The cuckoo clock chirped ten times and I glanced out the dark window. Rising ever so silently from my easy chair, I tiptoed to the door of the office and listened. Stinky was snoring soundly. Pulling the door shut, I made my way to the bedroom, reaching for my boots. It was time to make my move.
I carefully lifted the coffee can full of bacon grease from the stove and cradled it in my arm. Sliding the patio door open as quietly as possible, I stepped out into the darkness. Down the driveway and across the dirt road that led to the highway, past the pecan tree, I paused. My eyes peering into the darkness, my steps cautious so I'd not trip and spill the grease, I finally came to the telephone pole looming before me. Perhaps this will do, I thought. Perhaps Stinky would not discover the secret place I had dumped the can brimming with tasty bacon grease. I carefully poured the can onto the ground in the dark of night. Finding my way back to the house, I placed the now empty metal can in the cabinet and stealthily crept back to the office. The dog was still snoring loudly, unaware of my escapade. I breathed a sigh of relief and sat on the couch to remove my boots. As I trudged down the hall, boots in hand, I came face to face with the Boston terrier, wide-eyed, wagging her stub of a tail.
"What are you doing up? No, you don't need to go outside. Go back to bed!"
The dog persisted and I reluctantly let her out, standing at the door like an old school marm monitoring recess. Stinky disappeared into the darkness. I looked at the clock on the wall. One minute passed, then two. Panic flooded my body as I called out into the night.
"Stinky, come on!" I paused, listening, "Come on, you bonehead!"
Still no dog. I growled under my breath as I headed to fetch my boots. By the time I returned to the door, the dog had found her way back, standing patiently in the porch light, her brown eyes bulging at me.
I slid the door open and began to chastise her.
"Did you eat that bacon grease? I know you did! You smell like rotten bacon!"
The dog cowered and slowly disappeared into the office, settling into her bed, doing her best to ignore me.
I found the dog the following morning sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, her eyes barely open. I could tell she was in discomfort as she shifted ever so slightly in an attempt to relieve her pain. It took several commands to get the dog to lethargically waddle to the door for her morning pee. When she returned, I stood at the door with a liver-flavored Milkbone, as was expected of me for years. She glanced at the treat with squinty eyes and uttered a groan, passing on by and resuming her place on the kitchen floor. I dropped the bone into her doggie dish and told myself she'd be alright tomorrow. She had done this before. There wasn't anything the dog wouldn't eat.
But by the third morning, the dog's condition had worsened. I stared at the critter still sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, obviously in intense pain. I knew the dog would die if I didn't seek professional medical attention. She wasn't even my dog. My daughter had reluctantly left her behind last fall as she headed off to college, with strict orders to take care of the animal. I couldn't let the canine die on my watch. My child would never forgive me. And I hated to admit it, but I had become attached to Stinky. She was a good dog. She had the bladder of an elephant and never had a mishap in the house. And she made me laugh. She had been a good companion after my daughter had left. I had found comfort in her incessant snoring as I watched TV in the evenings, and her smelly farts were a constant reminder that I was not alone. But what stood out in my mind the most as I made the decision to take her to the vet was that it hadn't rained in a hundred and fifty days. There was no way I could dig a hole in that rock hard dirt to bury her in.
The vet was one of those good old boys that you couldn't help but like. My last encounter with him had been a decade ago when I pulled up into the parking lot of his clinic at midnight in a driving blizzard, a pregnant goat in my trailer who couldn't deliver her baby. When I called and woke him, he had eagerly agreed to meet me and the two of us had bonded somewhat in that hour it took to deliver that baby goat. That adventure had cost me two hundred bucks.
"I believe she is impacted," he said as he gently felt the underside of the dog, "Have you seen her defecate, you know, poop in the last several days?"
I shook my head. It's not like watching dogs poop is a hobby of mine, but I was fairly certain the dog hadn't. She hadn't ventured too far off the patio since she'd became ill.
"An enema will probably fix her up. I'll need to take an x-ray to be certain."
Well, here we go, I thought. How much would that cost? The x-ray apparently confirmed what we all already knew and the doggie nurse appeared in the doorway, scooping Stinky up in her arms.
"You are not going to be happy with me!" she giggled, the dog glancing back at me as if she were going to her execution.
Moments later a recognizable stench permeated the entire vet clinic. I held my breath as my eyes began to water. The smell was undeniably worse than any fart Stinky had ever unleashed. Twenty minutes later, the doggie nurse reappeared with a smiling Stinky in her arm.
"Oh, that poor, poor puppy. She had quite a time getting all that out of her. The doctor wanted another x-ray to be sure we got it all out. She looks good to go!"
With mixed emotions I paid the two hundred dollar bill, silently cursing Stinky and all forms of bacon grease. I glanced down at the dog happily standing at my feet.
"How are you ever going to repay me? No, it's a serious question. Maybe I can sell you on Craig's List for two hundred dollars."
And so, Stinky is back to normal. As I wrap this up, she lumbers from her doggie bed and walks toward the desk, her big brown bug eyes glance upward, an evil grin on her face...and then:
"Oh! Why did you come over here to fart! You think it's funny!" Gag...