It was suggested recently (and indirectly) that I write a Post about Ray’s poop (thanks Kate)!
Picking up after Ray is a very intense experience as it encompasses so much. There is the general interest of his pre-poop rituals; the humorous aspects; memory tests; responsibility to other public area users; Ray training, and a refresher in the laws of physics which can be extended to survival skills in our extreme winter conditions! What else could possibly offer such a smorgasbord of benefits?
Ray’s pre-requisites for a good place to poop are somewhat of a mystery although there are distinct patterns. He is a very “regular” guy, so we know generally the time he will need to poop (usually once in the early morning and again in the afternoon while on his walk). We accommodate him on his walk by staying within easy access to grass and plants, so we won’t hit the downtown area until after his afternoon poop! He will only poop on a hard surface in desperation, so we try and avoid those circumstances.
With us coaxing him along (“C’mon Ray. Poop buddy”), his initial response is usually to look at us and then pee. This tends to be repeated until (typically), he starts to drop into a poop squatting position, but then leans to one side and pees again. We could read a sense of humor into it, but rather suspect that he was just getting mixed messages from “back there”.
He is also very selective about where he poops! We have not cracked “the code” yet but, as noted on an earlier Post*, he really likes to squat either over the top of a plant, or on a slope. I would love to understand his rationale!
Picking up his poop is a simple matter using the bags designed for the job, although they can get complicated as well**. The only key here is to not focus on the texture being felt through the bag!
Picking up Ray’s poop has a distinct psychological benefit! The feeling of being a responsible dog owner and not passing unpleasant situations onto other people is good! It is like patting yourself on the back! Good job Colin!
At my age, which is a few years older than your age, regular use of those memory cells is quite important so, not only do I allow my brain to ponder the various aspects of Ray pooping, I also have to remember where the nearest garbage bin is located. Given the delicate nature of my short term memory, that becomes an important factor in maintaining mental dexterity!
Ray has already grasped the concept that after he has pooped, we pick it up and drop it into a garbage bin. There have been occasions when he appears to have gone out of his way to poop near a garbage bin (thank you buddy!), but more training is required in that area.
Finally, revisiting physics! I can remember various laws of physics from way back (1960’s), and in particular something about gases expanding when heated (Boyle’s Law perhaps?). It always brings a smile to my face when, on a bitterly cold day, I pick up Ray’s steaming poop and (after knotting the bag) I can watch it slowly fill out into an impromptu balloon. Education is truly a wonderful thing… and that bag can get so warm! A hand warming concoction … produced (literally) by Ray!
Who could even think that a Post on canine poop would not be both interesting… and educational?
(How did I do Kate?)
*See “Oops ……. Poops!” – November 28, 2014
**See “Ewwwwwwwww!” – January 7, 2015