However…DUDE’S a jerk a lot of the time.
Don’t believe me? See the earlier post regarding his dining room explosion as a puppy.
Funny to think it’s been over a year Herbie has been in our lives–and they haven’t been the same since he arrived.
Yesterday, Herbie and I had a rough day together. I love the dog, don’t get me wrong. But when he decided to go outside for his morning potty and returned covered in some kind of unidentified gray matter that smelled like something dead, I wished we had two of Franklin.
Franklin isn’t exactly a normal dog, so he doesn’t do classic dog things. Herbie, on the other hand, invests most of his time doing classic dog things.
Right. I should know better. Any time I think something will be simple with Herbie, it is far from it. Potty training? Simple. For Franklin. Potty training for Herbie? Three long months of interrupted sleep, totally destroyed carpet (though I will say it was crappy carpet to begin with), and many parts of my days spent wondering if adopting him was really as great of an idea as I thought–all that and Herbie was finally, miraculously, thanks-be-to-god-almighty potty trained.
Anyway, I grabbed a bucket, an old collar, shampoo, a towel, and with my non-dog dog Franklin faithfully trotting behind me (as he does everywhere I go), I went outside where the formerly brown, now gray, smelly dog was waiting. He wagged his tail and pranced toward the door to the house that leads to the garage, and he was sadly mistaken as he was not going in our house like that.
I called him, he came, and I put his collar on. It barely fit him, and I almost got sucked into a moment of nostalgia, as this was Herbie’s second collar–and now he’s almost too big to wear it–but instead, I grabbed the collar and led him over to the hose which I turned on and aimed at him. After a few seconds of watering, a few seconds that did not even put a dent in the stench surrounding him, he wiggled loose and ran from me. We have a big backyard, and so he took off toward the back corner of it (where I assume the gray matter is hidden under the bushes).
And this is where I lost my temper. It happens to the best of us, and I’m not blessed with a long fuse, so I yelled at Herbie. Because at this point, I was now a half hour past my leave-the-house time. When I quit yelling (and remembered we have neighbors and started hoping they didn’t hear me–sometimes I wonder how much they hear of us–maybe more than we think…like that one time the cops came to tell us to be quiet because we were playing a game of Taboo too loud in our backyard), I had to use my nice voice to try and coax Herbie back near the patio. It worked, but now I could tell he thought this was a game. He ran full-speed (which is much faster than I can run) around the patio, around the yard, and Franklin joined him–but only for a moment, because Franklin knew that Herbie was in trouble.
At this point, I decided that getting him wet would be better than putting him in the breezeway (think “dog room”) without trying to wash him further before I had to leave the house, so I proceeded to play into his game. Which of course made him run faster.
I think I look crazy pretty often, but this would have probably been quite the insane-looking event from the eyes of a bystander. I grabbed my red bucket, filled it with water, and when Herbie ran by, testing his limits, I dumped the water on him. He proceeded to run even faster around the yard and hid in the corner again, but I like to think I am slightly smarter than my dogs, so I prepared a bucket mixed with water and dog shampoos, grabbed a stick, and lured him to me. And then I dumped the bucket of soapy water on him. I repeated this process one more time, and then with a bucket of plain water, shut the whole water operation down, and got the soaking wet dog to go inside. Well, in the breezeway that is safely away from our carpet and couch. I figured I was done washing him now, but when I bent over and smelled him, he still smelled bad. I figured he’d need a real bath in the tub, since, apparently, bathing him outside was not going to work, so I just left him BECAUSE I AM MEAN, wet (because he refused to let me dry him), and in the breezeway with poor Franklin (because Herbie spends a lot of his time trying to eat Franklin’s tail and other body parts) while I went to the pool.
Maybe I’m a jerk, too.
Anyway, I returned from the pool and a short grocery trip to wash my dog.
And, as you can imagine, it was no easy feat. Herbie has never liked baths, but, I think because of the events earlier in the day, he was on guard against bathing of any sort, so when I suggested he come in the bathroom, even though Franklin willingly trotted inside, Herbie didn’t set foot in the door. It took two slices of cheese to get him in the bathroom, and when I finally was able to move him far enough inside to get the door shut, I had to pick him up and push him into the tub. And after getting him wet, he jumped out.
At this point, there was more yelling.
Who am I kidding? I was yelling the whole time! Because I am a mean dogmom.
Our tiny bathroom began to quickly resemble a wading pool. And by the time I managed to get him back into the tub, it was clear that I would now need to wash not only Herbie, but our bathroom as well. Herbie sat in the bathtub, looking dejected, knowing he lost the game we’d been playing all day. Goodbye decaying-swamp-scented gray matter, hello coconut-scented dog. Of course, the latter was only achieved after four thorough applications of shampoo. Herbie hung his head the whole time I scrubbed him clean, and when he got out, he didn’t want to be near me. But about ten minutes later, he decided we could be friends again. Of course, that was only after chewing on Franklin to relieve some of his anger at me.
And what of this will matter when I’m dead? Not much really. It won't matter that Herbie and I had a bad day, or that I left the house later, or that our neighbors may have heard me cursing at our dog in the backyard like a crazy. I’ll love Herbie forever, even though he is a real dog’s dog. Herbie will matter; his good days are worth way more than his bad ones.