I was feeling good today. My foot was feeling better, I was ready to put some clean dishes away, wash some dirty ones, maybe even make dinner for the first time since I hurt my foot. Leila was outside playing with the dog, and I knew she was also playing with the hose and sprayer. I had my misgivings; its not warm out, the sun was going down, but I thought, what the hell, a little hose action never hurt anyone. This is where the wheels came off the wagon.
I was just getting ready to put away my first dish, and I heard Leila saying, "No! NO!" to the dog, and normally I wouldn't rush to see what was going on because usually the dog is doing something perfectly acceptable, and Leila is just being bossy. But I went outside to find that there had somehow appeared a large hole in a bed that had been neatly covered with weed cloth and wood chips (this is what passes for "gardening" in our yard) and this hole was full of very wet dirt with a puddle at the bottom. One might even call it a mud puddle since that is exactly what it was. The dog was gleefully digging in the the mud and water without any regard for my sanity, and was covered, head to toes, in the stuff. Leila was standing over him with a look that seemed to combine disbelief, fear, jealousy, amusement and guilt. She was clean, which I found somewhat shocking, but Leila is much easier to bathe than the dog so I would have preferred that she dig in the mud and the dog regard her with awe.
I swore. I said the D word (dammit.) I said the SH word (shit) and I went back into the house and closed the door. In the kitchen, I took an innocent dish towel and beat it repeatedly and with as much force as I could muster, against the edge of the sink. In retrospect, I am actually surprised and a little proud that I managed to rally given that I wanted to kill myself. I turned the faucet in the bathtub to warm, got a few towels, and another really old one and went outside in my socks and picked up the mud soaked pain in the ass in the towel, thus saving my floor and walls from the mud (I learned from the first mud hole, I'm not stupid.) I put him in the tub and started to wash him.
It should be stated, at this point, that a) we have very poor water pressure and no hand-held sprayer in our tub or shower, and b) my foot is still hurt, and the injury is on the top of my foot so kneeling is not especially comfortable.
The tub was dark brown with mud, mud was getting on the shower tiles, and the dog really wasn't getting any cleaner. Meanwhile, Leila is behind me, wiggling in the way that children do every moment that they are not in deep sleep, and asking me inane questions. My back started to hurt and she offered me a massage. I told her to leave the room. It would have been easy if the dog had been rolling in the mud since his back is easy to wash, but the mud was on his belly and legs and chin, the three places that are the most difficult to wash when you don't have a sprayer. Mercifully, my dog does not mind getting bathed because I don't know what I would have done if he had been trying to jump out of the tub. He just hung out while I picked him up under the arm pits and tried to clean his little chest. This is when the tearless sobbing started. The word frustrated simply does not convey what I was feeling; try frustrated times a thousand, at least.
I did my best to rinse out the tub, I wrapped Perry up in a towel and sat down in the big chair in the living room and turned on Gilmore Girls. Once I was seated, it was too hard to make a cocktail or get the cyanide tablets, so I called Rob and told him a brief version of what happened, and warned him that I was a woman on the edge who would be needing a drink and a pizza, stat.
The dog was shivering, so I got up and blow dried him for a few minutes. This has to happen right next to the closed bathroom door since he doesn't much care for it. He is mostly clean now, and while he was in the the post bath catatonic state that seems to occur any time I wrap his little wet, pitiful self in a big towel, I trimmed the hair around his eyes, and then started cutting tufts of his hair at random. He is now curled up on my shins behind the computer on my lap, and I sort of like him again.
The hardest part here is that there's really no one to get mad at, and if I weren't already having so much trouble jump starting my life after spraining my foot, I might have been able to laugh at sight of a dog in mud heaven and a girl completely aghast. She didn't mean for anything bad to happen, and he is a dog. People think Perry is a girly foof dog, and they call him She, even though he's a boy, but he likes to play in the mud and hump things and bark like a bad-ass just like any frisby-catching, ball-chasing, head-out-the-window, macho dog you can think of.
I'm on my third drink (but who's counting?) and I've had my pizza (my husband is a saint) and I think I'll be able to move on with my life now.
But no guarantees.