Today is National Butter Day and that brings to mind a story from my new book. I Chose You, Imperfectly Perfect Rescue Dogs and Their Humans is a must-read collection of honest, humorous, and heartwarming stories about rescue dogs who found their forever homes. I Chose You reminds us to be grateful for second chances and that the right dog, at the right time, changes everything for the better.

You can pick up a copy at Amazon or ask your local bookstore or library to order some so that others can also enjoy this wonderful book. Here’s the link to order copies.

The Mud that Wasn’t Mud

“There is no such thing as a difficult dog, only an inexperienced owner.”— Barbara Woodhouse

We relocated from Hawaii and hired a licensed, bonded, and insured mover to transport only things that really mattered for our new life in Wisconsin. Besides a few pieces of furniture to get us started, we had boxes of Christmas ornaments and a lifetime of memories, some nice artwork, and most of what I needed for the kitchen. It was a disaster of a move, with many irreplaceable items missing and most things broken, including our sofa.

Five weeks after we adopted our dog, we finally found a replacement sofa, my first brand new piece of furniture in over thirty years. Remember that number. Five weeks.

We had already learned the hard way that our dog could clear the fence in a single bound despite his short stature. We had yet to learn that he had the reach of an NBA athlete. A few nights after our sofa was in place, chosen because it matched our dog’s fur so we figured any hair would be less noticeable, it happened.

I was making cookies for a choral rehearsal the next day, so before bedtime, I set four sticks of butter onto the kitchen island to thaw, and we headed upstairs. It was raining in the morning so the dog scampered down the steps and under the porch to take care of business while I went to fill his food and water bowls. I heard him waiting to come inside, after which he promptly ran into the living room and jumped onto the sofa.

When we adopted him, I was adamant that he would never be allowed on any piece of furniture. I married a dog lover, so you can fill in the blanks. Unlike the oblivious dog dad in the house, I noticed instantly that the pooch had tracked mud all over my new sofa.

It wasn’t mud. At some point while we slept, Coconut had run downstairs and somehow swiped all four sticks of butter from the island. The good news is that he did not actually eat all four sticks. Good is a relative term.

When I realized it wasn’t mud, I ran into the laundry room and pulled anything that might work to clean the dark black poop from the sofa. Three cushions on the coffee table later, I found butter wrappers smooshed under the attached back cushions, along with a full stick of now gooey butter.

I had purchased the additional five-year warranty because I have a dog and grandkids and a yard full of springtime mud. Guess what the warranty doesn’t cover? Doggie poop and “stains of an indetermi- nate origin.” Let’s just say that the phone conversations with both the retailer and the third-party warranty provider did not go well. I found a super-duper cleaning product at the pet store that worked reasonably well, though it took weeks to get rid of the smells, and there were permanent stains.

Coconut lived another day and got a bath post haste, a phrase I’ve always loved.

The next day I argued with the warranty company that as the retailer had not included a book of coverages with the receipt, the cleaning should be covered. We compromised with my getting a full refund for the warranty and the sofa still being covered. The refund paid for the cleaning product and several bottles of wine.

I did confirm that if I threw a party and a scenario happened that included red wine, blood, and a knife tearing the fabric, those would all be covered. The woman I talked to seemed almost giddy when she said that even “human bodily fluids after death” would be covered. Just not pet poop or stains of an indeterminate origin.

We now have our second new sofa. I also have learned to leave nothing unattended on the kitchen island.