After days of cleaning, cooking, eating, and entertaining with little rest, it is always nice during the holidays to find a moment of tranquility to relax with a cup of Spice Tea and visit with my sister.
It was the day after Thanksgiving and we had about 2 hours before the entire family was supposed to gather again for a theater outing.
Everyone else was preoccupied with their leisurely afternoon activity. A few had gone shopping, a few more were watching tv, one was napping and one was still at work. My husband and my sister’s husband had gone for a walk with my beautiful, beloved dog, so my sister and I had just enough time before show time to grab our tea cups and settle in for a nice, long chat.
A Relaxing Moment
Ah, the tea tasted wonderfully hot and soothing! My son had just joined us and was regaling us with hilarious tales of his college classes, when the phone rang. I could barely recognize my husband’s voice. He said “We’ve had a little emergency and we need you to come and get us.” This one sentence scared me half to death and I asked, “Is my puppy ok?” He said, “Yes, she’s fine, but we need you to come and get us.”
While grabbing my wallet and shoes, he told me where we would find them. It seems they had decided to do a bit of exploring in a wooded area with partial trails and a small pond. My son, my sister and I jumped in our SUV and took off like bats out of hell.
Did I Really Go Out In Public Like That?
It would be remiss at this point of the story to continue without giving you a complete description of our little rescue group. I was in my pajamas, no make up, my hair had not been combed and the shoes I grabbed were my house shoes. My sister was in about the same state of dress, but she had combed her hair. My son, the bear, was wearing a short sleeve t-shirt, a pair of shorts and was the only one of our team that had on real shoes. It was 31 degrees outside and neither of us had thought to grab a coat.
The perfect rescue team wouldn’t you say?
The Tarred Trio
We raced down the almost deserted streets of our little town to the point of our destination. The men and my puppy had walked out of the woods and were standing at the edge of an empty parking lot. When we spotted them, the “rescue team” roared with laughter. The two men had on their hats and coats, but their shoes were missing. My husband’s socks were gone too and my brother-in-laws socks and the bottom of his slacks were so black you couldn’t tell where the pavement of the parking lot ended and his feet began. Both men were filthy. It was evident they had waded in less desirable areas. Then I noticed my beautiful, precious golden retriever mix. All the way up her legs and stomach, she was covered with black tar! Only her back and head were sparkling gold. Even her sweet face was splattered with that nasty black muck. I was horrified! What had they allowed to happen to my gorgeous baby?!
Our dog and my husband jumped into the very back of the SUV. Fortunately, my husband had thought to flip the back mat so they were sitting on the plastic side thus protecting the carpet in the back. At the insistence of my sister, my brother-in-law removed his tar covered socks and gingerly set on the back seat next to my sister who was in her mother hen mood. I doubt the poor man had a bare spot that she had not thoroughly inspected before we arrived back home.
On the drive home, the men filled us in on the details. They were walking back when they begin to cross what they thought was just a little mud puddle. It turned out to be a muddy, nasty, tar like substance filled pit and they all started sinking rather quickly. My husband, the tallest of the group, sank up to his knees before he even realized what was happening. My brother-in-law said it was the closest thing to quicksand that he had ever seen. As they fought and tugged their way out of the pit, their shoes came off and were lost forever. It was rather sobering to realize that one or all of them could have been lost with the shoes. I am eternally grateful that the black pit was sated with only the soles of their shoes.
The Filthy Mess
Back home, the filthy ones went around to the backyard and the water hose while I parked the car and our son unlocked the house doors. By the time I joined them, it was obvious that water only was not going to do any good. When I went to gather supplies, my brother-in-law removed his slacks. Leaving his pants in the back yard, and I am sure a few violated neighbors, he retreated to the shower. I gave my sister the dog shampoo. She and my husband went to work on bathing our dog, while I went to work on the back of the SUV and our son ran between both work areas fetching and retrieving supplies from inside the house. That stuff was really hard to clean off and it took several different cleaning products before we discovered Windex worked the best in removing the tar from the car mats.
I thought I had the harder job until I returned to the back yard and found all the shampoo was gone and my sweet little puppy was now covered with tar and water. They were all trembling a little from the cold.
A Brilliant Idea
Giving credit were credit is due, my sister was the one who remembered that Dawn dishwashing liquid was used to clean up the little ducks in the commercial about the industrial waste. Yes, you are correct. I should have thought of it first. After all, it is featured at the very top of my Help Save Wildlife with Your Purchase article. But, put yourself in my house shoes for a moment. I was staring at my beloved black golden retriever mix and we had no idea what awful effects that mess could have on her.
It worked!!! Almost all of the dishwashing liquid was used, but we finally had a clean puppy again. She slept for hours after her traumatic ordeal.
By movie time we were all showered and dressed. A bit tired, but still ready to go sit back and enjoy another show.
A Happy Girl