Monday, July 13, 2009

While Washing Duncan

I think Duncan rolled in something dead last night. If it wasn't dead it should've been. It certainly deserved to be.

But then if he hadn't rolled in whatever it was, I wouldn't have been mistaken for a twenty-two year old by the young man--nay, boy-- who worked at Wag 'N Wash where Duncan got his bath.

While my friend Rex and I stood outside chatting late last night, the dogs circled around the trees, mingling with the moths and occasionally vanishing into the shadows for a few moments at a time. Obidos, Rex's Chow/Shepherd/something else mix was good and stayed relatively close, coming when called and keeping his nose close to my pocket where I kept the bag of treats. Duncan, however, crawled down into the lower levels of Hell where he found the most disgusting thing imaginable and decided he wanted to share it with me, a surprise he waited to spring on me until he climbed into bed and nestled down against my pillow. Needless to say, he was banished from the room and pouted in the living room all night and well into the morning.

It has been a hectic day and the rest of the week promises to be just as crazy. You see, my friend Ruth is flying in from Minneapolis on Wednesday so that Thursday morning we can hop in the car and drive to Pocatello where we will celebrate our twenty year high school reunion. We're very excited, but of course these things tend to bring up some silly concerns about age and mortality and other such pleasantries. Naturally an adventure of this magnitude requires a lot of prep: an oil change, a car wash, a hair cut, cleaning of the apartment, laundry, packing, making arrangement for Ken to tend to the cats, and all the rest of it. Discovering that your best friend smells like rotting carcas dipped in Linden dust tends to alter the plans considerably.

So tonight, after working late and missing my chance to get an oil change, I raced home, grabbed Duncan, took him to Hero's to buy enough raw food to see him through our trip home, and then headed to Wag 'N Wash where I discovered I'd missed the last chance to give him a bath. I pleaded, offered to clean up my station and gave them the best puppy dog eyes I could manage, even explaining that this was the one chance I had before tossing him into my car for a nine hour drive to southeast Idaho. Finally, in utter desperation I made them actually sniff him, at which point they cracked under the pressure and gave me a tub, a hose and a supply of freshly washed towels.

And while I washed Duncan, spraying him and kissing his nose as he whined and looked at me like I was torturing him, the nicest young man--nay, boy--made our acquaintance, offering a few pointers and helpful tips while standing awfully close and asking all sorts of questions,which eventually led to me revealing I was venturing home to attend my twenty-year high school reunion.

He cocked his head. "You graduated in '89?" he asked. His eyes grew wide and he stepped back. "That's the year my parents graduated."

It was almost like getting kicked in the nuts, only not as pleasant.

"Sorry, man," he stammered. "I thought for sure you were my age, maybe a little older. Seriously. I thought you were twenty-two."

"You're very kind," I told him. "But you're too late."

"I'm eighteen, " he offered and I pretended not to know what he really meant. And even though I can still hear those words ringing in my ears, That's the year my parents graduated-- a sound not unlike the time I hit an elk and heard the imagined echoing crunch as it smashed against the side of my car for weeks afterward--I have to admit I smiled all the way out the door, Duncan, clean and fluffy, prancing at my side.

It may have been twenty years since I was in high school, but I still have it. Oh yeah.

Now if only I can find the time to get an oil change.


Lori said...

TOTALLY awesome! (Was he cute??)

AND... Ruth is in Minneapolis? How did I not know this?

Sue said...

Lori it doesn't matter if the boy was cute, the boy thought Curt was cute!

It's true Curt - you still got it!

Have a BLAST at your reunion. I can't wait to hear all about it!

ruth said...

...where do I start?

1. You, and only you, could get a stranger to SNIFF YOUR DOG. He's awfully cute and all, but you got a STRANGER to SNIFF HIM. I'm impressed (and grateful).

2. How did you get through an entire day without mentioning this smell-of-death thing to me? Maybe a little concerned you wouldn't get him washed in time? Planning to not tell me until it was too late? Hmmmmmmm???

3. Twenty-two! You totally still have it. Ten to one it's the hair. (Best investment you made in 20 years!)

P.S. to Lori: Yes, I live in Minneapolis! Curt has told me about your might meet my cats and me someday!

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

First of all, I'm sending my condolences on the passing of sweet Riley. I'm so very sorry to read about another one of our precious Goldens passing on.

Second of all, give Duncan a few hundred kisses on his muzzle and eyes for me, because he is still young and spry enough to roll in something nasty, which means he's still around to enjoy life thoroughly!

Hope you finally got your oil changed. So cool that Duncan gets to tag along to the reunion. Can't wait to read all about it.

You are very handsome and that must have been very distracting for the young man at the wash. I can understand!

Lastly, I love your writing.

Anonymous said...

YOU graduated in '89? Egad!

caboval said...

Oh! Thats so funny!!!! Thats awesome he thought you were that young! Youve still got it Curt!!! Hugs Joey and Kealani

Scout 'n Freyja said...

As we get older there are those little glimmers of light that twinkle down on us and someone asks if we are twenty-two! Priceless☺

Charlie said...

Clearly you and Duncan both still have it!

Dog By Nature said...

Great story....the parents line is always the kicker!


jen said...

did you get new hair?

Greg said...

Oh, hee hee! Of course you've still got it, my friend, but that IS sweet validation, ain't it? Good for you...

Love that pic of Duncan...and that you made them SMELL him. : )