As an Aussie, I am inherently kind, loving, personable, affable and – above all – approachable (oh, and did I mention humble?).  Unlike some breeds who have a wary and suspicious gene which cautions anyone in the vicinity to steer clear, Aussies are welcoming and perhaps a little too trusting.  And so…

As I took my daily stroll through the rear yard yesterday, with all the happy conversations with birds, squirrels, lizards and chipmunks which occasion such meanderings, I came upon a strange looking animal.  It was black with a large white stripe running from head to tail.  He looked friendly, so I said “hi”, but he stood there with an unresponsive stare.  Now, I could have shrugged off his aloof attitude and moved on, but I’m an Aussie.  We take unfriendliness as a challenge, so I persisted.  As I moved closer, obviously invading his space, he turned his back to me and discharged a spray of liquid directly at me.  At first, I thought how nice it was for this fellow to cool me off on a warm morning.  But I quickly realized that this was no ordinary spray.  It was the most odious of all possible odors, and with my acute sense of smell it was simply unbearable.  I quickly rolled in the grass, but that did no good.  I raced to the back door of the house to alert Dad of my predicament.

He came to the door, took one whiff of me and somehow knew what had happened.  He said, “Flap, what have you done?”  I said, “Well, I came upon some foul smelling brew in a barrel, so I just jumped inside.”  He ignored the sarcasm, as usual, and said, “Wait here.”  Uh, yeah, where was I going?  After about 20 minutes, he returned wearing a hazmat suit that he keeps in the garage (don’t even ask).  He looked a little like Darth Vader and was breathing like him too.  He lifted me up and carried me inside to a bathtub which he had prepared while I was waiting.  Apparently, he had always heard that bathing in tomato juice would remove the stench with which I was afflicted.  But the closest thing he had in the house to fulfill this specious ‘cure’ was a case of Bloody Mary mix from Costco.  He unceremoniously dumped me in the tub and proceeded to scrub me down.

It didn’t work.  When he was done, I smelled like a skunk who had a few too many.  I shook off Dad’s cure, spraying the entire bathroom with skunky-mary cocktail, then raced through the house trying to rub the odor off on rugs, sofas, lounge chairs and drapes.  Dad of course chased after me, tripped in his awkward suit and went sliding across the wood floor.  Fearing he was hurt, I walked over and licked his face mask.  I still don’t know why this simple act of kindness and concern would illicit his knee-jerk response to reach for my neck with the obvious intent of ending my suffering in an altogether unacceptable manner.

Much later, when Dad discovered that a simple solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing liquid would have been the proper approach, he continued to blame me for rushing him into an erroneous method (yes, blame the victim!).  I’m resting comfortably now while Dad happily cleans the house (I choose to believe he’s happy, despite his endless soliloquy about an evil dog sent to him by an avenging angel for his past transgressions).  But if he continues this torrent of odiferous complaining, I may need to prepare a tub for him.



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