The real hero of this story is Snoop though. Never in my life have I seen a dog be so patient in such a stressful situation.

This isn’t going to be a blog post that will change your life. I’m not going to write a list of steps that will help you unlock the secret to attaining your wildest dreams; no one can do that.

What this post WILL do is give you a good laugh and prove to you that no matter how crappy or lonely you thought your Valentine’s Day was, ours was probably worse.

If you follow our Instagram page, you saw the long, heartfelt post that we made about Snoop. Valentine’s Day is also Snoop’s birthday and our regal love pup turned nine years old this year. Every year I bake him a bacon-filled doggie cake, put birthday hats on everyone, and embarrass the crap out of him by obnoxiously singing “Happy Birthday.” We had no oven this year so instead, every meal we made for ourselves that day, Snoop received the equivalent. Here is evidence of this tradition..

As for us humans, our day was pretty ordinary. I reviewed papers for my online writing tutor job while Pete went for a surf. When he returned I went for a run on the beach. We made a delicious curry for dinner and continued to work on Always the Road things afterward. We spend almost every second together and we appreciate each other every day. Valentine’s Day is nice, but we like to use this day to pamper Snoop instead of ourselves.

So the night winds down and we were super stoked to go to bed early and wake up for an early surf and run before we left our campsite. We set up the bed, put on our jammies, and Pete brings Snoop outside to go potty one last time before bed. Perhaps the best way I can describe the next part of this story is through dialogue. (please excuse frantic swearing)

Pete bursts through the shuttle doors with crazy eyes, “Tay where’s the LuminAID light?! There’s an animal out here and I don’t think it’s a cat..”

“Shit shit shit here’s the LuminAID. What kind of fucking animal?!”

“I don’t know Snoop went after some animal into a bush but I know it wasn’t a cat!”

We both run outside and see Snoop stumbling over to a different bush now. Pete shines the light over the bush and there he was, that smelly, birthday-ruining bastard. I’m just happy the skunk didn’t spray Pete when he got close.  

Poor Snoop. He was sprayed twice and couldn’t open his eyes because the natural tear gas stung so badly. His mouth was foaming and he just stood there shaking. All I could think was “NOOO NOT ON HIS BIRTHDAY!” I wanted to hug him but the smell, ooohhh the smell. It was like a pungent, burnt garlic. It doesn’t smell like weed when it’s that fresh. But we didn’t have a hose, we didn’t have the supplies to make an odor neutralizing soap, and we didn’t have the gate code to re-enter the campsite after hours. All we could do was bring him to the showers, get in with him, and enter $5 worth of tokens so we could scrub him as much as we could with dog shampoo and dish soap. This did virtually nothing for the smell, but we were out of options. We couldn’t keep him outside, so we had to let him sleep with us as usual. So he slept at our feet, creating the most rancid Dutch oven of skunk stink throughout the night.

I cannot even begin to explain the way the van smelled when we woke up at 5:45 A.M. to be at the grocery store as soon as it opened. Everything was saturated with the smell of skunk. We made two trips into town that day. The first was to buy ingredients for a deodorizing elixir, and the second was to the laundromat to wash every fabric possible in the van.

The real hero of this story is Snoop though. Never in my life have I seen a dog be so patient in such a stressful situation. This giant animal was manhandled and manipulated into such weird positions to wash him a total of five times in a shower stall, and not once did he fuss, or struggle, or try to run away. I’ve said it a million times before, and I’ll said it a million times more: we have the greatest dog in the world.

So if anyone reading this has a worse Valentine’s Day story, whether it be this year or in the past, please share it with us! Seriously, we would love to hear stories that one-up ours.

Deep down, we hope you all had a wonderful, love-filled Valentine's Day!


***A big shoutout to LuminAID! Without their solar powered lights we would've been cleaning the skunk stank off of Snoop in the dark abyss.