by Nelson Holmes
I have recently had occasion to divulge one of my secrets to living without running water. When I’ve shared my method with friends, I have often noted poorly concealed looks of disgust and I’ve had to bear their out right ridicule! What twisted, and possibly health defying, ritual do I employ to cause friends and acquaintances to cringe so?
As anyone who has had to live without the precious fluid pouring from faucets on demand, knows, even the smallest washing chores can become monumental undertakings. Typically I wait until Saturday afternoon to address a week’s worth of dishes and utensils mounded in the sink. I boil my detergent infused wash water (including the scrubbing tools) and I fill two large basins with rinse water. I then devote three hours or so to washing dishes and kitchen scrub-down. “What of the dried on food and the hard to eradicate baked-on bits?” you ask. My answer: dogs. The best way to pre-treat your dishes, and make another creature ecstatic at the same time, is to let the dogs have a go at them first. Okay, I see the faces you’re making… just hear me out. Don’t think that, if after the canine tongue has removed all traces of food, I will return the plate to the shelf with a damp sheen of dog spittle. I do WASH the dishes after the initial tongue scrub. Now, rest assured that I don’t offer for cleaning anything too salty, sweet or fat. I love my dogs and I don’t let them partake of anything that might harm their systems. (The time Greta and Brickford managed to get the grease can from the back of the stove was the stuff of nightmares; my friend Susan still exhibits facial tics when she recalls the gastric explosions issuing from both the north and south of the beasts.) Beyond simple efficiency my method brings great joy to my hounds and expands their gastronomic horizons. How would you like your daily culinary possibilities limited to endless meals of stale, dry, kibble? It’s the monotony that drives many of the bored creatures to experiment with the addictive “kitty roca” and other foods of the field too ghastly to mention.
So, to sum up my thesis; for both clean dishes and happy pets, assign them this helpful task. And, if upon hinting of your methods, friends start the pompous process of turning up their noses… change the subject. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is your best course of action. You can also anticipate the passive-aggressive joy as you watch the prissy souls consume goodies off a plate that, just hours ago, was lovingly cleaned by an elderly Boxer.