I abandoned the poo and looked out the window. On the patio, 90-pound Big Doodle and 7-pound Lil' Frankfurter were playing tug-of-war with some sort of toy. And they were really into it, their play fighting on the verge of real fighting. Except that they don't have toys outside. And the toy they were fighting over looked a lot like a squirrel.
Next thing I knew, I was outside, broom in hand, and someone was screaming. It might have been me.
I waved the broom I use to sweep poop off the patio. The dog kids were nonplussed. As my screaming reached octaves that only dogs can hear, the giant fluffball and tiny Chipotle burrito of a dog both dropped their end of the squirrel. They eyed each other warily, each waiting for the opportunity to snatch the squirrel and run.
I waved the poop broom and screeched. The dogs gave up and went inside. My husband and I passed each other in the doorway, me going in, he going out to check out the squirrel. I stood at the door and pulled my shirt over my face until he came back inside, grim-faced.
"Well," he said, "It's still alive. I'm hoping it's just in shock. Let's just leave it and see what happens."
"Don't let the dogs kiss you ever, ever again," I said.
|"What? We're nice guys. We didn't even kill that squirrel."|
And then we went about our day, like it was just another normal day. Sure, we had a maybe-dying squirrel right outside our door and mouse poo all over our silverware. Pssh! No big whoop!
Nothing makes a tiny kitchen feel bigger than having to Clorox wipe every single surface. By the time I was done sanitizing my Kleenex-sized kitchen, my husband was conveniently asleep and the dogs had to go potty.
I checked on our squirrel friend. He had gone to the great tree in the sky. But just his spirit. He conveniently left his carcass on my patio. Thanks, pal.
I got 3 Target bags and a shovel. I layered 2 of the bags into a little pocket next to the carcass. And as I used an awkward baggie/shovel maneuver to get the body into the bags, I thought back about how I wanted to date and/or get married because I needed someone to take care of carcass removal.
But there ain't no outrunning being an adult. Sometimes, it's your turn to bag up the dead squirrel.
A few days later, a friend stopped by with her 9-year-old daughter. As fate would have it, there was a dead chipmunk on my front porch. Because I keep an elegant home. And it's a dangerous season for small woodland creatures.
My friend and I both tried to redirect the 9-year-old. However, the girl was obsessed with the dead chipmunk. "Do you think it's sleeping? No way, it's dead! That's soooo grooooss! Ewww! It's totally dead! I can't believe I'm so close to something that's dead! It's so disGUSTing!"
Her mom and I just looked at each other. In the grand scheme of adulthood, a dead chipmunk is pretty tame - way easier to flip into a Target bag than a squirrel, that's for sure. And less of a pain in the ass than mice in the kitchen.
We let the girl be grossed out. Her time would come.