Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Worst Night

Tonight has been horrible. Absolutely horrible.

It started off innocently enough. Classes went well, ending at about 9:30 pm, which is ten minutes early. I hit the library quickly, then picked up groceries for the week, then came home at last. An unhappy little dog greeted me, but I assumed his mood was simply owing to loneliness (I had been gone since shortly after three).

After brewing some coffee, I sat down to finish writing my review of arguably the worst book I have ever read: a postmodern feminist's revisionist opinion of women's involvement in society during the French Revolution. I have both a paper and a presentation due on this horrid creation, and I knew I would be up late trying to figure out what the heck I just spent the last week reading (no kidding - I honestly cannot understand most of what this woman wrote). Then I smelled something horrible . . .

Yes, my dear little Jasper has been a sick boy tonight (well, technically this morning). He had putrid explosive diarrhea, which he managed to get all over the carpet in both the dining room and living room. In addition, a large quantity of it was coating his behind. I immediately shoved Jasper into the bathroom and closed the door. Then, I tackled the carpet.

From the hours of experience that I gained through scrubbing my carpet, I can recommend the following for cleaning up dog diarrhea: First, spray the area with Scrubbing Bubbles (I used to use this to clean carpet stains in college and have found that it is quite safe, although Fantastic is actually better), then let it sit for about a minute. Then carefully wipe away as much of the liquid doggy poo as you can. Next, pour some Dawn dish soap into a bucket. Add some Mr. Clean with Febreeze cleaner (this both cleans and deodorizes, and is safe for all surfaces - I use it to mop my floors normally), then pour in a small amount of hot water. Next, pull on rubber gloves. Grab two dish clothes that you don't mind throwing away. Then, proceed to spend the next few hours scrubbing carefully and thoroughly, locating all the spots on the carpet that the dog managed to hit. Follow up this procedure by spraying fabric deodorizer over the entire carpet. For the record, the smell will continue to linger long after cleaning.

After taking care of the carpet, I dealt with Jasper (I know this may sound a bit cruel, but the smell was so nauseating that it had to be dealt with first). During his internment in the bathroom, he had had another round of diarrhea, so the floor in there was nicely coated, and the rug was ruined (there is just no way to get that amount of staining off). I stuck Jasper in the bathtub, then cleaned up the floor to the best of my ability. After I was safe from the danger of stepping in anything horrendously disgusting, I gave Jasper's behind an intense scrubbing, then followed it by giving him a bath. After drying him most of the way with the hairdryer, I stuck him back in the bathroom, where he will be spending the night. He's terribly unhappy there, but I can't risk him having another accident on the carpet. I don't want him to ruin his beloved bed either, so I stuck one of his towels in there for him to sleep on (I know it may get ruined with more diarrhea, but I just can't force a sick dog to sleep on a cold tile floor). I also put in a bone and two toys, in case he starts feeling better, as well as his food and water. He just now stopped crying, so maybe he has fallen asleep. If he's still ill tomorrow, I'll call his vet for advice.

Now that nearly four hours of time have been snatched away from me, I still have to finish my paper, prepare my presentation, and then make it to Liberty in the late morning to pick up my ROTC equipment and get help with some paperwork. A few hours after that, I'll have two classes, with a one hour gap in-between them. In other words, there is no way that I can get any sleep at all tonight - I'm going to have to pull an all-nighter. I've got coffee and No-Doze pills, so I should be able to make it until this evening, when I plan to collapse into bed at a very early hour. I don't know how people manage to raise children and attend grad school at the same time - having a dog is work enough!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"