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Headline: Dog Owner Performs Near Self-Amputation in Cascade Container

Live with any breed of dog long enough and you will realize what a quick study a dog can be when it comes to knowing your vulnerabilities. Personally, the pity on a dog’s face when it’s time to be fed (it gets worse when dinner time is late) is mine. Mind you, on some level I know very well that many of these pitiful expressions are acting at their best. I know this because I caught my dogs practicing woefully long faces in front of the mirror and at each other. They think I don’t know.

Still, even I can appreciate real hunger, and when dinner is late for a long time due to a traffic jam or at the office, I feel bad. This time, I was a couple hours late for dinner and rushed through the door to collect plates of food; It was then that I realized that there was no clean one in the house. The dishwasher was full of dirty dishes, including all the dog bowls, and not only did I have the last drop of dishwasher detergent left, but I didn’t have any dish soap on it. I did what I have to do.

As much as I like using liquid detergent in my dishwasher, it’s hard to get every last drop out of a huge Costco-sized plastic container big enough to hold fuel for the hoe. Still, I had convinced myself that there HAD to be enough left for one more load. It was night now, and my dogs stomach growling was audible, surgery was performed on a Cascade container to remove the last of the feces.

My dogs are usually eager to eat, but they watched with great attention as I approached the huge green Cascade container with a small serrated knife. Watching its owner cut off her own limb, now this was entertaining. And finally I agreed with his logic. This little knife was not up to the challenge and was quickly tossed aside in favor of a large chef’s knife. And I mean BIG. Even the dogs couldn’t see this attempt: the paws flew over the eyes as the knife began to stagger against the tough skin of the plastic container. This wasn’t going to work either, and I scanned the kitchen. A screwdriver did not penetrate the bottle. Neither did an ice pick. And for future reference, ice picks, when they miss their target, are surprisingly deeply embedded in Formica. Clearly, the instrument he would need was not in a kitchen.

I briefly thought of an acetylene torch, which would undoubtedly have been excessive. But have you never wanted to set fire to something that frustrated you? The wire cutters finally did the trick, but it took me twenty minutes of wrestling with the container bottle before finding an entry point. In the end, the floor, countertops, my hair, dog hair, and walls were splattered with blue dirt from the dishwasher, but I’d made it. Using a putty knife to scoop out the goo from inside the bottle, THERE WAS enough for one more load. What a waste, I thought. All the dishwasher detergent we throw away every day for a supposedly empty bottle.

In sharing this story, incredulous friends have asked me why I didn’t just put water in the bottle, shake it, and pour it into the dishwasher. That’s like asking the average man why he didn’t ask for directions before he was 42 miles from where he needed to go. But honestly, it hadn’t occurred to me. Maybe my Herculean effort to get enough soap for ONE MORE load of dishes was my version of the guy who doesn’t read or ask for directions.

In the end, my dogs were fed and I learned that for the person who wants to get every last bit of dishwasher detergent, powder is best.

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