We picked her up and drove to Chena Hot Springs (one hour north of Fairbanks). Two dogs sat in the backseat. Each time I glanced in the rearview mirror my heart skipped a beat. Two dogs instead of one? Yay! Do dogs and puppies (let’s not forget candy, stockings or birthdays) ever get old? I don’t think so.
Miss Bonnie sat like a perfect lady while Rider panted like
a dog in labor a nerd-dog freaking out that the new dog next to him was going to stay forever. Oh RiRi…
We drove to the end of Chena Hot Springs Road which dumped us into the resort. Steam rose from the springs into the night sky and the moonlight was our lone light source to escort us to our room. We dropped off our things in the room, fed the dogs, and then left to go feed ourselves at the restaurant. I was a bit nervous leaving the two of them alone, but we would be quick.
Dinner and one beer later we wandered back to the room and surveyed the dogs for any bite marks. (Yep, “sweet little Rider” has a dominant side and most dogs don’t like it so they let him know by sending him home with a war wound and a crushed ego. He doesn’t seem to learn, though). All was well. Matt took them outside, but quickly came back inside since it was minus 2 degrees and he definitely did not pack nor dress for inner Alaska weather. (Seriously?)
We didn’t sleep at all that night. Between the neighbors going in and out of their room, their little yelping dog, and Bonnie who decided to pace the room all evening we didn’t get much shut eye. It was a clear night and a perfect night to see the northern lights so I went outside with both dogs. Bonnie (who only weighs 30-35 pounds) dropped a “hot one” almost as big as herself. I don’t lie. While that view was something I wish to erase from my memory, the beauty around me was something to be admired. The northern lights were in full effect. Green and blue light waves shot across the sky and silhouetted the mountains. The dog’s paws and my boots crunched along the snow as we strolled by the hot springs. It was empty. Perfect. I wrangled the dogs (wrangled is a good word since neither one knows how to walk on a leash with another dog) and walked back to the room to wake up Matt.
By the time we fed the dogs, left the room, and made it into the hot springs the sky was lighting up and Matt (once again) missed watching the aurora borealis. Oh Matty, one day you will have your chance. We made our way back to the room and all was well with both dogs (again). Phew. This was good news and we entrusted them with watching the room while we scarfed down breakfast. Upon our return to the room I was disappointed in my poor judgement in leaving them alone. When I opened the door I was smacked in the face by the smell of dog poo.
My glasses were still foggy from walking in from the cold so I couldn’t make out where one of them (who?) had gone to the bathroom (but my bet was on Bonnie). 10 seconds later, after my glasses had cleared, we saw it. It was everywhere.
“It” meaning diarrhea.
Matt walked out with both dogs in case one of them still had something left in their system that wasn’t already on the floor. As I dry heaved from the smell I started to think how I was going to clean it up. First I needed to open the windows, but that wasn’t going to happen since they were frozen shut. I busted out the car keys and began to chisel the ice away from the window sill so I could slide the window open, but that was going to take one-hundred years. Second I hit the switch for the fan, but all that did was circulate the smell back into my face and nostrils. Then I faced “it”. I had to get it off the floor.
*If you squirm at the thought of excrements, then please skip the portion below. However, it does make for a funny story.*
I crouched down to face my
nemesis worthy opponent, armed with toilet paper and kleenex in hand (fyi, I went through two rolls of toilet paper and half a kleenex box to clean “it” up). I did my best scooping and dry-heaving at the same time. The most stomach-wrenching-dry-heave inducing moment was when I attempted to clean up the poo with kleenex but it was encased in a clear sac (once again, I don’t lie) and it slapped back down on the floor. Oh man. This was insane!
Matt came back into the room and let me know how bad it smelled in the room. Thanks, babe. I had no idea. I not only had to clean it up, but had also stepped in it and my sock would now have to be thrown away. I looked down at Bonnie and noticed a giant red spot on her nose. Great, the dogs had a little fight either because Rider was ticked off that she pooped or she pooped because they got into a tiff. We will never know, but the proof was a chunk out of her snout (and a mess on the floor).
We surveyed the room and came up with a game plan.
At our disposal:
– An old towel that we brought with us for the dogs to wipe their feet.
– Tap water
Yeah, this wasn’t going to work, but it was all we had. I began to clean up the stains with the towel and water, and Matt walked in and out of the room to let me know if the smell was getting any better.
You may be wondering why we just didn’t leave it. Well, we paid a $300.00 deposit for the dogs (the most I have ever paid at a hotel) and we were going to get it back! Also, there is no way I would leave that mess for someone else. How rude!
I had a lightbulb moment when I remembered that we had a bottle of Febreeze in the back of the car. Score! I have never bought Febreeze before, but I had picked up a bottle for Salmonstock since I was going to be camping for 4 nights straight and I figured my clothes would need a refresher. I had never used it, but it was going to have its moment on this day!
Matt walked to the car and came in with a frozen bottle of Febreeze. He filled the sink with hot water and began to “unthaw” it as I continued to blot the poo stained carpet. Less than 12 hours in with a new dog and we were having our first adventure. Oy! This whole ordeal had to be completed within 45 minutes since our checkout time was nearly upon us. I saturated the carpet with Febreeze and Matt followed behind by blotting with kleenex. It was quite comical to say the least.
I stepped back to look at our progress about fifty times and each time it looked a little better. We called it quits after 45 minutes and quickly showered, walked in-and-out of the room ten times to see if we could detect any smell (we couldn’t!!!) and took the dogs for a walk. I decided to take the dogs back to the car and get them buckled in (yep, they wear doggy seat belts) and Matt went to check out. Ten minutes later he came back and let me know that he had to wait while the receptionist called on the housekeepers to check our room before we left so we could be refunded our deposit. Apparently Matt was sweating a little bit and said he waited about five minutes for them to call back and say “the room looked good.”
Yes! We dominated! It only cost us 45 minutes of our time, one towel, and a pair of socks (and almost my breakfast if you know what I mean).
Matt and I decided that if we could love Bonnie through this ordeal within 12 hours of adopting her, we were in for the long haul. At one point during the drive I asked Matt how he liked Bonnie (since I had met her once before one month prior). Matt looked at me and said, “I love her.”
I love her, too.
(Squirts and all)
Stay tuned for Part II of our introduction to Bonnaroo. The day was just getting started.