If you own dogs, or any pets for that matter, you have to have a healthy sense of humor. Dogs either have the best timing in the world or just know instinctively how to embarrass us humans. I think, really, they are just trying to keep us humble.
No one likes to speak of the dark side to owning pets. They are, after all, animals who never apologize for their bodily functions, follow their instinctual drives and go where their nose takes them. If that happens to be your boyfriend’s crotch, well, tell him not to make any sudden moves.
Over the years, I have definitely been annoyed, embarrassed and angered by (and apologetic for) my dogs behavior and actions. I wonder, though, how many times my dogs may have thought the same about me? Even though we live on the same planet, our worlds are entirely different and I am constantly amazed that we have made it thus far together.
Take, for instance, poop. Humans don’t like to talk about it (generally—I have a few friends who always have to bring up some aspect of their bowels during a conversation). Dogs, on the other hand, use it as a calling card, a treat or as a way to make our lives just plain miserable. One day, I even woke up from a very pleasant slumber to roll over and find poop on my pillow. Poop…on my pillow…looking at me with it’s little poop face. Charley, my old geriatric dog, had unknowingly dropped a solid turd during his sleep, and since he has a bad habit of resting his derriere on my pillows, said turd had a very comfy resting place.
It’s not enough that I’m constantly toting little green bags around whenever we go for a walk—from my dog’s perspective, since I immediately bag the waste, they must think I am fascinated by their excretions. Really, I’m not. But if I don’t scoop the poop, then either: 1) I step in it or 2) the dogs step in it and drag their poop-foot all over the house or 3) the dogs step in it and then jump on someone who is over for a visit and smear poop on them (try explaining to a hysterical friend that the mud they were angry about my dog getting on them is actually feces). I won’t even go into the whole eating-of-cat-poop nightmare. Poop breath is, well, poopy.
Related to the poop issue is the butt and genital licking issue. I know canines don’t use toilet paper, but dear God, the licking is out of control. I have three male dogs in my house and the penis licking never stops. If they are not licking their own, they are licking each others. I know…too much information. But while I’m sharing all their deep, dark secrets, I might as well bare all. And, speaking of baring all, Zella, my female dog, has no shame. She lets it all hang out all the time.
Another instance where my dogs and I have differing opinion is in the olfactory department. They just can’t seem to grasp the concept that dead things are not perfume. Grimm especially likes to generously apply his cologne—eau de putrid—after I have spent considerable time either giving him a bath or right before I have to be somewhere and really don’t have time to bathe him. Having to smell and then clean the death slime off my dogs is slowly driving me insane. I don’t even understand how one dog can find so many dead things. He must have them stockpiled somewhere where only he knows. My neighbor has even been a witness to the downfall of my sanity caused by the smell of decay.
One day, after Grimm coated himself in a particularly slimy dead thing, I drug him to the hose to commence the decontamination process. I happened to start a conversation with Grimm while I bathed him.
“Why would you do this? Why do you roll in dead things? This is just disgusting. I mean, what is this? Not only do you stink to high heaven , but you are coated with yellowish grease! You are driving me crazy!”
My neighbor, who happened to be walking by, stopped to witness the spectacle before him without my being aware of the fact. Here I was, berating my dog and talking to myself, while the stench of a rendering plant wafted through the air. I’m pretty sure my disheveled appearance left no doubt in his mind to the depths of crazy I had fallen.
I heard a chuckle and my neighbor said to me, “When that dog of yours tells you why he does the things he does, I want to know, too. He does look pretty proud of himself, though.”
“How long have you been standing there?”, I asked.
“Long enough to decide I am a completely crazy person, you mean.”
“Pretty much, but also long enough to see how much you love that damn dog.”
He left, chuckling to himself and I couldn’t help but start chuckling, too. The absurdity of the situation made me laugh out loud and Grimm, in response to my laughter, wagged and wiggled, causing death-slime water to sling all over me. I laughed louder. I probably even got some death juice in my mouth and eyes. I completed my chore, dried Grimm off and went inside. I was tired after all the scrubbing and was ready for a nap. I told myself, the only thing that would make my day complete would be to find a piece of feces on my bed. It would have been the icing on the cake…or, in my case, the poop on the pillow. I giggled to myself. What else can you do? It’s either laugh or cry, and I chose laughter.