Up until about 6 on Saturday night, I felt guilty. Guilty that I wasn't flying to Michigan to help move Larkin to Denver. Guilty that I was at the beach with another daughter and her delightful friends. Guilty that the weather was perfect in Rhode Island as opposed to muggy and hot across the middle of the country. The most recent snapchat from my husband and Garth had them driving through Nebraska with the windows open and their hair whipping around. Somewhere between Des Moines and Omaha, the air conditioning had broken. Seventeen hours is a long time in the car in the best of circumstances. Without air-conditioning, it sounded really miserable. I felt really guilty.
"Let's take the dogs for a quick walk before we make dinner," my sister-in-law, Amy, said. The dogs were thrilled. The girls were all playing games in the back yard, and the rest of our crew had plenty of chores to keep them occupied. Amy and I are fast in the kitchen. We could take the dogs for a walk and still serve up dinner before anyone showed signs of being hangry.
We headed toward our favorite trail, a place where we could unclip the labs and let them run. Within seconds of Okie's freedom, he bolted into the bushes and then bolted out of the bushes. Reeking. Words I didn't know I knew spiraled out of my mouth as the sour skunk smell invaded the walk. Okie dashed to the open grass, rolling and rubbing.
Amy made dinner on her own as I bathed Okie over and over with various concoctions of baking soda, vinegar, palmolive, and Nature's Secret Skunk Formula.
As I write this slice, the air conditioner is fixed, and Okie has had a professional deoderizing at Petco. (One was much more expensive than the other.) I'm no longer feeling guilty--just excited to keep hearing about Larkin's latest adventures in her next chapter of life.