A couple of weeks ago, I took Max for his evening stroll around the schools. The campus cluster holds the elementary, junior high, high school, tennis courts, football stadium and practice field. Twice around the outside is almost two miles, plenty of time for a young schnauzer to find trouble. There are parts where I let Max off the leash for a bit of freedom, rabbits you know; and, for the most part, he comes back when I call.
But this evening we were racing against some Texas thunderstorms, had already been around one and a half times and I decided to put the leash on and cut through the practice field. Now the schools are on the northern edge of town, literally at the town limits, and the people to the north have horses. We are RURAL. It's not unusual to see people riding in town, people in the grocery store in chaps and spurs leaving a trail of cow poop through the produce aisle. RURAL. So it really shouldn't have surprised me what happened next. Halfway through the field, Max goes dead weight on the end of the leash; I turn around, expecting him to be staring down a rabbit, only to see him on his back. Snout to tail, side to side. Rolling in fresh horse shit. My (mostly) white dog is now shit brown and happier than I've every seen him. The thunder is rumbling and the storm is getting closer, and I have a shitty dog. Literally.
So, I have three options. One: I can hold the leash out the window and let him trot the 5 miles home. Pros, shit-free momvan. Cons, I'll probably be reported to PETA. Two: I can dangle him by his harness out the window as I drive home. Pros, same as One. Cons, although slightly better, still risky. Three: I can take him back around to the sprinklers in front of the High School and give him a quick rinse. Pros: Shit-free momvan. Cons: Pissed off Max. Actually, there are no Cons.
Talking him into it wasn't hard, more walking is a treat to him. We headed back around the HS on what he thought was lap 3 and everything was groovy. Until he saw the sprinklers, and he knew. Like dogs know when they're going to the Vet instead of the park, he KNEW, and all of a sudden, he hit the deck. On the ground. Full passive resistance like the best hippie protester you ever saw. So I'm less than 20 feet from my goal, my shit-covered schnauzer is playing dead on the end of the leash, and the rain is starting to fall. Do I drag him across the sidewalk or do I pick him up getting me shitty in the process? I start dragging, and eventually he realized concrete burns suck, and trots to his doom. I find the broken sprinkler, there's always a broken sprinkler, and place him in the "shower". Standing on his leash to keep him locked in, washing him down with both hands, the Heavens open up. We're both drenched. Shit-free, but soaked. He's pissed, I'm pissed, and we're about a quarter mile away from the momvan.
By the time we make it back, the rain has stopped and I've contemplated where to bury him, but I get a couple of beach towels out of the swim bag in the back and try to dry us off a bit. He wiggles and snorts, protests and sulks, and then settles on the back seat as far from me as possible. We drive home in silence, like spouses who've had a row, and go to separate rooms. I get the Chicks bathed, drugged and settled in to bed, and we retired to our room. Still not speaking. It wasn't until well after midnight that Max finally softened enough to jump up on the bed. It was then I smelled his collar. Shit.