December 05, 2011

The winning contest entry! (Finally...)

Below is the winning entry for the Everyday Hilarity Writing Contest. Enjoy!

The Offering

Brie is Stefan's dog, but she loves me the most.  Why?  Because I give her daily massages and tell her what a cute dog she is, and she really is! I basically treat her with dignity and respect, as much as a dog deserves, considering she licks her butt then wants to kiss your face.  I even feel compelled to feed her when Stefan forgets.  It's the eyes.  I'm putty when her eyes give me the "I'm starving" stare. 

Stefan is the human that Brie can play with, especially when it means getting out of homeschooling (for Stefan, not Brie), and who roughhouses with her when she is in the mood.  He's the one that steals her toys and then tempts her to play tug of war with him.  Brie has to sleep in a kennel in his room...and she does, reluctantly.  If he forgets to latch the door to the kennel, like clockwork, Brie's on MY bed downstairs at 4:30am, snuggling.  And I let her.  It's the eyes.

Then there is the Great Leader.  He's that guy that Brie adores from a distant, yet creeps to be near him, only wanting his approval and even that rare pat on the head. If The Great Leader says something like, "You're a stupid, smelly dog, Brie,” she beams with joy as the Great Leader has spoken magic words over her.  I watch this display with disgust.  He hates you, Brie.  Why are you always trying to suck up to him?  Don't you know he loves cats?  Get a clue.

So one day I’m sitting down at my desk and smell that "smell" again.  It’s been in the air for a few days. It's like something's sour, something's awful, something's....dead.  No way.  I looked to see if Brie was under the desk, thinking she was having gas issues (we don't talk about it in front of her - she's sensitive about it, you understand).  She loves to sit at my feet, probably because she worships me.  I punt her in the head every time I re-cross my legs, yet she still stays. 

Back to the smell. Brie's not under the desk so it can't be a fart, excuse the language.  On a whim I pull out the canvas crate I have in front of the drawer to get a better look under the desk.  I first think I'm seeing a RAT!  It's lying on its side as if it's resting, but the smell gives away its secret.  It's a dead animal, a gopher.  And it's not just dead.  It's really dead.  There is a difference, you know.  It's based on a smell meter, and by the smell of this rodent, it's been dead a while, thus I can categorize it as "really dead."

Oh man… Stefan comes up and doesn't want to have anything to do with this potential science project, as I'm getting a plastic sack to "bag" the critter and consider the possibility of dissection.  I'm a nurse, you might not know that, and despite being a mental health nurse and not the blood and guts nurse like my mom, I do have a particular bent toward dissecting things.  I blame it on my mom.  We've dissected a few snakes in our day.  Killed 'em for scientific a purpose, at least that’s what we've told the snakes as they were getting their heads chopped off. 

So I pick up this gopher, obviously brought in by the dog as my husband and son are not the types to even pick one up, let alone bring it into the house. Frankly, at this point, the smell (believe me, I’ve smelled about everything) is strong. I feel a slight bubble of emesis (AKA vomit) in my throat, and I am not one to vomit at anything. I decide this specimen is a bit too dead to even get my mom interested in doing a science experiment with me. It goes in the trash bin in the garage, and a full forensic clean-up of the carpet and air ensues. Bring in the special air machine.

Then it hits me – where is the proof?! I just got rid of the evidence too quickly without taking a picture! Drats. I’ll do it later. I’m still smelling “the smell.” So Scott comes home, realizes the garage stinks horribly like something dead is in the trash, and puts it outside on the curb even through it’s 2 days early for trash pickup and the neighborhood Nazi’s (AKA neighborhood association) will surely contact us to tell us we can’t do that.

So I don’t get the picture of the critter. And the dog (I don’t even give her the respect of calling her by her name) knows that everyone in the household is mad at her. She comes up to me with the eyes….I only turn away and tell her I’m still mad at her. I can’t believe she did this to me. She had to know that I’d wind up being the one to clean up the rodent death smell as the others are too weak in their stomachs. I’m feeling betrayed.

The Bible says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” At bedtime I decided it was the Christian thing to do to forgive her. I called her on my bed. (Did I tell you that after the cleanup of the death camp under my desk, she got a full scrub-down bath and no nice talk during it?) I told her I was choosing to forgive her, as He has reminded me that He created dogs to do dog things, and not to do people things. She was designed to dig - that’s really what Scottish Terriers were bred to do – dig out rodents, I found out AFTER we had adopted her. And she was designed to bring those trophies so proudly captured and killed to the one she loves most. Me. Yep. Her prize of this gopher carcass to me was only a sign of her immense respect for the one who cares for her the most. It was her offering to me. I didn’t want it. She knows that now. We’ve had a long talk (I did most of the talking) about what are appropriate behaviors of affection and what are inappropriate. Her motivation was right; her expression was wrong. She now knows that all gopher offerings are to be dropped outside the back door.

Her eyes told me she understood.

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