Lesson Learned

 I wouldn't waste all of your time for just any story (wait... lemme rethink that one), but the tie-in to last week's Upper Hand salesman saga is worth passing along.  The good Lord works in mysterious ways.

 Many of you know my dog Dexter.  Sure, he is typically a few spoons short of a full china set, but he DOES have his moments of resourcefulness.  Upon moving to Austin, he decided to perform a small bit of excavation in the back yard, and eventually built an elaborate tunnel system to rival the civil engineering feats of any major city.  However, once he tunneled through and visited the non-English speaking neighbor one too many times (and I received one too many cryptic notes posted on my front door reading "Hello Nieghbour.  My children cannot play in grass.  Your dog visits many times.  Bark is frightening to my family.  Please help."  I knew the time had come for action.

 So... I installed an electric fence.  I was going to EASE Dexter into the whole idea, but... when playing ball, I inadvertently tossed it right under the wire.  I screamed "No Dexter!  Don't do it!  Stay away from the ball!'  Dexter heard "Go Dexter!  Go to it!  Blah-de-blah-de-blah! Hibbity-jibbity-jaw."  Needless to say, when he went to pick up the ball and the wire bit him on the keester.  He feared his ball for several days after that incident.  He thought it now had some sort of lethal bite..

 Anyhow, I thought this had solved the problem.  However, I got back from a weekend trip last night, and noticed that Dexter had found the one section of fence which didn't have the wire surrounding it (this only took the Einstein pooch 7 weeks to figure this out.)  Luckily, my roommate had found him after the Houdini escape and tried to hose him down (BTW... thanks Matt, for all you do).  He was still pretty filthy, so I gave him a bath in the backyard.  I was out of flea & tick shampoo, so I used something called Freesia Breeze on the guy.  (And I think THIS is probably why he took revenge upon me).  So... after the bath, my dog smelled like a French Brothel, but I was proud of his cleanliness.

After a dinner with Gabby (BTW... she makes a mean stir-fry) I decided to go out and pick up some developed photos at the drug store.  Gabby went with me.  When we got to the drug store, the rain started coming down in sheets!  I thought, "Dang!  my dog is still outside!  I JUST gave him a bath!  He's probably getting soaked!"  So... I pick up the pictures and head home, thinking I'll just let Dexter in the house.

 I get home, and it's pitch black and raining like hell.  I'm thinkin' about building an Ark.  But... the time has come to brave the rain and make a mad dash inside.  I get my things.  I open the door.  Gabby does the same.  I then hear Gabby yell "Oh!  No!  Dexter!  No!" 

 In my mind, I think Gabby (the kind-hearted gal that she is) is yelling this because she is worried that Dexter is being washed away in a flood.  I think, "Oh... Gabby... that's nice and all, but I PROMISE I'll let him inside."  Then... to my surprise I turn to the right to look back toward the Explorer before making the mad dash to the front door.  What I see turns me white as a sheet.

 Dexter has worked his Houdini magic again.  It appears he tunneled out of the back yard through a pile of muck.  It is hard to describe just how dirty this dog is.  The closest I can come is to say that he looks like Tim Robbins from Shawshank Redemption, RIGHT AFTER he tunneled through the prison sewer system to make his escape.  No... Dexter is not looking good.  What's more... he has weaseled past Gabby and leapt into my passenger seat to take shelter from the rain.  A sort of panic sets in.  My heart races.  What to do?  What to do?

 Now... there are two ways to react to the situation.  One is to immediately push the dog out of the Explorer and throw him back into the back yard.  That's the smart response.  Now for the very stupid response.

 Being of sound mind and quick wit, I listen to my brain.  It is reacting to the rain and cold.  I'm soaked and freezing and holding photos in my hand. So, I run like a frightened seven year-old girl who has just been "wet-herself" scared at a haunted house.  "Must save pictures and keep well-groomed hair intact!"  I make it to my front door.  Gabby is right behind me.  We look at each other and open the door to get dry. 

 When we make it inside I think, "Ahhh.  Dry place!  Warmth!  Pictures are saved!"  Then it hits me.  There is a frightened, filth-covered dog jumping around the inside of my Explorer.  He's having a field day in there!  I might as well have thrown a wild hog into the mix for good measure.  I used to think cloth seats were a good idea.  Not any more.

 I grab a towel and go outside to extract the pooch from my ride.  I open the door.  What I see is worse than I expected.

 I ask you this question... what do dogs do to get dry?  Do they towel off?  No.  Do they blow dry?  No.  Do they drip dry?  No.   They SHAKE LIKE TINA TURNER SINGING "PROUD MARY" AFTER EIGHT CUPS OF COFFEE.  The dog has flung muddy water from one end of my upholstery to the other.  To top it all off, he is dancing around the inside of the truck as if to say, "See if you use that girly-smelling crap shampoo on me again, Buster!  I got your Freesia Breeze for you RIGHT HERE!"

 I finally corral the dog and get him inside.  The episode is over for him.  The adventure has just begun for me.

 This morning, I surveyed the damage.  My windows are fogged from the inside.  Every last inch of the upholstery (floor to ceiling) has little brown spots all over it.  There is so much dog hair on the seats that  could weave it and make a king size blanket.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, folks.  A whole lot!

Photographs of a weekend getaway with the guys:  $11.71 

Extra span of electric fence to cover the bare area:  $30 

64 ounces of "Upper Hand" concentrate, which will now be used to clean my truck:  $42  

Lesson learned from this whole experience:  Priceless.

 Until next time.