It All Works Out

The dog had diarrhea.

Thus begins the tale of my “sad song day”. But first, my dog Joey had gas. It started the night before. Those of you with dogs know that canine flatulence is just about one of the most unpleasant things we put up with for love of our furry friends. But this was a particularly bad case. So I was actually eager to log in a full day of work at the office. I assumed like all the other times before, this particular embarrassing condition would resolve itself before my return.

I assumed wrong.

Things went from bad to worse. In hindsight, poor old Joe must have suffered miserably.  I imagine that first he paced and then he whined and finally he cried waiting around for me to return and let him out. But, I didn’t show. And thus, by the time I was doing the home stretch listening to my radio recite sad global events, I was oblivious that a much more serious domestic crises awaited on the home front.

I knew something was terribly wrong when I opened the door.

First, the inner air hit my nostrils like a tsunami of sewer water. Second, my wiggly, ecstatic greeter was absent from his post. That should have been enough of a tip off to justify turning and fleeing. But, no. Just like those stupid women in horror movies, I was compelled to enter and investigate.

My mind raced as I climbed the stairs and the smell intensified. How long had it been since we took out the trash? Didn’t it go out last night? What could possibly have gone THAT bad in the past 24 hours?! Did we leave some meat out?

If only life could be that simple and boring.

However, as I headed toward the kitchen and the garbage bin, my nose detoured me straight to the living room.

My formal living room. The officially designated “nice room” in my home reserved for my voice students, and special visitors such as the bishop, an occasional nice young man nervously waiting for my daughter, the home or visiting teachers, and especially my in-laws! This is the  one room whose sole existence it is to successfully give the illusion that the “house of order, house of God” and “my house” are synonymous!

The importance of this room was not lost on our dog. When we moved in, we immediately trained Joey that this room was off limits. The “forbidden zone”. The Holy of Holies.

And in over four years, he had respected and honored this rule. Religiously. Until now.

There it was. The room with my baby grand piano, antique chairs, lace curtains and cream colored (formerly cream) carpet…


I just stood there staring and gasping for air – figuratively and literally.

The vision in front of my eyes could not be processed logically into my brain.


Of ALL the rooms in this home, WHY THIS ONE!?

From the depths of my soul a primordial scream was summoned. And let me tell you, after investing years of training into my vocal chords, they did not let me down! The house shook with my indignation. And through it all, one thought was tantamount. Vengeance would be mine!

I must seek and destroy the perpetrator!

However, at that very moment Joey’s life was mercifully spared. The image before me suddenly registered into my consciousness, and I was thrown back into the desperate reality of the situation. Time was of the essence here! My “inner drill sergeant” was activated and dispatched! 


1. “DOG!” (Found cowering under kitchen table and dispatched to backyard)

2. “AIR!” – (Thank you Lord for giving me many windows, good weather and a strong breeze)

3. “AMMUNITION!” (Every cleaning product I own is quickly amassed for inspection)

4. “LOAD!” (I recently invested in a steam cleaner –  nothing short of a miracle – thank you again Lord!)

5. “READY…AIM…!” (Donning rubber gloves…Holding my breath)

6. “FIRE!” (Entering the Forbidden Zone)

One hour later…

I emerge haggard and flushed, but hopeful.

Less than 5 minutes later…

A student arrives for her lesson. Finding her teacher looking disheveled and forlorn, she repeatedly reassures that she cannot smell anything except strong detergents. Therefore, we tiptoe back into the room of doom together, (carefully avoiding damp areas), and reach the piano. The lesson proceedes smoothly, and one hour later I finally get a chance to sit down and process the afternoon’s traumatic event. I can’t help but notice the forlorn face waiting patiently outside the patio door. I cautiously allow him to enter and reunite with his family. True to form, he gleefully wiggles into the room, bestowing kisses to all, and grinning as if nothing of consequence transpired earlier. Ok, perhaps he really does not remember (like all those doggy experts like to tell us) – but I suspect it’s an embarrassed plea for forgiveness. So, I really can’t help but feel sorry for the poor guy.

One of my favorite quotes by President Gordon B. Hinckley suddenly comes to mind:

It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us.”

(April 10, 2004 – from the funeral service of his wife Marjorie Pay Hinckley)

The Lord comes through. Things work out!

Even when the dog has diarrhea.

With the battle successfully waged and won, I think this calls for A Victory Celebration! (feel free to sing along)

 “So Much For My Sad Song” – Chris Rice


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