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I have this ability that not many people know about. I’m afraid that if word got out, I’d be asked to use it all the time. I don’t want to do that. While I might be incredibly awesome at what I can do, it’s not something I enjoy doing for just anyone. However, due to recent events, I feel it’s time for me to reveal my secret ability.

I am indescribably talented at cleaning up dog messes. Vomit, defecation, urination: if it came out of a dog, I can get it out of the carpet.

You may be thinking, “You are disgusting. Why in the world would you be proud of this?” Or, you may be thinking, “Interesting, how did you discover that you had this talent?”  To you naysayers, I boldly say that I am not proud of this in the same way that one is proud of accomplishing great feats like climbing the Himilayas or brewing a perfect pot of coffee. I am proud of this skill because it has come in handy more times than you know, and I have never had to waste money on “calling in the professionals”; I am  the professional.

I stumbled upon this talent when I was 14 and had decided to take on the job of house-sitting and dog-watching for an incredibly kind and generous Korean lady down the street from my house. She and her husband were retired and often traveled around the world on cruise ships or took other kinds of vacations about three to five times a year. While they were gone, I was in charge of keeping their Labrador retrievers alive and keeping their house clean. One of the labs had some weird psychological issues like eating carpet when she was lonely or bored and then vomiting everywhere. The weird dog also had this thing about going to the bathroom if it was raining outside; she wouldn’t. She’d wait until I was long gone and then go in the house, preferably on the white rug by the front door. After trial and error with several products and cleaning methods, I finally discovered what worked and how to efficiently and completely remove all dog nasty from a carpeted surface. Practice with that dog for over 9 years led to the perfection that has become my talent.

So, when I was startled awake from my coma nap this afternoon by what sounded like my dog trying to burp up a raccoon, I didn’t hesitate to leap out of bed, throw the dog outside, and take care of the problem. No muss, no fuss, no mess. The dog received half a cup of yogurt and is now peacefully snoring at my feet.

While many may think that my secret ability is gross or not impressive, I am at least content to know that I can pick out whatever damn color of carpet I want and not have to worry about paying to hire a professional to steam clean my carpet. Plus, it keeps the dog happy knowing that I’m not going to agonize over the results of an upset tummy that he couldn’t help in the first place.