Monday, December 22, 2008

Feet and Dog Breath

I cleaned my car yesterday. Only the inside, not the outside (isn't that what rain is for?). You know it's time to clean your car when the dog waits for you to drive up in the driveway so that when you open the car door, he can jump in and sniff around for tater tots. That, and I told one of my clients that he could just ride downtown with me today to a meeting. I really don't want my clients to think of me as the lawyer whose car smells like feet. Martindale Hubbell doesn't have a rating for car smells, thankfully, but word gets around fast in our little legal community nonetheless. So I cleaned out the car and it does not look like this anymore:


And I took care of this:


You should be grateful that I'm not showing you pictures of the melted cough drops mixed with coffee, root beer, and pennies that were in the catch-all doohickey in between the front seats. Nasty.

Every time I clean my car out (once every six months or so) I vow never to let it get that dirty again. And for about a week following the thorough cleaning I'm very conscientious about paper, coffee cups, toys, and chocolate milk (not sure if you are aware, but if you leave chocolate milk in a sippy cup in your car in the summertime, it starts seeping out the top within about 24 hours and smells just like you would expect chocolate milk to smell after sitting in a 120 degree car for 24 hours). But then I gradually start relaxing my vigilance and things start piling up, tater tots once again find happy homes under the seats to raise little tiny tot families and that weird smell comes back.

Back when Grits (the dog I brought with me into the marriage) was alive, he developed a cough that persisted for a year and a half before he died. No medicines worked to stop the cough and the vet was as mystified as we were about its cause. Grits also happened to be a very co-dependent dog and had the habit of following me from kitchen to dining room to bathroom to laundry room to bedroom, etc., all the livelong day. If you closed a door and kept him out of the room he would start whining and not let up until you let him in. So when he started coughing, our bedroom was still downstairs and we couldn't keep him out of it -- we tried several things, from dog gates keeping him in the kitchen, to putting him under the house in Joe's Man Space. But I could still hear him coughing and he would whine to get to our room in between coughs. So after several sleepless weeks of moving him around and under the house in an attempt to find someplace where we couldn't hear him, we decided to put him in the car. We didn't want him to be lonely, so we put Chance, our English Setter, in there with him. So every night we took the dog beds out to the car, laid the seat down and the dogs would run out there, jump in, and go to sleep (or they would howl all night long, I don't know, but that's the point, really). The next morning Joe or I would go let them out (this really goes without saying, but I wanted to make it clear that we let them out every morning, even when we weren't going to take the car somewhere; I know some of you already have one hand on the phone to call the Humane Society about me making my dogs sleep in the car). It's been almost two years since the last time we let the dogs sleep in the car and on wet mornings, my car still smells like dog breath.

Regardless, for now the car is clean, so if I offer to drive somewhere, it's safe for you to get in. But if it's raining, you should definitely bring the Febreze.

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