DISCLAIMER: this may be the longest day of our entire trip… and most disgusting.
Friday, August 22……Day 11
I am blessed! In fact I was blessed with a heavy mess of poop. Not just any poop. Smelly poop. Sticky, runny poop. Piles and puddles of poop. DOG POOP!
Oliver is sick! He pooped in the driver’s seat. On the floor next to the driver’s seat. He pooped under the couch that had been turned bed. He pooped in the bathroom. He pooped in the hallway and with his runniest movement he pooped on the carpeted step in front of the bunks.
Even with all this poop, I think, “at least the slides were in.” If the slides were out exposing a lot more carpet in the bedroom he definitely would have pooped there too.
As I sat up in bed and saw the mess, it became apparent just how different Darryl is than me. He starts yelling, “bad dog!” and I say, “awe he’s sick, don’t yell at him.” I guess it’s the mom in me.
I do believe in some sort of fate, destiny, powers of the universe, will of God or whichever you prefer to call it. Here’s why:
The other day in Rockford when we were coming out of the postal store I found a black comb. Looked exactly like our comb I had just used to fix the girls’ hair, so, I picked it up not knowing if one of them brought it with us and dropped it (getting anyone to fess up to anything is a lost cause). I put it in the bottom of the stroller and forgot about it. The next day when we showered, I used OUR comb, so the one I found was a lost comb.
Instead of getting angry about the poop, I go into survival mode. “How am I going to clean up this mess?”
In the nature of being greener and environmentally more responsible, we use cloth napkins and dish towels for cleaning and such, but I didn’t want to use any of that. So, being that it was 7:00 a.m. and no stores were open save a Kwik-Mart across the street where Darryl went to for paper towels.
I count my blessings carefully. As skin-crawling as finding somebody else’s used comb on the ground and keeping it is; finding the comb now became a blessing.
New RV’s are luxurious with leatherette, laminate fake tile back-splash, decals, wood veneer and poor-pile shag carpet. Soft carpet that holds moisture, odor and anything that comes in contact with it. Like, oh, say…runny, gooey diarrhea dog poop?
And you guessed it, after getting as much off the carpet with a paper towel without smearing it in, I combed the shag.
Yep. I started my morning combing dog shit out of a shag carpet.
Before breakfast. Bathroom. Coffee. All of it. I combed poop!
How was your morning?
Okay, we cleaned up the poop.
Then, I took Oliver out for a walk and sure enough, more poop, but this time he rubbed up on some tall grass while “going” and it ran down his leg and tail and smeared into his coat. Oy vey!
Another blessing? Sure.
We planned on boon-docking for the night at Costco and stocking up in the morning, however, a gracious Costco employee politely informed us of “no overnight parking” and we were left with the Home Depot-Target-Pet Smart Shopping Center.
Had we not been booted from Costco, we wouldn’t have been able to go to Target for water or fans (Costco had just closed when we pulled in) I wouldn’t have been outside Pet Smart with my diarrhea laden dog at 7:30 a.m. when a man walked out who I could tell didn’t work there and when I asked if they were somehow open he replied, “only for grooming services.”
DING! DING! DING!
There it is, my blessing! Just as I was wondering how I was going to clean the dog without compromising my own cleanliness (which is a commodity when RV’ing) this angel of mercy appeared in the Target parking lot like a big bold neon sign on the Vegas strip flashing above his head: GROOMING SERVICES
Now, if only they had availability. The day was already getting hot as the sun climbed in the sky and without A/C and already antsy kids and a cranky husband, I had to act FAST!
Blessings. Blessings. Everywhere. Rachel, sweet and accommodating took Oliver’s rabies information over the phone (most places require it in writing and are sticklers with this rule) and helped us immediately.
An hour later with a clean and happy pup we headed out to find a service station for our RV A/C unit.
Hopeful it was an easy fix we watched and waited for the technician to take apart the unit. After a few minutes, our entire home smelled like electrical fire.
“There it is!” he shouted, proudly. The circuit board is fried and the wires leading to it are melted and glowing. (can’t be good)
While we waited, I took all the girls for a walk around the lot. It was a maze of RV’s. Big, small, fifth wheels and tow-behind. All classes of motorhomes, some new some ancient but all fun to look at and think of all the trips these road homes have been on and all the miles they’ve travelled.
Darryl spoke to the manager about our options and it wasn’t looking good. Our rig is a 2015 with a brand new model A/C = no parts. No replacement. Not for at least a week. He asked about overnight shipping but they could not oblige at this time because they could not locate the part. In light of this little problem and this sweltering heat, down the road we went.
I drove while Darryl spent HOURS, yes, hours making calls to:
1. dealer service center we bought the RV from just 5 short months ago…dead-end.
2. the salesman we bought it from…dead end.
3. the A/C manufacturer…dead end.
4. a nearby certified Jayco service center (60 miles back east)…dead end.
5. Jayco-the manufacturer…dead end. (or was it?)
While he was back on the phone with the salesman(#2 above) telling him about his sweating balls, Darryl received a voicemail from Roger Johnson, customer service specialist from Jayco- FINALLY- we had help. Roger offered to put us up in a hotel until we could get diagnostic testing, repair/replacement at no matter the cost.
There we were in the Hilton Garden Inn Mankato and after negotiating Oliver into the room, I managed a two room king suite with a balcony that had the best view in town!
The kids enjoyed a bubble bath like no other in a Jacuzzi tub and Mama Duck spent a good while in a HOT shower (another commodity while RV’ing) and then watched a movie in a big comfy bed.
I was cool, comfortable and all my little babies slept like a daddy.
The day was rough but the night balanced things out and all was right in my world.