During our recent trip to Mexico, I was assaulted, beaten and abused…and I paid for it. Kind of. I received a complimentary body scrub after my massage at the spa was cut short. (I’m a girl who likes to get a deal, and this girl paid for a full hour of services.) The masseuse was not happy she had to give me a scrub down. I was not happy she had dry hands and a 5:00 shadow, but we all make sacrifices. Unfortunately, she took her anger out on my skin cells, my muscles and my spine. She was an angry woman. I took it out on her tip.
Although the scrub down was painful and bordered on assault, I somehow found it refreshing. I discovered when I came back home, that I was in a mood to deep clean everything I came into contact with. I suspect this is some kind of psychological reaction to the attack, and will most likely require professional counseling to address (and probably many more trips to the spa). But until then, I will embrace the desire to scrub, and disinfect everything in sight.
One night I was picking up random dog toys from around the house and I noticed Shady Jack’s toys were fairly filthy. Although we have toys for all the dogs, Shady Jack cares most about them, and treats them like they’re his babies.
Well, not necessarily babies, because he carries them around by their necks and drops them in the water bowl. If they were his babies, this would be attempted murder and we’d probably have to report him to the authorities and get him some professional help. So maybe it’s more like he treats them like his prized possessions.
Shady Jack is a rescue dog who had a very rough life before coming to live with us. He was abused by people and other dogs, and lived on the streets for about 2 years before being rescued. He is an amazing dog and we love him very much.
Although we can’t confirm it for sure, we also suspect he may have been a pimp while living on the street. Compelling evidence of this suspicion is this photo of him at doggie daycare.
Please note the activity in the background of the photo. Doesn’t he look like he is protecting “the talent?” The look in his eye says he means business and doesn’t want any disruptions while the bitch getting violated makes it rain back there. (And don’t even think about getting offended by my use of the word “bitch.” It’s totally appropriate here…because the female in this photo is clearly a prostitute.)
We’re pretty sure Shady Jack was a street hustler before he came to live with us. The way he is licking his chops in this photo is further confirmation that he knew how to get things done, most likely in the ghetto. I feel like he should be wearing a long, pink feathered coat and have a paw full of pinky rings. And maybe drink Hennessy from a chalice. Don’t you think? Yeah, we do too.
Those dog days are over for Shady Jack, and now his biggest problem is determining which bed to sleep on, and whether to pee on the rug in the kitchen or the rug in the dining room. (I won’t spoil the surprise. For those of you who come to our house, you can find this answer out yourself firsthand…or firstfoot.)
Other than the scars on his face and legs, you would never know about his sordid past because he constantly wags his tail and prances around with toys in his mouth. He loves life, and if possible, he loves his toys even more. The way he “loves” his toys isn’t the way that “hoodrat” in the photo above loves her Johns. He’s far more sanitary than that. Rather, he simply carries his toys around in his mouth. (Well what do you know? I guess he does have that in common with the hoodrat above.)
Constantly taking his toys everywhere makes them dirty, and I learned some time ago, that washing them in the washing machine is not a viable option if you would like to save money. However, it is a viable option if you want to pay your local washing machine repair man to come out and remove the toy stuffing from the motor and then purchase a new motor.
If that’s what you’re looking for, washing the toys in the washer is your best bet. I like to think I’m helping my local business owner when I do such things. Matt isn’t nearly as positive about the experience (or the charge) as I am. He just doesn’t have perspective.
As I collected the stuffed animals from around the house, I realized they needed to be scrubbed, and I knew the washing machine wasn’t an option. Suddenly, and without warning, I had a flashback to the Mexican scrub down and a chill went down my spine. I had to get the toys clean. I had to do it immediately.
I quickly gathered the toys and took them to the kitchen sink, which I filled with warm water and dish soap. Shady Jack seemed confused about where his toys were going, and I explained to him they were going through a deep cleanse, kind of like a colonoscopy, but without all the shitting themselves. He didn’t seem to understand, but stood next to me while I filled the sink with his babies.
*Please note the photo of the bunny face-down in the food. We aren’t sure if the bunny threw himself into the food bowl, or if he was pushed. We just know his last moments were happy and filled with Beneful. An investigation is being launched with Shady Jack as the prime suspect.*
After letting them soak for a while, I started to scrub them. However, the scrubber I had wasn’t getting the job done, and with my newly found obsession for scrubbing, I knew I wouldn’t stop until they sparkled. (Or just stopped smelling like dog.) I left the toys soaking and drove to Target where I picked up a new scrub brush that I knew would do the trick. Sometime during this car ride is when I realized I lost my mind. I just want you to know that I know that. I blame the masseuse.
I returned home, scrubbed the toys and got them ridiculously clean. Meanwhile, Shady Jack was inconsolable, wandering around the house as if someone stole his toys. Wait….
I pointed out that I left him several rubber toys, and I only took the toys made of fabric. He was not persuaded by my arguments, nor was he interested in the plastic pig that oinks. Why would he be when all he wanted was a cloth sock monkey dressed like Dracula?
I had to let the toys air dry, as I didn’t dare ruin the dryer with them. Although I would have liked to support Mario the repairman and help fund his daughter’s new braces, I knew Matt wouldn’t want to pay for another house call. (Clearly Matt was against orthodontics.)
I wrung the toys out and laid them on the drying rack. Shady Jack stared at me with sad eyes and I swear at one point, a single tear ran down his face. I’m not sure he could see the toys and how they looked, but if he could, he probably was horrified by the massacre of toys, all hanging from the gallows in different positions. Perhaps he recognized a few of the positions from his street life.
I let the toys dry overnight and Shady Jack found consolation in a Kong filled with peanut butter. However, the next morning he went straight to the counter where his toys were located. Although he couldn’t see the toys from where he sat, he put his front paws on the counter and tried to grab a toy. This was out of character for him, as he never tries to get anything from the counter. He knows it’s off limits, and I think he respects other people’s property. Again, a side effect of pimping on the streets. I like to think he was compelled to attempt a rescue because desperate times called for desperate measures and his toys were in danger.
I couldn’t believe he remembered where the toys were or that he knew they were there despite not seeing them. Studies say dogs don’t understand where an item goes once it’s out of their sight. That’s why they never hover around the refrigerator even though that’s where their bones are stored. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized he knew exactly where his toys were. I was so proud!
I decided to reward him with not one toy, but all of them. I picked them all up and put them on the floor in a big, clean pile. For a moment, I thought his head might actually explode. I swear I could hear his inner dialogue at that moment screaming “My babies!!! My babies are back!”
He rooted through the toys, picking up one and then discarding it for another one. When he finally found the one he wanted (the teddy bear dressed like a reindeer), he took it and left the other toys to recover together. He bounced away, happy to have his babies back, and most likely horrified they went through such torture.
I was glad his spirit wasn’t broken during the toy abduction of 2013. But ever since then, sometimes I feel his eyes on me when I’m not looking. I know he’s watching me even when I can’t see him. It’s like he’s waiting to make his move and avenge the toy-napping. I don’t know when his vindication will come, but I suspect it will be soon….and very very harsh. I just hope his revenge doesn’t involve humping anything.