The Next World?

Now here is a topic on which I would love some feedback: Canine Poop and Pee habits!

I have watched Ray’s body language with great interest since he adopted us and, while there have many revelations, his toilet habits are still a bit of a puzzle. He pees whenever and wherever necessary to either empty his bladder, or to simply let other dogs know that he has been around. I would assume that pooping is simply a necessary function with no other agenda impacting it.

The “why” of his toilet habits is therefore not difficult to understand, and the “where” is a little odd sometimes, but there has been an element of consistency (pooping over tall grasses*). The puzzle with both P and P functions is the preliminary “posturing”!

Ray will be happily walking along, sniffing the ground, and then stop. If a pee is on his mind, his habits are broad. At its simplest, he just lifts his leg against the nearest vertical object. At its more complex, he gets his leg elevated and suddenly changes his mind and moves on. Why the change? We saw no distraction. Sometimes he will simply squat, female style, but this seems to be generally when there is nothing vertical that appeals to him. His peeing habits pose a number of questions however, the main reason for this post are his pooping habits!

We have been out walking with Ray so many times that, based on his “routines”, we can pretty much predict when he will be thinking about pooping. We will be watching him, while checking that one of us a poop bag or two with us, and he will make his move. Occasionally he will find a suitable slope which makes for some quite mobile stools! Is it really crossing his mind that they should roll away from him as fast possible? (Go get them Colin!). At other times he will go off the trail and into long grasses, or heavily planted areas or, if in a residential area, underneath somebody’s hedge. (Go find them Colin).

The basis for this Post however is when he stops, and we wait with anticipation. We see his back legs spread and slightly bend, and then he changes his mind and wanders off sniffing the ground. He may do this four or five times before he decides that the time is right. A variation on the same theme is the apparent thought that “I can’t poop here so I’ll pee instead!” Watching Ray switch from an almost poop position, to a pee position (male style) is quite remarkable. I am expecting him to fall over at any moment but his track record to date is very good!

I could make sense of it all if I believed that, after squatting, he really did not have to go and perhaps he was simply getting mixed messages. However, that argument falls down a little when he does it 3 or 4 times over the course of a few minutes and then does eventually poop! What alignment of circumstances was he waiting for?

Given that his view of the world is generally quite simplistic, why do I have to get wound up over analyzing his performances? Why do I feel it necessary to put all this in a public forum and invite theories? Why, for all the time taken thinking about this topic and getting it down “in print”, has Ray been curled up in a chair looking so comfortable and clearly sleeping.

If there is a “next world”, I want to come back as 75lbs of fur on four legs. It seems to be far less mentally demanding!

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13 thoughts on “The Next World?

  1. T’s routine is elaborate, but possibly not as elaborate as Ray’s. He abruptly reverses direction at least once before he squats to poop, and prefers to do so on ornamental rocks or snow, where they are available. He chooses areas that are more sheltered or out of the way, for pooping. He mostly pees standing up, though sometimes will lift his leg. His balance is challenging for him, given his leg and hip problems, so he tends to be more four-on-the-floor than most dogs. He’s recently adopted the habit of kicking grass afterward, because he’s seen other dogs do it, which I think is funny, because he walks too far away before he does it for it to have the intended effect, but he’s clearly very proud of what a big, sophisticated boy he is.

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  2. Great post! Elvis LOVES pooing on tall clumps of grass, the coarser the better (and harder for us to pick it up – of course!). And he doesn’t mind pooing on steep driveways. If I was fast enough, I’d try to catch them as they rolled, but I’m usually having fun trying to open the plastic doggie bag while holding two leashes 🙂 There’s definitely patterns to their peeing and pooing though, marking appearing to be only a part of it. I’m sure playing with the humans’ minds is another part!

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  3. If there is a “next world”, I want to come back as 75lbs of fur on four legs. It seems to be far less mentally demanding!
    Hahaha… PERFECT!! I have the same wishes for me. I really wouldn’t mind it if I’m a dog in my next birth! 😛

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  4. I remember the post you wrote about Ray favoring the top of snow piles to poop on and the turds rolling down. I think you got me following you with that one! (Sick minds think alike?) Anyway!
    I have read about the pee thing on trees/vertical objects is a mailbox for dogs and the highest smell is the king. Regarding poop… Who knows what goes on in their brains. Breck only wants to poop at ‘home’. Home may be where we park the camper. Oreo.. anywhere!

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  5. Ah, the joys of the doggy Double P.
    I always believed that dogs were ‘scent marking’ with their frequent spot wees, especially if they were somewhere new. When Maggie is in season, she does indeed scent mark but we never had queues of dogs outside.
    I don’t understand the circular habit before performance, but it seems that tall grass for poo is favoured. Could it be they wish to hide the evidence? Maggie would always go behind a bush in the woods (I want to be alone, or this is private! kind of thing).
    These signals are familiar to us though and we can get the poo bags out in readiness.
    Our friend had a bitch prior to his current dog, and it was hilarious watching the two of them…. Jen wee’d first, then Maggie in the same spot. Jen came back, sniffed, and had another go, as did Maggie. This went on for about five minutes, a total of six pees (and circling) each. I have no idea who won the ‘contest’!

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