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Chet Baker Rolled

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When I was growing up, our standard x mini dachshund, Volks, would sometimes come in the house with a peculiarly hangdog look on his face. He'd lick his lips and lie there, ears pasted back, seemingly waiting for punishment. And sooner or later someone would lean down to pet him and shout accusingly, "Volks ROLLED!"

in something dead and disgusting

and there would be a big kerfuffle and Volks would get put in the catch tub for our old washing machine and my mom would fill it with much-too-hot water, being a German and all, and we'd suds the dog up and afterward having been scalded and soaped to within an inch of his life he would romp around the house dragging a towel, all googly-eyed and grinning in relief.

We loved it when Volks rolled, although I suspect my mom did not. He tended to be a dour little thing and it took the absolution of hot water to make him frisky.

So Chet and I took a lovely hike yesterday full of squirrelts and damp leaves and he peered up trees and into crevices and I reveled in his muscular little body doing its thing

and when we came back inside he sat down and wouldn't move and he had his ears pasted back and I did not have to bend down to discern the fetid odor of coyote ca-ca emanating from my usually sweet-smelling little dog. And I saw the greenish smears all over his shoulders and collar and I was SO mad. I had ten minutes before I had to jump in the car to pick up the kids at the bus stop and I had to spend those minutes not relaxing with a cup of tea thinking about our wonderful hike but scrubbing &#$# off my doggoned dog. Again. He rolled last week, too.

Chet Baker. You are a terrible terrible dog and I am very angry at you. You ROLLED, didn't you?

Yes, Mether, I did, and I deserve whatever I have coming to me. I do.

You know EXACTLY what happens now. Get down the hall to the bathroom now. Not now. Right NOW.Here I am, going down the hall to the bathroom. I know that I get in the tub now. Dogs like me do not know much, but we know when it is time to get in the tub.
Although I am very angry at you, Chet Baker, I see that you have a very cute little purple lip sticking out from under your tongue. So I am going to enlarge this picture. You stay there.
Mether, I am so, so sorry. I do not know why I rolled in coyote poop. But I will smell so good when you are done with me. And to tell you the truth, here is a little secret. I love the hot water on a cold rainy day like this.Chet Baker. If you want a bath just ask for one. You do not have to anoint yourself in feces. You are too disgusting to pick up, so you jump in that tub right now. By yourself. I am not touching you, you foul thing. I am going to get my dishwashing gloves and when I come back you had better be IN THAT TUB.
Yes, Mether. Getting in the tub by myself is the least I can do.
As you requested, I am in the tub now.
Just look at that water. Soaking in fecal broth, you are, you foul little thing.
Have I said I am sorry, Mether?

Enough of your sorries. You can get out now. By yourself.

This beautiful hand-loomed bedspread seems like a good place to roll and dry myself. Oh. You do not want me to claw it. I will lie perfectly still and hope that you forget what I have done.
Not for a long time, Chet Baker. That was the stinkiest, stankiest, most disgusting ca-ca you have found in a long long time. Maybe ever. FEH!

It's time to pick up the children now, your favorite part of the day. But you, Chet Baker, are not going along, because you are all wet, and you would get too cold. You stay here and think about what you have done. (If you look very closely you will see his little cowface in the long foyer window).
Here is a closeup of Chet Baker, when he realizes I am leaving without him.
I am happy to report that on today's hour-long hike, Chet Baker refrained from rolling in coyote bockie. He stuck close to me and kept coming back to tell me he had not rolled. Once I saw him find a pile of poo and a dreamy look came over his face and he started to crouch and drop to the ground and suddenly his head jerked up and he glanced sheepishly over his shoulder at me and collected himself and trotted on.

Good dog, Chet.


Lol, it's hard to be too sympathetic with you, poor mether, when THIS mether has 4 dogs, the lightest of which is 80lbs and they all love to roll. Regularly. In the neighbour's dead cow pile. If I could only get them to jump in the tub on their own like Chet! What a great dog. I love your posts about him.

Fecal Broth!!!!!

ACK! My daughter Molly and I screamed with laughter over this Chet story.
At our house we call it rolling in a stink. Why, oh why do they always have to do that when there's no time to clean them up?

Cats don't do it, birds don't do it, discriminating squirrels don't do it... so, Science Chimp, what exactly is the evolutionary rationale for why dogs delight in rolling in the stankiest stuff they encounter???

Oh, my, that's one contrite puppeh. But not so chastened he won't do it again. He'll just wait till it's warm out so he can still ride along to pick up the kids.

Cyberthrush, you're right, cats don't do that. But get this: my girl cat, Trixie (aka Tubetta Toupee), has a penchant for gobbling up puke. Somebody eats too fast, up come the crunchies, and my little miss's "Oooo, snacks!" response is triggered. She actually fished a puke-befouled paper towel outta the trash after I'd cruelly interrupted her noshing. It now goes straight into the lidded can. I have no idea why she does it. Maybe there's some wolf in her background.

Laughing hysterically before I go figure out who tracked in horse manure. Chet Baker standing to pee in the first photo? Bill must have taught him well.

I love the look of total remorse and dread on his face.

Green coyote poo! Yuk! I'm laughing so hard I can barely type. Thank you! I needed this belly laugh.

Rolling is the one instinct our two Golden Retrievers retained. We keep an "emergency" kit in the car with paper towels, old cloth towels, trash bags, and the "smelly dog kit." The kit has water and Listerine (the old amber kind) and a spray bottle. Mix one part Listerine to three parts water and spray on, then wipe with the towels. It helps immensely until you can get home.

Of course, it wouldn't help much with the whopping dose of coyote poop Chet got himself into. Dog owners everywhere empathize with you.

(jumping up and down) Ooh, ooh - let me take Cyberthrush's question, please, can I, huh?

The prevailing thought is that dogs roll in foul-smelling things, especially poo, in order to disguise their scent and make it easier to approach potential prey. In other words, if you smell like deer poop, it will be easier to sneak up on the herd of deer.

My personal theory is that dogs like the smell of yucky better than soap and clean water.

People: "Why do dogs roll in disgusting, foul smelling things?"

Dogs: "Why do people wash us, right after we have anointed ourselves with lovely smelling stuff?"

The moral of the story is, "Beauty is in the nose of the beholder."

~Kathi, who has no sense of smell and would still love a Chet Baker covered in coyote ca-ca

My only experience with dogs rolling in stinky stuff comes from my summers working along Lake Erie. The dogs belonging to the people I worked for LOVED the dead fish that washed up. And would regularly roll in them. Thank goodness, washing off fish smell was NOT in my job description.

Oh, yeah! Fecal broth! LOL!

Chloe was famous for the Stop Drop and Roll, even during walks on lead. Sometimes she'd sneak into the house and sit at the dinner table with streaks of poo on her white neck but was NEVER willing for a bath...Sigh.

Chet Baker is a vera good dog. And it makes my heart light to know you are having two-way conversations with him, like I do here.

Guyana was/is thrilling, but a Bacon fix is due. Thanks for the laughs. I read this post twice!


Chet, you rascal! I can so relate to this great tale. Why do they do that just before you have to go somewhere?
What a charmer... smelly or not.

This is just too funny!
Weeping with laughter...that is until Jack Sparrow finds something foul and rolls!
Caroline in the Black Hills

At least you have a tub. My sister's lab was a suburban dog, but it would get loose when she was up at her little cabin in the Poconos - one without running water. There were plenty of pastures in the neighborhood, and when he returned after a few hours of freedom he invariably had rolled in what pastures feature in abundance. That was a big dog to clean - did I mention no running water?

I see your bathroom reading is now "Rock Hard Abs in 5 Minutes a Day!" Are you still trying to deal with that invisibility stuff?

Mojo Man, finger on the pulse as usual...
That is the current issue of O, Oprah's magazine. I bought it because the cover features Oprah at 200 lb. looking ruefully at a two year old picture of Oprah at 163 lb with the banner headline, "How Did I Let This Happen Again?"

Let's just say it spoke to me. Not least because she's too smart to let the tabloids rip her apart--she did a preemptive strike on the cover of her own magazine, which was then picked up verbatim by a bunch of other magazines. The beauty part is that they had to use her own words. The parallels to blogging (which can be a confessional forum) abound.

Oprah at 200 lb. is the money shot, and she knows it. Her special genius is appearing to be one of us, appealing to Everywoman, even as she lives like one of the most powerful women on the planet. And she is where she is because of that universal appeal.

I don't watch her show, but she intrigues me.

Invisibility is so three weeks ago!

Katdoc, I think it's really simple, and I think you're right. Dogs like the smell of poo. Baker scarfs down rabbit and deer poo and rolls in carnivore poo.

The "disguise my scent" theory is ridiculous. Would a rabbit ignore a fetid cloud of coyote stink, yet be alarmed by the sunshine and honey smell of a clean Chet Baker? Please. Dogs just like to smell like poo and death and putrefaction now and then. God knows what our perfumes smell like to them.

My friend Patty's Golden, Eva, likes to roll in stinky stuff, the deader, the better. Knowing she stinks, has stunk, will stink again, gives her great pleasure. She can be in a dead sleep, and all you need to do is whisper, "Eva, you stink." Thump, thump, thump goes the tail. "You stink, Eva," sotto voce. Thump, thump, thump. It's dogtailspeak for, "Yeah, I KNOW. Aint't it grand?"

And yeah, I saw them rock hard abs, and thought, can't I just buy them and not have to work out?

Oh, that is just toooooo funny. I swear, I think he channels his words to you Julie!

I am adding bockie to my ever expanding list of words for poop. Thanks! I bet the study of animal poop is a good way to get pre-teen boys into science. Interesting thought.

That dog is such a cute little devil...can't stay mad at him for long, can you? :)

LOL!! There is nothing like a BT and Chet is SO BT!!! I love that dog. :)

Even sophisticated urban pups have this urge. I once knew a spaniel who used to roll in olives when they dropped from the pizza to the floor. Thank God we didn't like anchovies.

I can SO empathize with you. Except that my dogs don't bother to look ashamed of themselves. they are more like, "I smell great! Yay!"

And then, "What, you aren't going to wash me, are you? Are you kidding me? Right after I found some great poo to roll in? Of all the lousy timing!"

hello julie,
i have found your blog via sherry @
Q's corner, whom i adore. well glad i made a visit about your chet having rolled. cute way to put such a "stinky" situation.
we have more audacious dogs, chesapeake bay retrievers who think it is their right to roll and run into the house like it is nothing big, even though they change the whole atmosphere.
i love the cover of your book which i will look for next bookstore visit. happy living to you and the best and most joyful things in life are free...hear, hear!

*howls of human laughter here* Dewey and Badger send their 'we understand totally---the lovely lovely ROLL in SKANK STINK AND the getting yelled at later part too' * grins from two wienie dogs*

I once had a dog that not only liked to roll but chow down. Once she ate skunk poo...

What a funny story--I'm laughing out loud right now. Poor Chetty. My doggehs are the same way with wild animal poop--the blacker and stinkier the better.

Once when we were grouse hunting north of Ely, some bear poop was discovered--now that was way nasty!!

lol lol lol
LOVED this post! As a fellow dog lover and owner, I can totally relate! I appreciate the knack you have for turning even the most unpleasant circumstances into comical, happy(?!) adventures - you have a great spirit of life. Thanks for sharing it!

That is hilarious. My son and I speak in the "voices" of our dogs and he just makes up the funniest things. One of our dogs rolled in some kind of dead critter (mouse, mole?) last night. Lovely. I love Chet.

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 2010 at 8:14 AM

My children are wondering why I'm laughing so hard right now! I haven't had the occasion to be disgusted by coyote poop, but fox poop is pretty nasty. Our late dog Gracie used to roll in it at least once a month, but our recently rescued Zelda is not a roller. Thank goodness......


Turtles in terrariums manage to get their own output on their plastrons just by walking or sitting. They don't roll--don't have to. But when I pick them up they'll push my hands and paddle to a bathroom, then turn over to be sure I notice what the problem is. Still upside down, they sprawl out their legs under the faucet and wait for me to rinse and soap and rinse, then turn over and cuddle up to their towel. Ah! Smell gone! Good. It's nice to have critters who like to smell our version of good.

Posted by Rosemary Lombard November 5, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Julie, even after all this time and everything else that's happened, this post STILL makes me laugh. And I hope Chet Baker is getting all the magical coyote ca-ca (the kind that de-stinks itself afterward) and everything else he ever wanted on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. Good dog, Chet, indeed.

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