Thursday, August 5, 2010
Something rather yucky happened to me at the stables today. I’d just finished riding Kwintus, had showered him, made him comfortable, put my tack away and was sitting taking off my boots when Fiz, Steph’s four-month-old Swiss Shepherd puppy, bounded up to me. Fiz is a bright-eyed, floppy white bundle of fluff, an open invitation to gaga-babble and those rub-a-dub, big goofy cuddles. Always a sucker for rub-a-dubs with puppies, I leant over to interact gaga-ishly with him, letting him nibble my hair, and smushing my face in his soft white fluffiness.
You see, today, Fiz wasn’t just soft white fluffiness. As he gamboled away, distracted by a falling leaf, something pungent filled my nostrils. Eww. Concerned, I picked up the tip of my ponytail and took a tentative whiff. Big eww. But what the heck was it? It smelt kind of like garlic, but possibly a little beyond.
Unable to figure it out and unwilling to use my imagination, I settled for garlic that had “gone off”.
Steph appeared at the tack room door.
“Your dog just rubbed something smelly all over me,” I said, zipping up my boots, putting on my flip-flops and pulling a distraught face. “D’you think he ate some of Kwint’s garlic powder?” (we’ve been feeding Kwintus garlic powder supplements in an effort to discourage the squadrons of horse-flies and other little flying bastards that torture him whenever he’s out in the field. In case you’re curious, I’m not sure the garlic helps much – the far more chemically formulated Wellcare anti-fly lotion seems far more efficient, as does the brand new (chemical) Centaura spray bought at considerable expense from my lovely veterinarian. Believe me, I really was trying to do the decent organic thing but if you’d seen my very spotty, very itchy, poor demented horse you’d have caved to the pharmaceutical big dogs too.
Steph looked dubious. “I finished the tub of garlic two days ago, so Fiz couldn’t
have eaten any of that. But I did see him rolling in something not too kosher looking earlier, so…” She threw up her arms and shrugged.
A wave of nausea erupted inside me. I sniffed my tee-shirt, immediately wishing I hadn’t. Blimey, whatever the dog had contaminated me with was seriously intense. As I emerged from the tack room, a gentle breeze ruffled my tumbledown pony-tail, wafting stray blonde strands around my face. I said rude words and promptly scraped my hair tightly off my face, securing it in a knot.
Steph chuckled. I smirked, and urged Fiz to give her a taste of the same medicine.
“Can you take Vicky home?” asked Steph a few minutes later, ambling past me with a bag of hay as I picked up my bag and went to give Kwintus a kiss goodbye before heading towards my car. Vicky is her cleaning lady. She lives near me, so I often give her a lift home on Wednesdays.
Unsure of whether poor Vicky would enjoy riding home with my smelly self, I nevertheless said it would be my pleasure.
“The puppy rubbed something yucky in my face,” I told Vicky apologetically as we headed down towards the main road. “Here, smell my hair.” I leant over the gearbox and offered her a charming sniff.
Vicky giggled. “Naughty puppy. All day he is bringing a very smelly bone in the house and eating it. Even he rolls in it. Is an old, VERY smelly bone. With worms in it. Pooh! All day I throw it outside, but always he brings it in again. He thinks it’s very nice. Naughty puppy!” She burst out laughing, then turned to me and frowned. “Hmm, is very smelly. I think maybe we are needing to open the car windows today.”
With pinched nostrils and the wind teasing my worm-ridden smelly old bone contaminated top-knot, we whizzed back towards civilization. I dropped Vicky off, chanced a deep breath, regretted it, and then refrained from breathing until I dove almost headfirst into my bath.
Ever happen to you?