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Columns

Tales From the Motherhood: The mess of collecting a sample

Warning: The following contains details that may be offensive to some readers. Because, it’s about poop.

Seems I dreamed about poop so vividly I actually smelled it. Yes, the Big Red Dog passed gas in his sleep, and the smell became so intense it actually woke me up. That’s some fart! More impressive than any he’d produced thus far, I was convinced this one had actual poop attached to it. Afraid to roll over and look, I finally got up to let him out because I was way more afraid to stay in that room with his fart. I guess you can call this one “Tails From the Dog-Motherhood.” Geesh.

After Jake relieved himself of his burden, I peered out the porch window in the dawn’s early light to study its location so I could retrieve it later. You know, after he was done with his business. But not much later, because according to the folks at our veterinarian’s office who ordered a stool sample after Jake’s latest checkup, such samples are rendered less reliable the longer they’re exposed to possible contaminants from other dogs and critters. 

“We have a sam-ple, we have a sam-ple,” I sang whilst cradling the cat. Reminds me of that quintessential proud-new-mom moment that happens when one’s kid has progressed past the mustard-poop phase, producing a perfectly prime poop. And this one needed picking up. 

“Not me!” Holly said, as she disappeared back upstairs to brush her teeth before school. Right. And my other favorite pooper-scooper was still in bed. Sure he was. (Little did he know the plan I had for him to make the “drop” on his way to the gym, conveniently located across the street from Dr. [Adam] Schanding’s veterinary clinic. The joke was on me, though, as my not-so-little powerlifter picked today of all days to deviate from his usual workout routine. Because his back hurt. Phooey.)

So I trudged out to the yard with the little specimen bottle I’d been given, located my sample, unscrewed the top with the wee spork thingy attached to it, and got to work. The sample successfully sporked, I attempted to shove it into the specimen bottle. But it didn’t quite fit, and the spork wasn’t cutting it in my effort to jam it in there. So I sporked a sturdier hunk, in hopes I could coax enough in, grateful I’d thought to change out of my granny pajamas before attempting such an apparently time-consuming feat. What must the neighbors think? And what the heck? Don’t the folks at the vet’s office know how big the Big Red Dog is? At 90 pounds, suffice it to say that Jake’s poops are no match for such a wee bottle.

It wasn’t pretty. I felt like I was on a nightmare episode of “The Great British Baking Show,” as every attempt to smear enough in just made things worse. I ended up dropping the whole icky mess into a sealable bag (that refused to close), and left it on the porch for my run to the vet. Gah.

“It smells like #%*!” Holly said, when she passed through the porch to head school. Nice. 

“Run, quick,” I said, “lest any poop particles floating in the air land on you. Ha!” No kidding, it could happen. In fact, I once read that if you can smell it, whatever it is, IT is in your nose. Yeah, itty bitty particles of IT. But I digress. Yuck.

“Run, baby, run!” I said as she smiled back at me. Oh, but we take our fun seriously around here.

Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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