Friday, April 20, 2007

This is the Shit

(Take this post title very literally and don't say I didn't warn you.)

After an alarming number of hours had passed with nary a poop from Alex, I was getting worried. I mean, I don't obsess, but when you handle a creature's poop on a daily basis, you know how many deposits you can reasonably expect within a 24 hour period. ZERO was not reasonable.

(If you want to learn about excrement obsession, read Judy Blume's novel Wifey, in which the husband keeps a chart of the family dog's daily 'sticks' and 'wees'.)

I didn't know what to do except take him out every couple of hours, ignoring the smirking neighbors as I patiently explained to my dog why it was unhealthy to hold it in. Each time, he gamely lifted his trembling leg for a quick pee, but pooping? No thank you, please let's run back to the house as quickly as possible so I can resume my spot behind the washing machine.

Since I'm an amateur canine psychologist, I'll offer my opinion:

I think the poop avoidance has to do with the vulnerability of the squatting position.

Dogs look so pathetic when they're pooping, don't they? All awkward and hunched over, the quivering body balanced on a tight bouquet of paws, just begging to be toppled and devoured by a stealthy enemy. The pee position, on the other hand, doesn't compromise the dog's mobility as much, since the dog has three or four paws flat on the ground.

(Coming soon to a Barnes & Noble near you: What up, Dawg? A Study of Canine Elimination Neuroses.)

SO... eventually the wind storms ceased and we returned to our regularly scheduled pooping (I'm resisting the urge to make a Sticks & Wees chart) (note to self: Sticks & Wees could make an excellent band name) and all seemed well. That is, all seemed well until we once again experienced the strange phenomenon of ...


I originally called it The Curious Incident of the Turds in the Night-Time, but then Mark Haddon's book made the bestseller list and he threatened to sue me. Whatever.

So here's what happens with the Mysterious Turds in the Night:

Upon hearing Alex's collar tags jingling, I wake up. I listen groggily, thinking that he's just changing into a more comfortable position. As my head clears I realize that he's upset about something. He's sniffing and turning in worried circles. I reach down with my hand to comfort him, and as I grope the fleece blanket my fingers close around a strange object. It's small and round and has a funny texture and suddenly I am aware that OH GOD, I AM FONDLING A TURD.

In the three or four times that this has happened, I've turned on the light to find two small, dry turds sitting on his blanket. Very easy to clean up; I just pick them up with a Kleenex and flush them down the toilet. But Alex seems to find this extremely upsetting, and I can only guess that it's because he knows he is not supposed to pee or poop inside, and other than the Mysterious Turds in the Night and one very unfortunate bout with diarrhea, he never, ever has accidents in the house.

Following this latest incident, he banished himself to the bed in the spare room.

I'm assuming that the turds somehow escape while he's sleeping. Is it like nocturnal emission, but with poop? Is he dreaming of pooping, and they just, I don't know, squeeze out?

I'd tell you more, but somehow I suspect that I've already said way too much.



Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

I think that was a bit too detailed for me ;-)

9:27 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Well, I'm relieved he finally went! And you probably could write a book on dog psychology :)

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Hee hee hee. I am glad he finally dropped the turd.

We very nearly renamed a now-deceased cat "Dingleberry" because he always seemed to have one dangling from his butt. He was a VERY chubby kitty, and when he sat down, his buttcheeks kind of ....enveloped the dingleberry. There were never any marks anywhere because of this phenomenon. We only caught it when he paraded in front of our faces.

I miss that cat.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I understand. Not the pooping in the night thing. But the strange familiarity that you get with your dog's poop. As a puppy, Rowen ate, well, everything. It was always a new surprise what would come out of her hindside (half a toy, a straight pin, an intact paper towel---to this day I can't explain how that got in her or out of her), so I took to inspecting her poop when I scooped. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was a total freak for examining dog poop so intently.

11:44 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

I'm right with you here!! I've had quite a few dogs and currently have 3! Luckily only one is a 'pooper' but unfortunatly he's a 'secret pooper'!! Where you find his turds 3 days after the fact, but your know that something is amiss smell-wise!!

Problem is (and it makes me dry-heave just thinking about it!) that we also have a 'poop eater!! My little Cairn Terrier!! (And possibly the miniature Dachshund!!) Hmmmmm.....

Anyhow, sorry you had to 'fondle'!! EWWWWW

Ok! Time to change the subject here!!

Have a GREAT weekend!

3:10 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Sorry, bookworm. :)

Thanks, B. Maybe you can write the foreword?

I was really hoping someone would say, "Oh! That happened to my dog, too!"

I've had other dogs, and this is a first. Betsy, they're not dingleberries...they're too big for that. It just seems like they come out accidentally while he's sleeping. But I did enjoy the description of your cat parading about. :D

Lisa- I knew you'd understand.

Serious- I learned pretty quickly. Now I can tell by the way he's moving if there are turds nearby, and I turn the light on before touching anything.

Fortunately it's only happened a few times. I figure we're averaging one MTITN incident per year.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

When I see a dog pooping, pathetic doesn't come to mind.


You are now an official turd fondler. Liz is a turd fondler. Neener neener neener.

9:20 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

Just one more thing on the subjec! I have this desert tortoise and he likes to ....... Ummmmm, never mind!!

3:34 AM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Sticks and wees....maybe you could suggest that one for Mike's band?

Alex could be their stand-in drummer.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Caffeinated Librarian said...

*grin* I laughed at the "fondle" thing too, RUS.

Btw, Lady - thanks for the visit! I answered you on my blog, but I figured that it was so buried now that you'd never see it. So here you's this for "outreach?" ;-)

Re. the clarinet: knew I liked you for some reason!

As for the coffee, I'm not sure I'm the one to ask. I've never heard from anyone that I make good coffee and, for all the cuppas I drink, I'm not food-snobby enough to have done any research on it even. I grind my beans, but that's because they stay good longer in bean form. I buy high end beans mostly, but that's because if I think the coffee I brew at home tastes good I'm less likely to feel the burning need to buy a latte later. So really it's a money saving thing for me (yeah, yeah, THAT'S the ticket!).

Otherwise, I use one of those little coffee scoops and add one less scoop than I have cups of water. Ta-da, that's it for my coffee wisdom.

11:22 PM  

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