|The Ranch (and Alasse)|
Every few months, Alasse and I go visit my Mother on the ranch. The ranch is home to a great many critters. There are sheep, cattle, and horses. Ridgewood also sports a herd of white deer, bought by the Howards (who originally owned the ranch) from the Hearst family, who got them from Europe. Then there is your standard northern California wildlife. Squirrels, mountain lions, coyotes, bear, turkeys, chipmunks, oh, and lots of raccoons.
When I lived at the ranch, I was forever doing battle with raccoons. Alasse loved them of course; she wanted to play. She loved them even though they washed their food in her water bowl. That’s just the kind of person she is.
They got in through the cat door. All the time. I don’t know if you have ever seen what a raccoon can do to a case of Top Ramen, but it isn’t pretty. A lot of the time the raccoons scheduled a raid while we were asleep, or not there, but sometimes they lingered too long. When this happened they usually hid behind the washer and dryer. To get them out, I would put on a pair of rubber boots and shoo them out with a broom. This was difficult because raccoons are very cute.
I remember once, a pair of juveniles had gotten in through the cat flap and made a huge mess. Dog food was everywhere. The two coons went straight behind the washer. They poked their heads out, one on top of another and I just couldn’t be mad anymore. Alasse of course, was never mad to begin with. She stuck her head through the cat flap so she could watch me. Alasse never gets mad. Ever. Sometimes I try to follow suit. I sit down beside her, cock my head, and say “Hmmmm, that’s interesting.” Alasse takes this as the cue to start licking my face.
Now, while Alasse would have loved to play with the raccoons, her all time favorite ranch animal is the turkey. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Big fat bird with great big plumage. Think again. These are wild turkeys. They kind of look like big brown bowling pins with feet. And while I’m sure Alasse would love to play with these birds, unfortunately she is more interested in their poop. Turkey poop, as far as I’m concerned, is the smelliest excrement on the planet. And Alasse just loves to roll in it. There’s no stopping her.
The ranch is crawling with these suckers. They are all over the place, shitting everywhere. Alasse is constantly on the look-out.
Now Alasse is pretty well behaved. She’ll heel off leash no problem- unless there is turkey poop. Then there’s no getting to her. By that time, the only thing on her mind is “must roll in it, must roll in it…”
However, though this experience is by no means pleasant, not all hope is lost in situations like this. There is one thing, and one thing only that will rid a dog of the odor of turkey poop. Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Shampoo. And don’t forget the conditioner.
And after the bath, Alasse will not be satisfied until she has been blow dried. She loves the blow dryer almost as much as she loves turkey poop. Almost. Even if she’s not wet, she stands in the bathroom while I’m drying my hair and waits her turn. She gives this little exasperated sigh when she’s bored, or not getting what she wants. She does this when she wants me to blow dry her.