Jon de Vos: Things that go ‘yuck’ in the tub |

Jon de Vos: Things that go ‘yuck’ in the tub

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things that smell bad.

Well, let me clarify that a bit by saying that actually I’ve been thinking about the words that describe bad smells. My favorite one so far is “mephitic” which describes something that smells so foul as to cause injury and possibly death. It is a strong word, a good word full of hard consonants, a word that most aptly describes the odor of my Basset Hound, Freeta Goodhome. If you’ve ever owned a Basset, you know that mere words like, effluvia, fetid, malodorous and putrid, all lack the quality of stunning abhorrence necessary to describe just how smelly a Basset gets.

“My, but your dog smells positively mephitic,” is a common term among Basset owners.

Of necessity, Basset Hounds get scrubbed down a lot. Owners of Bassets will often drive through car washes with the windows down. They wind up leaving obscene tips with professional groomers. God help them, sometimes they take leave of their senses and attempt to wash them themselves.

I decided to try my luck, how bad could it be? I took a deep breath, wrapped my arms around the mutt and shrieked, “I’m doing this for me, not you, Freeta,” and threw her in a bathtub full of warm, soapy water. Well, that’s not quite right, actually, I hurled her towards the soapy water, but before she actually touched the surface, she grabbed the side of the tub with all four paws, tail, tongue, and both her ears. She hung on like

Leonardo DiCaprio clinging to Kate Winslet as the Titanic went down. Things froze for several seconds as we struggled cheek-to-jowl, neither able to gain advantage.

Suddenly, like a cork in a shaken bottle of champagne, she shot out of my grasp with a loud popping noise that later turned out to be my lower back. What next ensued can best be likened to a WWE Smackdown. Back and forth, we battled across the bathroom floor, circling each other like a pair of fat Japanese wrestlers. Finally I caught her in the Inverted Facelock Camel Clutch and thought she was finished, but she slipped free, whirled around and pinned me with the paralyzing Shoulder Claw.

The pain made me dizzy but it passed quickly and I wrenched away, ducking under her defenses. I leaped, I whirled and tucked her into the Chickenwing Arm Lock, outlawed in many states but I was growing tired and desperate as she hovered millimeters above the water, each leg clenched onto the four walls of the tub, tail wrapped around the faucet. I could tell she was weakening, so I hung on for the sake of all mankind.

Finally, she gave out an exhausted, “whoof” and flopped into the water, drenching me from head to toe.

She stood there, dazed and panting for a moment until she realized the game was up and the crazed look slowly left her eyes. It slowly dawned upon her, hey, maybe this isn’t so bad after all.

She waddled around for a bit, then sat down as if testing the water temperature with her big butt of a thermometer. After a moment she laid down up to her formidable snout and began to enjoy the gentle scrubbing of her ears. I even got to shape up her toenails with my wife’s cuticle buffer.

Please don’t tell her I used her towel, too.

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