August 15th, 2017
Scrubbing Bailey’s kennel floor on my knees, I ask myself, “Why Sundays?” After all, is this not the day of rest? The morning had started out so well. The perfect cup of coffee savoured as I read my latest mystery novel. Finally, it was 6:15 am and I was ready to wake my sweetness up from her sound sleep for the morning trail walk. I whipped the garage door open only to be hit with a repugnant odour. I remembered that smell from a Sunday not that long ago.
It was Father’s Day – June 18th. It was a jam-packed day. I had the task of getting my youngest son to the Iron City 2017 Duathlon in the morning. My other son and I were slated to man one of the water stations as volunteers. My husband would be at the start/finish line supporting his son and ensuring there were no equipment failures. I rose early to ease into the day and planned to take Bailey out for a trail walk before returning home for the well-earned second cup of java. The rest of the family would get up around 8:30 am for a leisurely breakfast of waffles and wild blueberry sauce before packing up. It was a superb plan until I opened the garage door.
Bailey was sitting as tight as a Newf could in the corner of her kennel pen. The smell of diarrhea permeated the area. Having raised two boys, I instantly knew what was in store for me. I reluctantly looked in. It was bad scene – an explosion of poop. What an introduction into experiencing Bailey’s first bout of diarrhea! I marvelled that Bailey managed to avoid getting any of the offending material on herself. No encouragement was required for Bailey to exit the kennel. She needed her walk and I was motivated to delay the nasty clean-up. I thought about waking up my husband and saying Happy Father’s Day before springing the task of poop removal on him. But, I was kind. I decided to take this one for the team.
Off the two of us went to join our trail partners. I envied my walking partner who would be soon enjoying her second cup of coffee. Bailey and I returned. It was still there. Bailey plopped herself down as far away as she possibly could. She fell asleep quickly after a night of very little sleep. I scooped the offending puddle with plastic grocery bags. I decided to share the fun and woke my sleep-loving husband. He collected the cleaning items and I began the task of disinfecting the kennel and its sides. The homemade waffles and sauce were scrapped as my husband took over cooking duties. The boys were somewhat disappointed when they sat down to a breakfast of oatmeal porridge and fruit. Outside, the rain was pouring down.
I thought how living with children and pets often means dealing with unpleasant situations at the most inconvenient times. Our family was less than 72 hours away from leaving on our 6,000 km road trip and Bailey was coming with us. A dog with loose stools in a van was a terrifying thought. I suspected that the lake water drank by Bailey on a walk around Jean Lake, the previous day, was the likely source of her discomfort. Two hours later, Bailey was washed and her kennel was spotless. We decided that my husband would stay home to make sure that Bailey was okay. Personally, I think he was relieved not to be standing in the rain at the race. After a day of no food and lots of rest, Bailey showed some improvement. She made short work of the rice and chicken on Monday. Bailey was back eating her regular food by the next day.
Here I am – Déjà vu! The clean-up went quicker this time. Thanks in part due to it being less explosive and I found better ways to tackle the mess. On Saturday, Bailey had been wading in the lake as a break from backpacking and managed to gulp down enough water to set her bowels off again. It took Bailey until Sunday afternoon to clear her system followed by 24 hours without food. As if today, things are back to normal for her. She’ll only be drinking her packed water until summer is over. The calamity has passed for our sweetness. The good news is that I not only cleaned Bailey’s kennel but, tackled the rest of the garage – a job that I had been procrastinating on doing for weeks.