One of the joys of dog ownership is taking your dog with you on vacations.

One of the joys of dog ownership is taking your dog with you on vacations. This is not a joy we’ve embraced in our almost three years of owning Molly the Dog. Usually we dump her at Hubby’s brother’s house or at Hubby’s dad’s vet office. But as Molly has gotten older and calmer (read: she travels in the car better than she used to), last weekend we decided to take her to my parents’ house with us.

Now, I did not have a dog growing up. My mom said it was because, “You love dogs and then they die,” as she’d get teary-eyed over her favorite dog Mandy who they’d had to put to sleep when I was a toddler. And this was when I’d ask her for a dog as a teenager.

But I think also they never got us a dog because my parents are fastidiously clean. That meant scrubbing corners of my closet no friend would ever see before being allowed to have someone over to spend the night. This means currently that my mom will use three different spoons to cook the green beans on the stove because my father has loaded the other two in the dishwasher before she’s finished making dinner.

A dog and its hair in that house? Not gonna happen.

So Molly the Dog spent the weekend outside at my parents’ house, which was totally fine because it was gorgeous weather. And we only had to look at sad puppy dog eyes staring at us through the glass door when one of the children wasn’t entertaining her in the back yard.

Sunday morning, as the rest of us smart people slept past seven, my early-riser father and my early-riser children sat outside with Molly the Dog. As they were petting her and talking to each other, Molly the Dog started licking her bottom. As dogs do. To which my children gagged, as children do.

“Now just remember where her tongue has been when Molly licks you,” my father who likes to be clean AND who likes to gross out his grandchildren pointed out.

My dad said that not five seconds later, Molly jumped up and licked G on the cheek.

And in the perfect culmination of dogs being dirty and children rightly gagging, with a response no one could top, Little Missy squealed: “Eww, fresh from the butt!”

Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,