Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Live frogs and stinky dogs

Supposedly Mark Twain said to eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen the rest of the day. You can find this quote attributed to him pretty much everywhere except an actual book on either Twain or quotations. So Twain may or may not have said it. Just like he may or may not have said, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies and Google.”

What's important is that it’s true, and that he could have said it.

I’ll say this: Letting your dog into the yard at 3 a.m. to have it out with a skunk accomplishes pretty much the same thing.

Or so you’d think. If you could ask the dog if she preferred the skunking or the ensuing bath, she’d have to do some thinking. Although if she were capable of doing any thinking at all, the morning would have turned out much differently and today’s topic would probably be something different entirely.

I don’t know if my own day got better or not. It’s not out of line to wonder if working all day in a house filled with the remnants of Nature’s Own Teargas is a terribly big improvement on two hours of bending over a bathtub ensuring that the damn dog is the only thing in the ZIP Code that doesn’t smell. Especially if the whole point of getting up at 3 was to find a couple of hours to train between deadline and book event, not to use those couple hours to detox a dog.

The deadline was met, and the book-signing at Schuler’s was wonderful. You really couldn’t find a better bookstore, and we had a good crowd comprising loads of dear friends and family members and enough perfect strangers to make it look like some people actually showed up because they were interested in the book. But it would have been wonderful anyway, without any help from live frogs or stinky dogs.

But all’s well that ends well. And when you’re a writer, there’s no such thing as bad news – it’s all material.

William Shakespeare said the first and Garrison Keillor may or may not have said the second. What's important is that it’s true, and that he could have said it.


Liz said...

ye gods. What a bummer. It sounds like you managed to get rid of the smell on the dog though ... good job. fyi, I hear tomato juice helps with skunk. I mean, you wash the dog in it. Although adding some vodka and taking it internally might not hurt, either.

veloben said...

Cleo the Lab loves skunks and they have returned the favor - twice. The lossers in this arrangement?

Birds. We shut down the feeder as that is what drew the skunks into Cleo's orbit of affection.

It's always the innocent that suffer.

Anonymous said...

Oh my... while skunked dog is never good, skunked dog at 3am is decidedly bad. fwiw, my friend's german shorthaired pointers, who seem to frequently be on the losing end of a skunk meeting, recommend the Dawn dishwashing soap/hydrogen peroxide/baking soda recipe.