Steamy embarrassment

Kristine Gill

My dog doesn’t like going to the bathroom outside. Instead he has a favorite spot in the living room where he decides to do his dirty number two most mornings while I shower and he’s free in the house. So I’m a bit upset when I turn off the water and step out of the bathroom expecting to smell shampoo and shower steam and I get a whiff of his special surprise waiting downstairs.

At this point, I usually yell something like, “Damnit dog,” and work on conveying terrifying anger in my facial expression so Dublin can gauge my wrath. I raise my finger and point at him, then the pile, then him, then the pile, all while firmly saying “NO, BAD DOG.” Dublin acts apologetic until he thinks I’m not looking, then continues to romp around the apartment. Meanwhile, my wet hair air-drys in unflattering waves as I clean up and wonder how many morning practices I can sacrifice to make it to class on time.

I think I would be more diligent about disciplining my dog if the alternative were more beneficial. The alternative being that he goes outside and I pick it up. Either way I’m doing nasty clean up. The thing about going outside is I have to pick it up in front of people.

When I took my dog on his first walk at our apartment a few weeks ago, he did his business and I got out my plastic bag. As I readied my crude mitt, I heard a devastating sound rumble in the distance. Gangster rap music blared from an unseen vehicle that suddenly whipped around the corner into sight. The driver was a young, college-aged male. I suddenly felt very foolish standing there with my mitt and staring at the steamy pile of embarrassment I was about to tackle. Dublin cocked his head at me while I waited for the car to pass.

I tried to busy myself, adjusting the bag mitt and wandering up and down the sidewalk, keeping Dublin’s mess in sight. As I bent down to carry out the deed, another car pulled out of some distant drive, similar music blaring and a college-aged male in the driver’s side. I was flustered, but a third car passed before I was able to use my bag mitt. Three cars! All college guys!

The embarrassment didn’t end there. Any mildly observant person could wager a bet as to what I carried in that bag and there was no way to make it less conspicuous. Dublin had done his business in the correct location, but I was still upset with him.

Walking home, I realized there is no demographic in the entire world who I would be more embarrassed about picking up dog poop in front of. Young, cool college guys have to be the worst. I could handle comments little kids would throw out at me, and the stares of the elderly. I could handle young college gals watching me. But guys? Why would they want to mate with me if their first impression involved dog crap?

I scheduled a vet appointment for Dublin this week, and it’s about time. His nails are too long and his infected ears reek like cheese curls. He also needs a vaccine. While I was on the phone with the vet office, the receptionist casually informed me that I needed to bring “a stool sample,” with me to Dublin’s appointment.

A stool sample? I didn’t like her tone. She might have been telling me that the sky was blue and the weather would be good for boating tomorrow. She could have been reading a fine print disclaimer on an important document that you skim, then sign for. She might have been telling me to have a nice day.

My friend is taking my dog and me to the vet this week. Luckily, my friend does not blare gangster rap music and is not a boy. But if we’re going to have to drive with the “sample,” in the car, I’m probably going to triple bag it.

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her if you’ve had to use a bag mitt at [email protected].