Sorry for such a long delay between posts; I’ve really let my New Year’s resolution of blogging at least once per week get away from me. You now have permission to scold me; just don’t take it out on the Ham, he’s very sensitive to what his readers think.
Anyway, I thought what better way to get back into the blogging swing than by sharing a story? I will warn you – it is gross and if you are the faint of heart or don’t enjoy bathroom-type humor, then you should probably sit this post out. Sorry, no pictures as I think it would potentially get me kicked off the internet / force the few readers I have to never come back to GE&H out of sheer disgust.
I’m just going to put it right out there – poop happens. Dog owners and parents are the groups of people I know who have to deal most intimately in the world of poo. I joke with the boy that we have become too familiar with Hamlet’s poop routine, evidenced by the fact that we are totally comfortable talking about it with one another. We even go into details such as consistency, color, and frequency. We sometimes even have these conversations in front of our friends (sorry, Melissa!). Please don’t judge us.
I promise we’re not poo freaks. It’s just that Hamlet used to be a twice a day pooper and in the last few months he has strayed from his regularity (no pun intended) and sometimes only poops once a day and occasionally skips a day altogether. When the change in poop frequency started, we were worried he might be sick so the boy would fill me in on what happened on his daily walks with Ham. We’ve decided that his frequency is less in the winter because he doesn’t like to be outside in the cold so he usually does a morning poo and forgoes the evening one. However, we have maintained our poop conversations and have been known to celebrate when there are two poops in one day (recent text from me to the boy: Took Ham out in his boots and coat. He pooped and I think he even enjoyed the snow!).
Yesterday during one of our poo conversation, the boy mentioned that on their morning walk Ham had had a gross poop.
Me: What kind of gross? Like runny?
Mike: Yeah and weird.
Me: How weird? Weird color?
The boy: Yeah just sick. I had to wipe him because I was afraid that it would get on the carpet or something once we were back inside.
Me: Eeeew! I hate that! It’s so weird chasing after him and having to clean his butt off like a baby.
The boy: Yeah. Did you feed Ham anything weird yesterday?
Me: I gave him like five grains of my white rice from dinner.
The boy also remembered that we had given him one or two turkey pepperoni. We dismissed it as a one-off gross poop and moved on.
Last night was a night like any other – the boy was working on his computer and I was watching Project Runway educational television with Ham and working on my laptop. I was researching online for a hike we might do this weekend so I walked into the office to give the boy the details and Hamlet woke up from the couch and followed at my heels. I was smack dab in the middle of this sentence, “A real jewel in the Open Space crown, Pine Valley Ranch offers scenic vistas and recreational opportunities for all” when I heard a loud fart behind me. A squishing fart. Now, Hamlet farts audibly from time to time but it’s like a little squeak – pbbfft. This was just so farty, like a whoopee cushion – PPLLLLLBBBB! I turned around and was saying, “Ham, that was the loudest fart I’ve ever heard from you” when I was cut off by the sight of poop all over the floor. I’m sorry, I should say “all over the the cream-colored carpet.”
It was browny yellow and a soft consistency and spread into two or three groupings. The boy said, “get him out of here!” while I put down my laptop and yelled, “Ham, Hammy, come here, come!” Of course he was terrified by the wild girl waving and yelling at him and seemed frozen by this fear because he was still in a squat position and I was therefore terrified that he was about to dump again. I made my voice less shrill and called him again and Mike helped herd him out the front door. Then Ham and I were alone in the crisp night air and he was high-tailing it down the stairs to get to the grass, turning his head over his shoulder to see how mad I was at him with a scared look on his face. The saddest part was that I wasn’t angry at all. I knew that he had an accident, truly an accident, and must have been sick or ate something bad; otherwise he wouldn’t have pooped in the house (he never had before). No one poops like that on purpose.
While I was thinking all of this through and generally feeling sorry for Hamlet, that he probably felt embarrassed and generally sick to his stomach, he proceeded to walk in a squatting position all around the grass in front of our building. He remained squatted the whole time, almost in a sit position but with his butt floating above the grass. He would poop while he walked, like a horse on a trail ride. Like hover-pooping. He never stopped, just methodically squat-pooped in a 20 foot loop around the grass. Finally he came back to where he started and looked pooped (pun intended). I kept telling him it was ok, I know it was an accident. No reason to punish a creature for something that was clearly out of their control.
We opened the door to the apartment and I realized how out of control the situation was, made clear to me by the horribly pungent smell. The boy, being the wonderful man that he is, had already cleaned up the poop clumps and had them in a garbage bag. He passed me in the doorway, on his way to the dumpster. Hamlet seemed eager not to return to the scene of the crime (weren’t we all?) and clamored after Mike. I tried to call him back but the boy said it was ok. I dug out our trusted Urine Out stain removal kit and got to work.
The smell hadn’t hit me when Ham first pooped but now that I was back in the house it was like a mushroom cloud of dog poop smell. The boy had removed the poop clumps but I had to dab at the wet spots with a paper towel, which was definitely the worst part of my job. Getting down and dirty with wet poop spots is not how anyone wants to spend an evening. I kept wishing that it was solid poop because it wouldn’t have left behind this wet brellow (brown+yellow) mess but the boy pointed out that if it was a regular solid poop that Hamlet would have done it outside when we let him out 30 minutes ago. True, but it still would be easier to get off the carpet. So I proceeded with the Urine Out kit while the boy made another trip to the dumpster with the poopy paper towels and Hamlet hid under the kitchen table.
The boy returned and of course there had to be a discussion of the recent fallout. We couldn’t believe he pooped in the house; he never has before. Well, obviously it must have been uncontrollable, otherwise he would have pooped outside when we took him out 30 minutes ago. The smell is unbelievable; the stain remover helps but let’s open the sliding glass door. And a window. And don’t sit in the office because it’s worse in there.
We discussed putting Hamlet in his crate or sequestering him in the kitchen (tile floor) to sleep it off in case of further accidents. Instead we kept him under observation for a few hours in which he seemed back to his old self. So in the end he slept where he usually does – on a blanket at the foot of the bed. After all, poop happens.
*Planet Urine, the makers of Urine Out, did not in any way compensate me for this post. I am simply telling you that Urine Out is the product that we use for our household stains (it works on stuff other than pet stains) because we have had great results with the product.