Would You Kiss My Dog?
You might think twice before allowing a dog to give you a big wet kiss if you know what I know. I also want to apologize in advance to all dog lovers. I remain an admirer of dogs, just from a distance where my face is out of reach of their over-exuberant tongues.
As a child growing up in the boonies of Alabama we had a succession of dogs, some memorable and some I’d rather forget. One thing they all had in common is a trait all dogs everywhere participate in with gusto, one in which prevents me to this day from allowing a dog anywhere near my mouth.
Early on in life, while still blissfully unaware, I had no qualms in allowing the current family’s dog the liberty of indulging itself in a round of good-natured face-licking. After all this is for most people one of the most endearing aspect of canine ownership, letting the mutt shower them with doggie
kisses for as long as the dogs owner could stand it. The pooch thinks it is showing its owner the proper display of submissive behavior and affection and believe me when I tell you that a dog will slobber all over you as long as you allow it.
As I said before, my early years were spent in blissful unawareness of Fido’s hygienic tendencies. Thinking about that very aspect of doggie behavior today brings back the gag reflex I experienced when I finally discovered, far too late unfortunately, how the mutt went about its daily ablutions.
The dog we had at the time, if I recall, was a stray that sort of drifted in one day and decided to stay and see which way the wind blew. I saw him as companion for my many explorations back into the hills and ridges of the Appalachians. To give credit where credit is due I will say that dog was a
champion walker. He would accompany me as long and as far as I asked him too.
Now to the gist of this story. I remember it was a scorching hot August day. One of those kind of days where the air was thick and hard to breath. Anyway I was lounging on the front porch, enjoying a cold drink, and not paying attention to anything in particular. A movement caught my eye and I saw our dog coming down the road towards the house, returning from who knows what type of foray. About a block from the property I saw him stop suddenly and peer intently at something at his feet. Then he eased himself down onto the ground and started rolling around on his back, legs flailing the air, tongue lolling out, and appearing to be in a state of puppy bliss. Needless to say this aroused my attention. I stood up and wandered over to see what had gotten the dog all excited. Was there such a thing as dognip?
Arriving on the scene my eyes were met with the disgusting spectacle of the dog rolling in the partially decomposed remains of some poor creature that wasn’t able to dodge fast enough. The way the dog was carrying on you would have thought he had discovered the next greatest scent guaranteed to sweep the lady dogs off their feet. He spent a good ten minutes covering every square inch of his body with the essence of the carcass. He even belly-crawled over it a few times just to make sure no spot was missed.
Once he completed this gruesome task he stood up, shook himself off, gave me a sideways glance, and headed for the porch. I stood there in shock for a second, barely able to believe what I had just witnessed. Finally gathering my wits about me I decided it would be prudent to put as much distance between me and the dog as possible. My plan was to casually walk by him (holding my breath of
course), enter the front door, and escape quietly out the back door and make for the hills as fast as my legs would carry me for the remainder of the day.
My reasoning was if I was several miles away I wouldn’t have to put up with the smell and best of all one of the other kids would have to give the dog a bath once the rest of the family caught wind of it.
Just about when I put my hand on the door handle to let myself in I noticed the dog engaged in yet another of the favorite pastimes of dogs everywhere. He had commenced licking himself over every inch of his body that he could reach. My stomach started doing flip-flops because I knew where he had been less than a minute prior, but for some unknown reason I was transfixed. I could not walk away.
Some morbid part of me wanted to see just how far and how long this dog would go with this spectacle.
For a good half hour I bore witness as this dog slurped himself from stem to stern, spending an inordinate amount of time in the stern area if you get my meaning. With disgust and fascination I watched the whole gruesome process, sitting down at some point to see if it would help the nausea I felt coming on.
Once his ablutions were over he licked his chops as if he had just finished a choice sirloin, set his sights on me, and before I could react, pounced towards me with a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step. Upon later reflection I finally reasoned he wanted to thank me for “sharing” the experience
by offering me some of that love and affection dogs are famous for.
Instinct took over at that point and I engaged in a hasty retreat, crab-walking backwards with the dog getting ever closer, intent on showering me with attention.
I stumbled slightly and he saw this as his chance. He lunged at my face with his mouth open and his tongue ready to give me the love and affection he felt I deserved as his master.
Things moved pretty much in a blur at this point which is understandable considering the speed in which I moved. I vaguely remember attempting to pull my head down between my shoulders like a turtle to prevent direct contact while at the same time levitating myself to the porch railing, just barely escaping the dog and his cesspool of a mouth.
Realizing he had missed his chance he looked a little contrite and hurt that I should deny him what he felt was his righteous duty. Between a fit of hyper-gagging and impaired vision brought on by the fumes emanating wafting about the porch I managed to warn him off and escaped into the house.
After awhile I calmed myself down and started thinking about my previous escape plan and the possibility of putting it into action while I still could when I was overcome with a sudden sense of dread. I suddenly remembered that the previous day I had allowed this same dog, the very one who had just spent almost an hour in the most revolting display I had ever witnessed, kiss me
square on the mouth.
I wont go into what happened next other than to say it took me about a week, three giant tubes of toothpaste, and a couple of king-sized bottles of Listerine before I got the taste out of my mouth.
Think about it folks. You might want to reconsider if PoochyPoo and his dog bad breath want to share with you where his tongue has been just before he came over to give you a smack on the lips.
by: Chuck Lunsford
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