Sometime before Christmas, Jack the smaller badly behaved dog was looking rather ratty. He had rolled in cat poo at some point and then in mud and then in sappy pine needles and thistles. Plus there was the pee . . . Jack the crazily dominant Alpha-dog pees like a girl, which, given the manly power of his terrier stream, means that Jack has a tendency to pee on his own stomach and chest. Attempts to bathe him only seemed to lead to a dreadlocking effect in which the ickiness was encapsulated within small hardened bundles of fur which then needed to be clipped from his body.
So sometime before Christmas, Kallan was cooing down at the dog as she carried messy matted him around the house like a baby, “Who’s my teeny weeny baby of cute-i-tude? That’s right, Jackie Wackie . . . you are! You are the best baby in the . . . oops.”
I looked up from my book, “What oops?”
Kallan turned away from me, still cradling the dog, “Hold still, Jackie. Hold still and in a moment this will all be just a cherry-flavored memory.”
“Mom, if I asked you to help me ungum some boy parts, would you be able to do that without asking pesky questions?”
“You dropped your gum on his penis?”
“OK, first? That’s a pesky question. And second? Maybe.”
“Hand him over.”
Together, Kallan and I clipped the gum free of his boyish area, and as I snipped at chunks of gummed and peed and pine-needled genital fur, I made a decision: Jack was not going to be able to wait for warmer weather to lose his winter coat . . . he needed a good shearing. I sold this expenditure to Mark as a Christmas present to me, and Mark (happy to be able to call my Christmas shopping done) agreed to take Jack to the groomer.
And then Jack came back.
A shadow of his former self.
I took tiny naked Jack from Mark’s arms, “Wow. They took off a lot of fur.”
Mark agreed, “Yup. They said he had a lot of matting, so they just took it all off.”
I could feel the heat of Jack’s defurred body against my palms, “He looks adorable, but just . . . wow.”
“I know. Oh and they said to use ointment or something on his cut.”
“They HURT him?”
“He got really wiggly, and I guess they nicked him with the trimmer.”
I held Jack up in the air, “Where? I don’t see any cuts.”
“Check his butt.”
I turned Jack around, examined the small cut on the pink circle of his asshole, and then hugged him close, “They nicked your booty? Poor baby!”
“Polysporin, they said. Couple of times a day until it heals.”
Jack is a strange dog with strange hatreds, so as much as I would have liked to use a rubber glove to apply this ointment, I knew that was out of the question. Rubber gloves are high on Jack’s list of mortal nemeses, and when he sees them he goes frothingly and viciously insane. So ointment on finger and finger to dog ass . . . not that big a deal.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“Maj, I am just . . .”
“OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? KALLAN, MOTHER HAS GONE COMPLETELY INSANE!”
“Maj, wait . . .”
KALLAN! COME QUICKLY! MOTHER IS USING THE DOG AS A HAND PUPPET!”
Kallan came running, “Wait, what? Let me see!”
“I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT YOU THINK THIS IS OK, MOTHER!”
So I explained, through hysterical giggles, what I was doing.
The girls were skeptical.
The next morning, there was this within a few seconds after Maj came downstairs . . .
“AIIEIEIEEIEEE! SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH JACK! HE’S TURNING INSIDE OUT OR SOMETHING! MOTHER, GET IN HERE! IT’S LIKE A HORROR MOVIE! GET AWAY FROM ME, DEVIL DOG! DON’T TOUCH ME WITH THAT THING!”
Kallan came racing downstairs to see what all the commotion was about, and the three of us stared at the newly shorn dog. He stared back at us, tail wagging, penis completely out. Completely.
That’s not a trick he had ever done before, and it was quite impressive.
I sighed, “Yeah, that’s his penis.”
Maj was horrified, “Well, tell him to put it away.”
“It’s not that simple, babe.”
“He’s just going to walk around all day with his disgusting boy parts just OUT?”
“You can call it a penis, babe. Boy parts seems a little silly when an actual penis is staring at you.”
“HOW DO YOU THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO SPEAK TO THE MAJ THIS WAY?”
Kallan was delighted, “It’s like he’s found a new way to point out problems! Look! Look at him!” She thrust out her pelvis and put her hands on her hips and spoke as if she was Jack, jutting out her invisible penis as she talked, “Look HERE . . . I don’t believe I have been fed. And HERE . . . where I am out of water. And HERE . . . where the door blocks my access to the back yard. I will just roam the house and point out problems as they occur . . . Hmmm . . . is my comfy blanket on the couch? It should be right HERE.”
“Mother, make her stop.”
Kallan was not to be stopped, “I am Jack and I am a man-dog and I am just pointing things out in manly fashion. I will just be right HERE waiting for a treat. Throw it HERE, Maj. Throw it HERE.”
“And now I would like to go for a walk. Maybe I would like to go THAT way. Or perhaps THIS way. Never mind . . . just know that I will point the way.”
I carefully picked up Jack and flipped him over, “What are you doing, little man?”
Kallan was still talking, “Doesn’t it seem like Penis Jack would swear a lot? I think he would. If he was interviewed on TV, they would have to bleep the heck out of him.”
“Mother, seriously . . . don’t you have any control?”
Kallan was off and running, “So Mr. Jack Lakeland . . . tell our viewing audience how this happened.”
I examined a small cut near the tip of Jack’s penis, “Awww, they nicked you there as well? No wonder you don’t want to pull it in.”
Kallan continued Jack’s side of the interview, “I was attacked by this bleeping woman with a bleeping huge bleeping buzzy knife and then I tried to escape but she was all bleep bleep bleep bleep and then I got bleeping hurt and then the bleep lady touched my bleep butthole and then I was bleep cold and then I went to sleep and then I woke up and bleep there I am in all my manly bleeping glory except a different kind of glory than I have ever bleep seen down there before and it seems to be bleep out for the bleep day and bleep bleep bleep insane although it does come in handy pointing things out and that is a lovely necklace you are wearing right THERE.”
I put Jack down and headed off to research the problem online.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MOTHER? A PENIS WHERE IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IS A MEDICAL ISSUE. GET THE KEYS, MOTHER. WE NEED A VET. WE NEED A VET WITH AMPUTATION SKILLS!”
I typed a few searches and read quickly, “If it turns out to be a big problem, I will take him in, but maybe I can deal with it here.”
“IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE A PROBLEM? HIS PENIS IS GOING AROUND THE HOUSE TOUCHING THINGS THAT I TOUCH! HIS PENIS IS OUT, MOTHER. HOW DO YOU FAIL TO APPRECIATE THE EMERGENCY NATURE OF THIS SITUATION?”
Kallan joined us and Jack followed her, sitting next to her when she stopped so that he might use his newfound pointing skills to point out the urgency of the situation. Kallan giggled, “He doesn’t seem to care at all! He’s just all . . . Look at me and my manly penis!”
I clicked a few more links and then shut my laptop, “OK, Jack. Let’s see if we can make that thing go back in.”
“MOTHER, I KNOW YOU DID NOT JUST SAY WHAT I THINK YOU JUST SAID.”
“Oooh . . . Mom, can I watch?”
Both girls followed me up to the bathroom, where I held Jack between my legs. I squeezed some Polysporin on my fingertip, explaining what I was about to do.
“MOTHER, THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD GOOGLE TOLD YOU TO DO THAT.”
Kallan turned to her sister, “Really, Maj? So you’re thinking Mommy is just using this as an opportunity to get her hands on some dog penis? Really?”
“HER ACTUAL HANDS? MOTHER, GET SOME GLOVES! ARE YOU INSANE?”
Kallan helped me out again, “Jackie’s not going to put up with demon gloves coming near his manly treasure, Maj.”
Maj stared at her sister, “Did you just call a dog penis manly treasure?”
I waved a hand for quiet, “Hush, ladies. You can stay, but hush.”
Jack was not at all unhappy with the attention. He lay quietly in my lap. So . . . ointment to fingers and fingers to penis and then gripping the edges of the penis sheath and pulling it up and over the tip of the penis to be sure that retraction was not impeded in any way. A bit more ointment applied as the penis slipped back out to ensure the area stayed moist.
The girls stared.
“Mother, SERIOUSLY? Google told you to do that? SERIOUSLY?”
Kallan reached to scratch Jack’s head, “See, Jackie-Man? That wasn’t so bad.”
We took Jack out into the backyard and watched to be sure that he was able to urinate without any problem. We watched as he squatted like a girl and then used his extra length to pee up into his neck and chin. No problem.
Maj turned to me, “So now what?”
“I’ll probably have to do that a few times a day for the next few days until his injury heals.”
Maj thought about this for a moment as we stood on the back-yard deck, “Mother?”
“You would tell me, right? If you were a crazy lying dog-fondling woman . . . you would tell me, right?”
“Of course I would. I would shout that news from the rooftops, babe.”
She grunted and I reached to pull her into a hug.
She recoiled in horror, “MOTHER, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DO NOT TOUCH ME WITH YOUR CRAZY DOG HANDS OF PENIS CARESSING!”
Four more days of treatment and Jack was retracted and cured.
Well . . . actually?
He was better after three days, but I wanted to be sure.