I noticed the pee first, a tacky-looking, glossy patch on the hall floor, just where the Christmas tree was.
My under-caffeinated brain was wondering whether the dog could have been pee-ing on the Christmas tree all through the fairy-lit season when the smell accosted me. It was, literally, a wall of foul air hitting me in the face. I recoiled in despair.
I recall meeting a friend for coffee one Tuesday morning about two years ago. At the time, my friend had a young dog and I had never needed to clean worse than a goldfish bowl.
Friend wept hot tears of frustration into her cafe latte. Her plight? Well, the sad fact was that her mental well-being and her immaculate white tiles were being repeatedly sullied by dog diarrhoea.
I certainly sympathised but I did wonder if it could really be bad enough to cause a nervous breakdown. Afterall, we were two fairly gutsy women with nine children between us. We had wiped up a fair share of sh*t in our time.
Tragically (for me), I didn’t understand. I didn’t have the picture in my head of forty or fifty (yes! seriously!) discreet little splodges of dogsh*t trailing across the hall, neatly squidged into the gap at the door saddle, rolled by the brass feet of the coffee table and paw-printed all the way under the kitchen table to the brand new doormat at the back door.
I didn’t know that dogsh*t crusts like a diabolical loaf so that the worst of the smell is contained within the soft interior, waiting patiently, to explode in the face of the poor unfortunate who tries to move it.
I didn’t know how gag-inducing that smell is, how it makes your head ache and somehow sticks in your nose for half a day.
I didn’t know that dogsh*t forms an almost irreversible chemical bond with hardwood floors, the strength of this bond being directly proportional to the size of the bank loan you took out in order to purchase said floor.
I didn’t know that I would need a further bank loan to keep up the supply of Vileda supermops.
Is dog diarrhoea enough to send you wailing to the closest madhouse, begging for a (clean) padded cell and a whiff of Jeyes fluid? Yes, I tell you, YES!!!!
I didn’t know that you shouldn’t give a Cockapoo the bone from your roast lamb dinner.
I know now.
PS. White rose, camelias and viburnum all flowering now in my garden, where the dog is.