Thursday, May 26, 2022
May 26, 2022

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Everybody Has a Story: Stinky dog makes an impression

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Last March, we had to put down my all-time favorite dog. She was 12 years old and had cancer, as well as bad legs and hips.

Karen, my wife, had taken the dog to the vet because she was listless and mentally not all there. (None of us are.) I asked Karen to call and let me know what the vet had to say and how much it was going to cost. She called, and said the vet had to put her down.

Well, I broke into an inconsolable crying fit. Apparently I was somewhat attached to this dog.

We have friends who take care of our dogs when we go on trips. They called to say that they had a stray to replace our dog. I said no way, never again will I go through that.

But Karen did want a second dog, and I felt guilty saying no.

Nine months later, we were going over to our aforementioned friends’ house for a huge Thanksgiving dinner. There were at least 20 people and 10 dogs there.

I was sitting at the dining table eating and minding my own business when some dog put his head on my lap. I scratched his head and slipped him a little turkey. He went off to eat it, and then he came back. Big brown eyes staring up at me. So cute, the little beggar, I slipped him some more turkey, and a little of the sausage dressing.

After dinner, this dog was hanging around me all the time. Except when we loaded the dishwasher. As the plates went in he was licking off any remaining food before the next plate got loaded.

You can see this coming, can’t you? I was smitten.

“Karen, how would you like to take this dog home for your Christmas present?”

But I thought she suspected that I was not doing it for her.

I asked the hosts, “Can we take this dog home for a week? I want to see if it works out with our other dog, Rusty, and me.”

Home we went with a new dog. Karen and I settled in front of the TV, on opposite ends of the couch. The new dog explored the house, smelled Rusty’s butt and Rusty his. They both approved of the arrangement.

Now he climbed up on the couch, licked my face, turned around, laid down with his head on Karen’s lap and went peacefully to sleep. All was indeed well.

Suddenly, we were overwhelmed with the most eye-burning smell. We looked at each other with that “It wasn’t me” look. My eyes were shedding large tears, not of sadness and not of joy.

The new dog had — flatulated, passed wind, cut the cheese — all with no noise and never waking up, not even moving his tail. We opened windows and doors. We thought about calling the fire department to bring those big fans. It was awful. We may have to paint the walls.

“That’s what happens when you feed turkey to a dog,” Karen said. I called our friends and said, “Come get this stinky dog now!”

“No deposits, no return, call me in a week,” was the answer.

It has now been over a week. I think I will keep the dog. Karen and Rusty agree.


Everybody Has a Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. Send to: neighbors@columbian.com or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA, 98666. Call “Everybody Has an Editor” Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.

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