The following was first published in the Lawrence paper and ended up being the #1 emailed article from the paper for the week. (We are a disgusting group of people.) Somehow, that still did not make up for the incident....
Like the minutemen of old, parents are conditioned to react to noise in the night. Whether stirred by a hungry newborn’s midnight cry or a child standing over our pillows uttering the words, “my tummy hurts” (nothing propels me out of bed faster than the threat of being spontaneously covered in rotavirus), we are always ready to respond when we hear a call for help.
Rarely, however, is it the sense of smell that stirs us to action, which was one of the many thoughts that crossed my mind when an unpleasant aroma filled my nasal passage, waking me in the dark of night.
At first I assumed the odor had escaped from my dear, though often flatulent, husband, though I quickly realized as I came to consciousness the smell was not human, but animal.
Assuming our dog had let a gas bomb fly in the night, I waved the bedspread up and down to air out the room.
Like a tsunami, the stench rolled mercilessly from its unknown source directly to me, swallowing my head, flooding my nose and throat, and rendering me unable to breathe.
This was no ordinary dog fart.
Just like days of late-night potty runs with our toddlers, this animal had business to tend to, and it was going to be up to me to escort him.
I slowly removed the covers and tumbled stealthily out of bed, so as not to wake my husband, who, by the way, was the only one out of the two of us in favor of owning a dog in the first place.
Quietly, carefully, and completely barefoot, I crossed our dark bedroom to take the dog (I had not wanted) outside (in the cold) to finish the job he had started (at 4:30 in the morning).
I had just rounded the corner of our bed when I my right foot settled deep into what felt like a heaping serving of warm mashed potatoes, yet smelled like canine colon.
“CRAP!” I yelled, paralyzed in the mother of all fecal landmines.
In one seamless movement, my husband shot up in bed, turning on his bedside light, something I wished he had done about three minutes earlier.
“What happened?!?” he cried before choking on the stench.
I surveyed the floor in the light. Piles-o-poo were strewn about the carpet like a toxic constellation. Our furriest child was ill, and I was ankle-deep in it.
Two 32-ounce cups, one heavy-duty trash bag and forty-five minutes of scrubbing later, the carpet and I were clean, but the scars remain. For there are things that cannot be unseen and, apparently, things that cannot be un-smelled, and this one, I am afraid, has been forever burned in my memory no matter what we do to erase it.
Although if you happen to run into my man or his best friend, please let them know a night at a nice (no-pets-allowed) hotel (with room service and a whirlpool) would be worth a try.