Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Benny, The Fish & The Princess (#168)


Well, that silly twit dog of mine needed his second bath in a week this morning. His second one ever, for that matter. And for the same reason as the first. He lucked into a couple of rotting trout corpses, an unpleasant but common byproduct of the spring fishing season. Not content with merely finding such treasures, he naturally had to acquire some proof in order to convince me he wasn’t fibbing.

So he rolled in them, covering himself in dirt, blood and gore and enveloping his entire little body in a miasma of eau de rot.

You’ve never seen a happier dog.

He was a little less pleased with the bathtub but submitted with reasonably good grace. Worth it I suppose.

After the first time, I’d kept him on the leash until we were well past the area of the corpse he found. Today, he found another “treasure” further upstream. He’ll remain on the leash for the morning walks for the foreseeable future.


I’m definitely missing the solitary aspect of walking in winter. The paths are just too darn busy these days. Everybody and their brother-in-law and their dogs are out there enjoying Spring. Can’t say I blame them but comparatively, it feels like playing on the highway. Ben enjoys the face time with other dogs but is a little frustrated because on the morning walks he’s being kept on his leash (those rotting fish I mentioned earlier).

For the most part, our evening walks occur further from the creek, so I still let him off then, and will continue, despite what happened last evening. As usual, he was some 50 yards (meters) ahead of me, scouting. He disappeared from my sight briefly as I was rounding a turn. When I spotted him next, I groaned.

He was on his back and rocking joyfully from side to side. This is hardly ever a good sign. I hurried over and called him off. Luckily, this time the object of his affections was the carcass of a desiccated salmon. The fish died months ago and had sort of freeze-dried over the winter. I was hopeful that the taint wasn’t too bad, as he wasn’t covered in gore and slime as he had been on the earlier, bath-worthy occasions.

I rubbed his flank and then smelled my hand. Not too bad. I’ve smelled worse after a day of fishing. Pretty sure.

Anyway, shortly afterwards, we met up with a woman walking her white poodle which was leashed and approximately Ben’s size. Ben, of course, dashed toward them and began playfully circling the poodle, hoping for a romp and some mutual sniffing of naughty bits.

The woman, who was rather stylishly dressed and sported dark sunglasses, wasn’t overly thrilled with Ben’s attentions. I was told that “Princess” was nipped by another dog and was nervous of them. Princess appeared fine to me, curious and unafraid, but I called Ben off. It reminded me of how some moms will feel a chill and immediately put a sweater on their child who was blissfully unaware of being cold.

We let Princess and the Queen Mum get well ahead of us while I diverted Ben’s attention by tossing a stick.

About 10 minutes later though, our paths crossed again. By now we were nearing the road and I had Ben back on his leash. The Queen Mum was inclined to stop and chat this time, probably because Ben’s attentions were somewhat curtailed. As we spoke, she bent to pat him.

I almost said something about his earlier roll in the salmon carcass. My internal debate lasted for the two seconds it took for her hand to make contact with Ben’s fur. I decided to smile and nod instead as she stroked him and chatted about the weather.

A minute or so later we bid each other a pleasant good evening. She’d probably find out when she got back to her car, or home. Or maybe not. When Ben and I returned, I held him close and sniffed deeply.

He was fine. He just smelled like an old fishing buddy to me.

If we meet again, I expect the Queen Mum’s reaction at that time will tell me if she agrees.


Hilary said...

He's your dog, alright. First sign of a fish and he's happier than a pig in slop. :)

Cute story.. keep 'em coming.

Cath said...

I could feel your smile as she walked away with the odour gently wafting behind her as a zillion cats followed.... :0)

Great post Frank. Great character your dog.

Frank Baron said...

I never thought of it quite that way Hilary. It's true! :)

You're scaring me Cath. It's like you were watching.... ;)

Leah J. Utas said...

I felt your smile, too. Had a bit of one myself when I read that part.
Ben sounds like a very happy dog.

Hilary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Baron said...

He is a happy dog Leah. Except, maybe when he's having a bath. ;)

(I originally posted this reply as Hilary. She's here visiting and has taken over my computer! Now...where's that antivirus....)

Jo said...

Women take over most things, it's just our way :P

I love Benny's romps. He's sweet to let you come along. Of course he wants to roll around in fish, he's your dog :)

Oh to see Queen Mum's face...

Reb said...

Serves her right for being a priss earlier. I am glad you at least thought about telling her though.
Great stories, I love to read about your walks.

Frank Baron said...

Jo, sometimes I wonder who's taking who on these walks. :)

Thanks for saying so Reb. You're a peach. :)

Stace said...

I can't help but agree with Hilary...

I think the Queen Mum will fail to notice anything amiss. A certain type of woman has a nose attuned only to Chanel #5 ;)

Frank Baron said...

I hope you're right Stace.

Oh, who am I kidding?! I hope her nose is STILL wrinkled. ;)

Kappa no He said...

I don't know. Fish guts still sound better that Cha Cha Maru's perfume of choice...cat poop. *shiver*

Graham Greene wrote a short story not unlike that scenerio. Cool!

Frank Baron said...

Sounds like Benny would LOVE Cha Cha Maru. :)

Moby Dick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moby Dick said...

Sounds like Benny has found his calling!

Anonymous said...

The fragrance of rotting fish corpses?

Thank you for that. Every time I read about Benny I start get a hankering for a dog of my own... that account helped alleviate my acquisitiveness for at least a little while.

Frank Baron said...

One of them anyway, Spidey.

Sorry Crabby, but eau de corpse is a powerful attraction for any dog worthy of the name. You might have to get one of those frou-frou designer mutts that have most canine qualities bred out of them. Or keep him leashed. ;)