Ampliatio


Ampliatio (am’-pli-a’-ti-o): Using the name of something or someone before it has obtained that name or after the reason for that name has ceased. A form of epitheton.


What’s in a name? Nothing. Rascal by any other name would still smell like a transfer station. Sure, we could’ve named him Stinker or Stenchy, but we named him Rascal when he was a puppy, before he started to smell like rotted durian. Some people’s eyes water when they come over for a drink, even if we’ve emptied a couple of cans of Glade on the couch and put Rascal and his dog bed in the back yard, in the garden shed. We have talked about tying a rope around his neck, tying a rock at the bottom of the rope, and throwing him into Watson’s Creek. But we couldn’t—we actually started crying and quit the conversation, put on our air filters and gave him a hug. We would never part with Rascal, no matter what. But we wanted to do something about his smell.

That night, I Googled “dogs that stink.” There was an ad, among the other hits, for “Sweet Zephyr Dog Destinkification.” They claimed they could make the worst stinking dogs in the world odor free. They were located in Calais, France. All I could think was that France is known for producing the world’s most fragrant fragrances. They had to be legit. We put down the $500.00 deposit, made the arrangements for shipping Rascal and getting him into the country legally, and bought our plane tickets. As a joke, we started calling Rascal Shalimar, anticipating his new French connection.

We travelled by train from Paris to Calais and took a taxi to Sweet Zephyr Dog Destinkification. When we arrived we saw Shalimar beyond the reception desk behind a glass enclosure. We met Dr. Fromage and he told us us that Shalimar was the most disgustingly stinky dog he had ever encountered. We were worried, but the Doctor assured us that he could render Shalimar odorless. We had no idea what the procedure for doing so was, but we trusted Dr. Fromage.

The day came. Shalimar was led by three air-filter-wearing orderlies, followed by Dr. Fromage, into the brightly lit operating theatre. The doors closed and we waited nearly a hour before the Doctor came out and told us everything was fine and that Shalimar was sleeping quietly on a comfy dog bed. We picked him up the next day and there was no smell! However, his tail was missing and there was a bandage where it used to be. We asked Dr. Fromage why Shalimar’s tail had been amputated. He looked surprised. “I thought I told you, Shalimar was suffering from a case of ‘Angry Tail’ where the tail rebels and produces a stenchq. We are not sure why the tail rebels, but we believe it is some kind of jealousy—it never gets petted like the rest of the dog, yet with its wagging, it attracts petting to the head—scratching behind the ears, etc. Most tails see their wagging as a sort teamwork with the body. But anyway, Shalimar is fixed now! Just put some Neosporin on his stump twice a day for the next two weeks and he’ll heal up nicely.

Shalimar has been odor-free for five years. Being tailless does not make much of a difference to him. He still wiggles his butt back and forth as a kind of wag. When he does that, we pet only his butt and leave the rest of him alone.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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