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“Hams’s head smells like garbage.” This quote was the most recent addition into the annals of animals who smell. My wife was referring not to a pig, or to a processed pig product, but our domesticated dog Hana (aka Hams). She is half dingo, half hyena, though the vet insists she trends towards the genetics of border collies and Australian cattle dogs. Whatever. She loitered with litter, and now she smells.

A stinky pet head presents a problem. When Hams rolls in dog droppings or wades into a mucky canal topped with putrid green algae, a quick shampoo and hose-down—accompanied by some rough handling signifying our disapproval of her behavior—normally do the trick. But when she dives head first into stench-filled filth, surrounding her face with nastiness, there’s a dilemma. I can’t simply force her head into a bucket of water or ask her to stand against the backyard fence while unleashing a torrent of water at her head. With little hope of success, I can try detailing her chops with a toothbrush, leading her through a field of lavender, or allow her to pick a favorite from my wife’s perfumes. With even less chance of success, I can plead with Hams to elevate her standing in society by reconsidering any future forays into filth. I am defeated. None of these efforts will dissuade the flies from orbiting her snout. The only future assurance against a rancid scalp is a whole-head leather helmet.

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“I’m only speeding cause I really have to POOP” announced the bumper sticker of a car in front of me at a traffic light. Yes, someone thought to make such a sticker, and another someone thought to buy it and adhere it to one of the most expensive material possessions this person owns. It wasn’t just stuck on the bottom edge of their bumper, partially obscured by an “I Heart Hooters” message or a fading blue capital W. Oh no, this driver’s plight was front and center (well, rather rear and center) on the trunk of the sedan. It was clearly meant to vie for attention with the license plate and indeed the actual color of the vehicle. It was a winner.

The “poop” was capitalized, as I have it above. Such uppercasing of a low-class word stressed the immediacy of the matter. Though after a paragraph of reflection, perhaps I jumped to a premature judgement. Maybe the POOP was an acronym, throwing the reader off the scent of its true meaning. It may have stealthily alerted us of the driver’s rush to print out oval pricetags, plant orange oranges and pumpkins, pinch Olga once painfully, or for any other kind of POOP. All these preoccupations could have merited a disregard for the speed limit.

Still, I’m not convinced POOP meant anything else for this bold, yet proud individual. They’re in their own league. Each of us has had some or other occasional bodily emergency, be it a sunburn, a fork through one temple, a fork through each temple, or a hickey on our instep. Do we go buying bumper stickers to show it off?