As dog owners collectively, the amount of time we spend discussing, researching, contemplating, and watching for our dogs’ poop is a little… well, insane. Spend even a little bit of time with someone who’s not a dog person while discussing your dogs’ bowels and you can make the uninitiated non-dog person feel like they’re talking to that guy who strips down and shakes his junk at passing cars… he may have some cool stories, but how much of the junk-shaking can you handle before needing to leave?
I think most of us have had the “Oh Shit” moment, both figuratively and literally. Explosive, fountainous, absent, acorn-filled, green, yellow, blue (Yes, Mr. T we are talking to you), gray and every shade in between, it comes regularly and irregularly. Given how much time we spend talking, thinking, and laughing about dog poop, it’s fitting that we will have a regular column focusing on all things fecal.
For our inaugural poo post, each of us will be sharing our fondest (most memorable? most disgusting? most laughable? ) poo-related tale, just to show that really, it all comes down to poop.
Most of IRL friends will remember the incident now famously referred to as the “Blue Poo Watch 2010”. Yeah…blue poo. For real. We were on one of our regular dog park outings (back when we used to go frequently) and Mr. T was merrily playing with several of his doggy friends. One of his playmates’ owners took out a squishy blue plastic ball and instantly every dog in the park was fascinated with it. Turns out this particular toy has some sort of mystical powers that not even the most normally toy-disinterested pooch can resist. He threw the ball and all the dogs took off after it. Mr. T, being insanely fast, was the first to reach the ball. He instantly snatched it up in his mouth and took off with his head held high in pride that he had the most-coveted blue ball. Naturally, all the other dogs wanted it, so an epic game of chase ensued. Wanting to throw the ball again, I went over to Mr. T and told him to “drop it”. To my horror, instead of dropping it, he took a giant gulp and swallowed it whole! Immediately after swallowing it, he looked at me with his typical pittie grin, that I swear said “Ha! Now I can haz it forever and ever!”. Knowing that the toy could cause all sorts of problems, we rushed right off to the vet. By the time we got to the vet, they tried to induce vomiting to get the ball out, but nothing happened, much to my dismay. An X-Ray was next, and showed that the ball had moved swiftly down his GI tract and settled in his gut. The vet assured me that given how far it had traveled already, combined with the flexible and soft material the ball was made out of, it should be out of his system in a matter of days. I left the vet still unsettled, but fully prepared to watch his poo for a few days until the remnants of the blue ball made an appearance. Well, a few days turned into a week, which eventually turned into two weeks. All my friends had learned about the Blue Poo Watch and checked in daily for updates. I literally could not stop thinking about the stupid blue ball that was somewhere inside Mr. T, surely causing all sorts of trouble. I dreamed about blue poo. I talked constantly about blue poo. I googled blue poo. I was a woman obsessed…with blue poo. After more than two weeks of waiting, watching, and poking at his turds, I had finally given up hope and thought maybe the ball had disintegrated and I’d missed it, or maybe we had to go to back to the vet to have it removed surgically. However, the very next day (the 16th day of my blue poo watch), Mr. T became agitated and went to my front door and cried. I leashed him up and ran outside. Not even 10 feet outside of our front door, Mr. T let out a little scream (high-pitched and super girly sounding for a dog his size) and then pooped. As I bent down to pick it up the poo, I realized that he had not actually extruded any actual poop, but rather an ENTIRE blue ball. Yep, the ball he swallowed 16 days prior came out exactly how it looked when it went in. Right before my eyes, I saw the smushed (and still awfully blue) ball fill up with air and take on its original shape. I sat there staring at it, both relieved that the Blue Poo Watch of 2010 was over, and horrified that this stupid plastic ball had gone through his entire GI system completely unscathed. Both Mr. T and I took a giant sigh of relief and could finally go on with our lives. In the end, I came out of this experience with three important lessons/questions: 1) I can’t let Mr. T have any toys smaller than his head, 2) We really needed to work on our “drop it”, and 3) I really have to question what China makes their dog toys out of…seriously…two weeks….
Among the most recent stories, there is the case of my cattle dog exploding outwards (and upwards) in the back of the car and onto the windshield in what could only be described as a terrible mix of circumstances. Nearly every Monday evening I’m off to an obedience class either as an assistant or a participant. I had been hanging out at the park with my dogs doing some training when I realized we were running behind that fateful Monday morning. I tossed the dogs in the car and headed off to class along our usual route. The cattle dog has a particular interest in three sections of highway which have cattle pastures along the edges and each has an even chance of having cattle in visible range. She will attempt to stuff herself through the window so she can yell at them (I presume staging directions) and gets irrevocably worked up in the process, panting, pacing, and frantic licking (I presume to get me to pull over so she can direct cattle traffic). In this instance, I wrote it off as her usual antics and left it at that. Suddenly, a scent so noxious filled the car (And she is world-famous for her noxious gas) and I gagged. Peering in the rear-view mirror what I saw would turn the stomach of any Subaru enthusiast. Needless to say I am still traumatized by the clean up.
Among Dog owners, perhaps the most poo-obsessed are the Raw Feeders. A- Dare I say cult?-cult of people crazy enough to chop up large mammals in their front yard and stuff them in pre-weighed portions into their freezers. I, Potnoodle, am a member of this cult. When I first started feeding raw, I was out at four in the morning with a stick and a flashlight… inspecting poop. My most memorable moment from this dark time in my life was taking L to her first agility trial while on a raw diet. I packed things that would be easy to feed, and not make too big of a mess. Anyone that has ever fed raw probably knows where this is going. No bone means loose poop. Everywhere. L was in a continental hair cut at the time and her bracelets on her back legs were absolutely covered in a liquid so disgusting that I gag at the memory of it. Think tripe doesn’t smell good going in? It was terrible and I was stuck outside a La Quinta with no way to clean up the mess on the ground, much less the mess on her legs. I had a bag, for picking up solid poop but that just wasn’t going to cut it here. Despite knowing that, I valiantly tried… and failed. When the poop bag didn’t suffice, I pulled the old stand by- kick some dirt on it and hope no one is watching. With that (sort-of) taken care of, I was left with the problem of L’s nasty bracelets. No outside access to a hose, and I did not want to take her into the room smelling like that. Her crate was cloth, and this was a stink that would never wash out. My solution? Pick her up and carry her, feet as far away from my body as possible, back to the room, where I popped her into the shower and rinsed her down. Of course, I then had to dry her legs with the dinky hotel hair dryer. This is how I learned, the hard way, that L needs daily balance in her diet.
Have a memorable poop story of your own? Share with us in the comments!