Every so often in a man's life, no matter how stubborn he may be, he comes to the stark realization that enough is enough. It is an occasion when you have absolutely no alternative other than to draw a line in the sand and hold firm to your convictions.
Sometimes the last straw doesn't have to poke you in the eye. You can actually smell it. So it was with me recently, and I will share with you an incredibly horrible experience that words cannot adequately describe.
I have a marvelous hunting dog that is matched by few in the field, save for a peculiar attraction for the most awful, putrid, contagious, toxic substances known to man - if indeed they are from this planet, which seems unlikely once experienced.
On a recent outing in our wonderfully pleasant outdoors, where the smell of fresh air was mixing vibrantly with rapidly fading frost to create immeasurable pleasure to keen senses, my dog was happily returning to my side. Her tail was wagging gleefully, indicating she too was thoroughly enjoying a frolic in pure, clean air. It was, by all measures, a perfect morning; the kind you wish would last forever.
Then, as my dog got closer, a piercing stench began to permeate my nose, eyes and throat. I may have blacked out. Anyway, upon regaining strength, the source of the most unnatural stench ever perceived was realized. However, what my prize dog had rolled in this time surpassed any known smell in the history of the planet and beyond.
The incredible stink was so bad that I was wishing for a close encounter with a skunk just to get some measure of relief. A few moments after the lenses fell out of my glasses and my other dogs had crawled underneath my vehicle, I knew I had to do something.
Summoning whatever strength the rancid stench had not already sapped from my body, I grabbed a bar of Lava soap and a jug of water I keep in the vehicle for just such incidents. My efforts proved fruitless.
The towels I used to dry my prized animal became so filled with that rotten, ruthless smell that I could not put them back in my vehicle. Instead, I tied them to the roof rack where I supposed they would dry out, perhaps even air out, before I arrived home.
I made the unfortunate mistake of having one of those towels brush against my jacket while I was attempting to dry my dog. Despite only the slightest of contact, my jacket was thoroughly infected with whatever foreign substance my now wretched pet had delightfully enjoyed a few minutes earlier.
My hands, which were used in the worthless attempt to remove the unworldly stench from my prized hunter, were themselves reeking with an odor that words cannot describe and soap and water cannot remove. I had to drive home using a combination of forearms and elbows to keep from transferring the horrendous stink to the steering wheel or any other portion of my vehicle.
I know I should have called Homeland Security, but I'm a guy and we like to think we can handle anything by ourselves.
After arriving home I let my dog into the backyard so I could consider what to do next. That's when I noticed the leaves began falling off the trees. I removed the towels from the roof rack. They still reeked with that piercing stench no man should ever have to endure. All that was accomplished was the some paint was missing from my vehicle.
I considered triple bagging the towels for the purpose of taking them to a toxic waste dump. Instead, I tossed them in the washing machine with extra soap. The machine quit at mid-cycle. I wasn't surprised.
Being a long-time dog owner, I knew that I'd have to utilize every trick known to be able to even think about tolerating my beloved pet for another minute. This, I told myself, was the end of the line. Never again would I be placed in the hideous position where my very survival was questionable.
I have in my home an aging can of doggie perfume. You know, the kind they spray on Fifi at the poochie prep parlor right after they paint toenails and put a colorful bow on their head. I may have used the entire can on my dog, which now smells like an overdosed Fifi. Do you understand how embarrassing this is for the owner of a stalwart hunting dog?
No matter. I had already determined that I would never again allow a dog to put me through such indescribable misery. Easier said than done.
As you are reading this, dear reader, I am probably in the field with the very dog described above. What the heck? She finds birds and points and retrieves like a dream! Besides, towels are cheap and that doggie perfume smell isn't all bad.