The Smell

Have you ever been awakened by an overpowering, invasive smell?  Thankfully I’m not talking about the smell of smoke.  But if you have dogs you know the smell of which I speak.

It was two a.m. and my brain heard a sensory alarm: All hands on deck, All hands on deck.  Someone had experienced a bodily function emergency.  With the glow of the TV cable box providing some light I was able to open my eyes and look at all three of my dogs sleeping comfortably nearby.  “Wassup”, they seem to say.  Their eyes were focused on me curiously.

I tentatively got up and put my feet onto the tile floor and started checking for anal leakage deposits.  No one followed me, which is never a good sign.  All three of my Border Collies were guilty as charged, until proven innocent and they knew it.

I took one step-nothing, two steps-nothing, until I was in the front entranceway.  The smell was enough to cause my eyes to water and I turned on the light.  There was evidence of a small canine emergency, definitely nothing worthy of a brain screaming stench alert.  I cleaned everything up off the tile floor and returned to my bedroom.  The dogs hardly moved a muscle the entire time.

But now I couldn’t sleep as the smell was still overpowering the room.  I decided that the dogs needed a potty break outside.  I let them run outside so I could do another full-scale search.  But when I returned to the back of the house I heard all three dogs loudly barking at some imagined invader.  Oh, heck no.  I turned around and called them back into the house.

Have you ever seen three guilty teenagers try to look innocent, hands in pockets, looking everywhere but at you and shuffling their feet?  That was how my three dogs looked.  It is obvious that this mystery may remain unsolved as no one gave any indication that anything out of the ordinary had happened.  Even the cat stayed in bed. She wasn’t talking either.

But now I was wide awake at 2:30 a.m.  I checked my emails and the status of the incoming storm.  But sleep never returned to my brain.  As each Border Collie ventured near me I gave it a sniff test.  Everyone was pristine.  Hmm.  I should have taken a DNA sample from the small deposit by the front door.  Too late now.

Sleep never did return.  I watched ninety minutes of Alaska State Troopers until 4 a.m. when I turned the channel to the weather forecast.  Finally I got up for some coffee, the dogs still not moving from the bedroom.  Strange.  I mulled over their uncharacteristic behavior.  But then such is life with three teenage Border Collies and (for once) a cat who was clearly in on the caper.

I foresee a nap in my future.



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