo and the cup inside the house. Then i switched the sheets to the dryer and hung the comforter on the line in the yard. It was evening and the sun was setting. The comforter hung out there all night and then another full day once the sun rose the next morning. I took it down when i arrived home from work the next day.

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