Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Big Problem with Poop-Wallowing Pups

The big problem with poop-wallowing pups, I realized with a stunned shock this morning, is that I don't know how I'm going to explain this to potential housesitters (even my housemate) should I decide to, oh, say, act like a real human being and go somewhere for the weekend without my dogs.

"Yes," I can say with sincerity, "It's a truly bonding experience to have just poured milk on your cereal, settled down in your nice warm robe and comfy slippers, and opened the funny pages, when the puppy and a noxious odor waft together through the dog door and wiggle up to you to share their new-found perfume." Then I can wax raphsodic about the joys of snagging the puppy's collar, hopefully not the part that's smeared with you-know-what, trying to stuff some goodies into your pocket with the other hand so that you'll have some rewards to try to mitigate slightly the trauma that the dog is about to endure, all the while keeping the dog far away from both yourself and the furniture.

Then imagine the pleasure of escorting the dog out through the narrow gap next to the doggie door, pausing while you kick off your slippers and slip on your yard shoes (never letting go of the dog), then out the porch door, down the stairs, and over to the spigot—and of course by now she knows what's going to happen because this has happened so many times before, so she's pulling and writhing and leaping in every direction, trying to get away. Then you turn on the hose with one hand, hanging onto the dog for dear life without your wrist getting sprained, and discover that the setting on the sprayer nozzle is wrong, so you fix that.

Then you try to spray off all the vestiges of doggie yuck from the dog's back, both sides, cheeks, ears, collar--oh yeah, and under the collar, too, don't forget that, and maybe on the legs, too--and some of it's layered pretty thickly for that truly intense aroma--without actually spraying the water under force directly in her ear, and without having the crud wash down into her eyes or mouth, and meanwhile keeping your hanging bathrobe away from the dog and the hose and the water--remember one hand is fighting with the collar and the other is holding the hose and you certainly don't want to try to snag her between your knees to hold her in place.

Meanwhile, as often as possible—still holding onto the collar—you set down the hose, tell the doggie what a good girl she is, and feed her some goodies. Then get back to work, you've barely touched the surface.

Oh, yes, housesitters will love that.

2 comments:

  1. Okay, it's time to really work on this problem! ;-) Sounds like this little pup has too much freedom right now. Consider fencing off an area for her to potty in unless you are supervising her or have had a chance to clear the yard of everyone's yummy droppings? Or will she poop and roll in her own?

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  2. Well, there's the question. Does it bother me enough to want to supervise her at all times? Even if I fenced off a portion of the yard just for her, I'd somehow have to get her into it and out of it on a regular basis and then keep her shut up all the rest of the time (except when I'm with her) while the other dogs have the run of the yard. I've thought about going back to keeping her in a crate all the time and going back to tracking when she needs to potty and going back to always supervising her when she's out of her crate, but the idea is even more exhausting than hosing her off regularly. And it's not clear that that will cure the problem, just postpone it until the next time I decide to let her have free rein. I'm certainly not going to supervise her for the rest of her life, and I haven't yet seen a way to cure the problem. -taj muttHall

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