Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Why Dogs and Backyard Swamps Don't Go Well Together

I've decided to try a new dog-parenting technique: publicly humiliating our misbehaving dog in front of all her admiring fans. That's right: you, the people who've previously commented on what a cute and adorable dog she is, shall now see the disaster she inflicted on our home today.

We have, as you've no doubt seen in previous posts of mine, a swamp in the back yard of our duplex. It's not just ordinary rain puddles; the water remains standing on the surface for weeks or even months on end, to the point that it develops a thick layer of green pond scum. It also reeks, in the way that only water left standing for weeks or months can reek. Particularly water with vast amounts of organic matter (dog poop, drowned plants, partially composted kitchen scraps, and so on) decaying in it. The entire yard reeks. I'm sure all the neighbors directly adjacent to us can smell it. I'd feel a need to apologize profusely to them, if not for the fact that in this neighborhood, the smell of a reeking yard is by far the least of anyone's problems.

Anyway, Boston sometimes goes wading in the swamp. This is actually less of a problem in the middle of winter, when the water level is at its highest, because at least it's liquid enough not to stick to her too much. But in the spring, when the water level recedes, the swamp turns into extremely thick muck. Extremely thick muck that Boston sinks into right up to her neck. Which, unfortunately, she loves.

Usually her dive into the muck is precipitated by her effort to dig out a rock or a toy to play with. For this reason, her dive into the muck usually occurs while one or both of us are out in the yard with her, so we see that she's filthy, and we wash her off before she tracks the mud indoors. Today while I was at work in my office with the door closed, Susan saw Boston covered in muck and washed her off. Then Susan went out in the front yard and left Boston indoors. This was where things went badly wrong.

Our pet door is open to the dogs at all times, because Ganymede broke the barrier that we used to be able to insert into the pet door to block the dogs on one side or the other. So when Susan went in the front yard, Boston went through the pet door into the back yard. And then she went back into the muck. And then she came back in the house and tracked mucky footprints all over the house. And did I mention that these footprints reek?

Here is where she came in through the pet door.

Here is where she went down the hall.

My office door was closed since I was still working, but alas, our bedroom door was not. And yes, she did climb up on the bed.

When she finished making a stinky mess of the bedroom, she wandered through the dining room . . .

And the living room, where of course she climbed up on the newly washed couch slipcover.

She circled around near the front door . . .

And came to rest near the dog bed. This, by the way, is what she looked like only after a thorough scrubbing. What she had looked like when I first got off work and stepped out of my office to discover the disaster was too terrifying to be photographed. It will suffice to say that there was no dog visible under the walking glob of muck.

Ganymede, by the way, is nearly as distressed by the disaster as we are. He hates mud and muck. He can hardly bring himself to set a single foot outside the house all winter when the ground is muddy. When he does set foot outside the house, he confines himself quite strictly to paved surfaces, carefully avoiding the slightest contact with icky mud. He's been having a difficult time of it this evening.
Tags: photographs, susan
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