Doggy December - Day 11 - Melodious Odours
I’m watering my brother and sister-in-laws plants and garden while they’re away and also collecting their mail, checking that Sandy the Shy Crab has enough water to keep him going and that their Buddha fountain doesn’t run dry for important Feng Shui purposes.
This all takes around twenty minutes every four days, so is hardly an imposition. I was thinking about bringing Milly along today – just for the joy of a ride in the car and somewhere new to sniff – but decided against it, having other stops such as the petrol station, bank and post office to make.
As I unlocked their door, there wasn’t the usual ‘Beep – Beep – Beep’ of the alarm, which warns that it will give you 30 seconds to punch in the code before it really goes BEEP and gets you into real trouble. Walking over to check it closer, my sneaker squelched unbecomingly into something sticky, dark and treacly that was oozing out from under the fridge.
Oh Bugger. The power had gone off and my olfactory senses (still partly blocked from last week’s cold) were assailed with a very nauseating mix of warm wet meat and ancient fish sauce.
Milly would have loved it and if I’d been confident about the bacterial levels (which I wasn’t; and everything was slung into the wheelie bin outside), I would have let her have a good sniff and as many licks as she liked. Dogs are rather handy to have when food is spilled. In this case, the ‘jam’ was an unfortunate blend of Rob’s frozen blueberries, leaky pork ribs, ham slices, seafood dipping sauce, Bolognese, icecream and raw prawns left to fester for four days. Dog heaven.
She would have detested the Lavender Spray-n-Wipe that I battled with though. I couldn’t find a pair of gloves anywhere but gamely scrubbed, washed, wiped, dried and sprayed the freezer baskets, vege crispers and every level, inner walls, door segments and the stinking syrup on the floor. Two hours later the job was done and I even found the circuit box and flicked the switch back to ‘on’ and got the neighbour across the road to adopt their wheelie bin and put it out with hers on the right night so that it didn’t sit at my brother’s like a sign saying “We’re not home; come on over and rob us.”
When I got home, Milly did her usual scamper from her trampoline bed at the back, up the side of the house and around to the front before I could even get the front door key out. She sniffed my shoes and legs for a good couple of minutes and no doubt deduced that her owner hadn’t just browsed the ‘2010 Puppies’ calendars on sale at the post office shop and filled up the tank with petrol: she’d stepped in many exciting food stuffs in various states of decay! What exciting adventures can be guessed at merely from sniffing the hem of her jeans!
After giving my hands a good washing and a moisturise, they were clean but still attractive to Milly because she likes to lick the cream from my hands – must be the lanolin.
Then again, she also likes to find the half-pecked loquats that have fallen from the tree, let them turn slightly alcoholic and then eat a bit to get the juices flowing before picking them up in her mouth, throwing them onto the lawn and rolling on her back. This provides her with an amateurish massage and a good perfume of rotting fruit in her fur. Lovely.
In non-loquat seasons there’s still the eating or rolling in cat shit generously deposited in the mulch by Hendrix the cat from next door; Skipper’s droppings to be hoovered or slept on; long white streaks of bird guano on the fence to be rubbed up against and a good old dash in and under the pongy grey flower bushes that coat her in a sticky, acrid-smelling oil..... and that’s just in our handkerchief-sized back courtyard!
Inside the house there's the bathroom just after someone's been in there - not showering - for a long time; the flip top kitchen bin, my sweaty running shoes, Love Chunk's bike shorts, the laundry hamper, Sapphire's school bag and lunch box and the warm joys of a nearly-full dishwasher that's been sitting there for at least twenty four hours.
Out on her daily walks to school there’s the bourbon-and-coke cans left dripping in the gutter for her to rub her head in; the greasy Red Rooster boxes to nuzzle and – oh holy of holies – a dead pigeon to anoint one’s entire body in if one runs extra fast (wonky legs notwithstanding) and feigns deafness to Kath’s calls for at least thirty seconds.
Any odorific victory Milly gains is always temporary but in her furry brain, if it smells, you might as well revel in it, however briefly.