My wife, Barbara, typically bathes our small Yorkshire Terrier, Bayly, in our bathtub, so the dog shampoo sits in the same wall tray with my dandruff shampoo. A while back, unfortunately, I grabbed the dog shampoo by mistake and used it when I showered, and, as a result, I had a ruff day, a really ruff day.
First, after I walked downstairs and out the front door to retrieve the newspaper, I was distracted immediately. Two squirrels ran directly in front of me, and without a second thought, I ran after them, chasing them across the lawn and into the trees. Quite honestly, I also wanted to climb the pine tree after them, but the school bus had stopped nearby to pick up a neighbor’s child, and I could feel the eyes of all the teenagers already on the bus watching me, so I relented.
Then, back inside the house, when I contemplated breakfast, I had a strong craving for hot dogs. Sounds silly, I know, but that’s what happened. So instead of eating my normal breakfast — fruit, a hard-boiled egg, yogurt, and juice — I grabbed two hot dogs from the freezer, nuked them for a quick minute in the microwave, and ate them quickly and efficiently, without buns or without mustard or onions, condiments that I normally enjoy with my ballpark franks.
Next, I drove to work, and even though the weather was rather chilly, I immediately lowered my window, and, yes, you guessed it, I put my head outside and enjoyed the breeze massaging my face. The experience was quite fun in the neighborhood, but once I hit the highway, the wind was too cold, and I thought for sure I’d get pulled over for some dog-gone reason.
When I arrived at work, I was also a bit out of sorts. I regularly help students in a writing center at a community college, and since all student writing should be their own, we never write on student essays or research papers. On this day, though, I couldn’t help myself. For some reason, I slyly marked every paper I read with my initials. And while I’m normally pretty patient and friendly, I later found myself barking instructions at the students, especially at one student in particular whose poetry assignment was a rather poor piece of doggerel.
By lunch time, I was famished from all my activity. Yes, I was dog tired, as if I’d been in a dog fight all morning. Some days, Barbara will pack a lunch for me, but on this day, I had to saunter over to the campus center to forage for food. There, I asked the guy behind the counter what he recommended, and he said I might enjoy some “pooched eggs.” He was right, too; they were delicious. In fact, he gave me so many, I couldn’t finish them all, and I required a doggie bag.
Fortunately, since we were early in the semester, we didn’t have many students in the writing center during the afternoon, so I was able to find a warm, sunny spot near the window where I could settle in and enjoy a comfortable nap in peace. Fortunately, too, my co-worker, who is usually pretty dogmatic about following the rules, was feeling sick as a dog herself and ignored me.
By the time I woke hours later, I felt much better, and I think the dog shampoo’s effect on me had worn off. When I returned home after work, Bayly greeted me at the door. Pleased to see her again, I picked her up and cuddled her against my chest. Funny thing, though, she smelled like head and shoulders.