Monday, December 1, 2008

The Curious Incident of the Smell in the Car

Warning! The next story is not for the faint is funny though.

It started on Tuesday. We drove up to NY around 2pm, and were immediately hit with heavy traffic. We thought we were being crafty (and safe...winter storms were forecast for Wednesday) by leaving after work instead of waiting until Wednesday morning. Wrong. Apparently other people had that idea too. It was thick and slow for almost 4 hours. Once we got into the mountains of PA it thinned out, but then traffic jammed up again in Northern PA. Boo!

Of course, we brought Kona with us on our trip. She has a harness that hooks onto the seat belt that prevents her from roaming around the car. She usually does okay when we are cruising along the highway, but in stop and go traffic she gets antsy and whines/sighs a lot. I decided to pull her into the front seat and hook her onto my seat belt, hoping that a little snuggle time and a few belly rubs were make her happy. Next thing I know Alson and I are sniffing the air. Something smelled awful. We thought maybe it was her breath, it had been a little stinky the last few days. We kept trying to smell her breath, but it didn't seem to stink. But, we were stumped (or were perhaps subconsciously blocking) as to where else the stink would come from and concluded it must be her breath. After about 30 minutes the stink became so intoxicating that we exited off the highway and found the nearest Petsmart. I went into the store to buy some breath freshening bones while Alson took Kona to go to the bathroom. While I am standing in an aisle examining the many different fresh breath options, Alson comes running in telling me to smell his pants. In the middle of the store. I looked around to make sure no one would see me bend over and smell my husband's crotch. As soon as I did I could smell concentrated stink. He then started sniffing my crotch and midsection. He almost gagged. I really hope no one saw us. Anyway, all this sniffing helped us realize that Kona's behind was probably the problem. We then headed over to the cleaning section to grab some bath wipes and deodorizing/disinfecting spray. I also bought some breath freshening bones just in case her breath was also an issue. We then stand in the parking lot while we both strip off our coats (luckily we both had fleeces in our bags) and douse them in the cleanser, wipe the seats and center console, and then get to work on Kona. Alson lifts her in the air while I wipe her stinky behind. During this process I find a little surprise stuck in her hair. Luckily I had a pair of scissors from a (human) grooming kit I brought in my make-up bag. I cut a few pieces of her hair and thankfully got the poo off her. At this point three or four people had walked by laughing, some encouraging us with "I do that too!". Lovely. We left the store 38 dollars poorer and with a little less dignity. Anyway, we were convinced that it would smell better in the car, but to no avail. More on this story to come....

We stopped at my parents house (it is closer) instead of driving up to Alson's parents as planned, so that we could give Kona a bath and schedule a grooming appointment for the next day. She smelled much better after the bath, but her long hair could again be an issue after any potty break. Luckily there was an opening for a hair cut the next day, and all problems would soon be resolved. In regards to Kona that is.

After dropping Kona off at the groomer on Wednesday morning, we drove up to Ithaca to visit Alson's parents. The hour long trip was again plagued with the stink, but we could not figure out where it was coming from. I have leather seats in my car so they are easy to clean and usually do not hold smells. We had cleaned and wiped down the car about 4 times at this should not smell anymore! We were stumped. I decided to drive to Ithaca because I was convinced it smelled in the passenger seat, whereas Alson, the initial driver claimed it was in my head when we got in the car that morning. When he got in the passenger side he finally agreed that it smelled over there, but we still couldn't figure out why. I I am driving, and of course the weather got bad. It was snowing/sleeting and my windshield wipers just weren't cutting it. We had to stop at an Auto Zone and buy new windshield wipers; another 30 dollars gone.

After an uneventful (thankfully) afternoon and evening with Alson's parents, we decided to drive Alson's mom to the drugstore so that she could pick up her pictures from a recent trip to Hawaii, and so she could be an unbiased "smeller". I was in the passenger seat this time, and went to reach down and button my coat when I was overwhelmed by the scent. I finally figured it out. The only fabric part of my car....the seat belt! Kona must have rubbed her behind on it while she was strapped in. Of course we never could identify the smell when we were out of the car sniffing around and cleaning because the seat belt was inside the side of the car (the cloth part of my seat belts disappear, basically) and not buckled.

Once we started disinfecting and cleaning the seat belt every couple of hours, the smell finally disappeared, but not without a 36 hour fight.

On Thursday morning we drove back to my parent's house and greeted Kona with lots of hugs and kisses because she looked so cute with her new haircut and smelled so fresh and so clean. Good thing we don't hold grudges!


  1. oh my... that is quite the tale.
    i never had something like that happen but i did come out of a store once only to move my pup over to the passenger side and then sit on a wet seat (i had no idea until it was too late)... someone must have talked to him through the window because that makes him pee : )anyway it was a soggy ride home that day.

  2. That story was hilarious, especially of you two being sneaky smelling each other in Pet Smart lol. I actually "loled" with my boyfriend on the couch next to me going.. "What?" hehe

  3. Thanks for your sweet comment and thoughts about my hip! I decided I better go see a doctor and am trying to get into one this week.

    And thanks for the heads up on that marathon movie. It sounds awesome!

  4. Awww! I've got to say - it sounds icky, but we wipe Betty's tush after she goes #2 because there's generally "leftovers" down there. And she's got short hair! I can only imagine how, ahem, anal I would be if I had a dog with longer hair.

    Bad pun, I know:)