She called to me from the kitchen with a certain urgency in her voice.
“You may need to get the dog outside right away. He really stinks. I think he may need to…”
Not wanting him to…in the house (as if he ever has since wee puppyhood) I got up right away, made ready to pull on my winter jacket and take the dog out into the cold dark of the morning.
“Wait a minute. I smell what you’re smelling but I don’t think it’s because the dog needs a bowel experience. Smells like burning hair to me.” I took him out anyway, mystery unsolved.
Puzzled, we thought nothing more about it. Daylight came and I noticed the dog had gotten into some red clay, with a big smudge along his left flank.
The problem is that we have no red clay, and yet there was a swatch of fur that was distinctly brick-colored.
Then the “ah ha” lights came on: apparently the dog, who never misses a chance to be as close as possible to the warmest place in the house, be it wood stove or wall heater, had cozied up to the orange glow of the radiant heater enough this time to set himself, locally and superficially, on fire.
Had it reached his skin for him to feel it, we would most certainly have known, as he is a weenie when it comes to the least bit of pain. He was in no apparent distress, but even today, almost a week later, he carries the brick-colored evidence of having been Goose Creek’s only Burning Dog.