Dogs and Litter Trays?

Ray has constantly amused and entertained me; perplexed and puzzled me; charmed and challenged me… with his pooping habits!

Being my first dog is obviously a major reason for my attention to such matters, and I know that so many of you relate to his pooping antics. For my more recent Followers, if you use the search field (upper right) for Posts with “poop” in them, you could well be surprised at the response!

There have been cats and rabbits in my background, so that is what I have to compare Ray against! Those of you with cats will know that most of them (I had one delinquent – Scooter) will very happily step into their litter tray; do what they need to do, and then cover it up. Brewster Bun accepted the cat’s litter tray quite readily, but he would not cover up after himself. Given the properties of rabbit poop, that was not a problem. The only issue with Brewster Bun was that he had a very short memory and, despite his scenting capacity, was a very visual bun. This meant that if he could not see the litter tray, then……………! Well we just had to supervise him at all times!

Ray, because of the freedom he has, gives us so much more “food for thought”! As noted in earlier Posts, why does to he sometimes turn a few circles before squatting? Why does he find it really suitable to squat in the middle of a shrub? Why would he use a sloping piece of ground, which is clearly making it awkward for him to maintain balance and encourages mobility in his poop? More recently, why does he poop; wait for me to bag it and tie the bag, and then poop again?

Recently, Ray took the adventures in pooping to a new level!

We were out on one of our now regular short walks when he started looking around in earnest, presumably for a place to squat. He had done it in that area on many occasions so, up to that point, this was not an unexpected (but hoped for) action on his part!

He was on the grass strip between the sidewalk and the road and so we watched, and waited, hoping that he would soon find the “magical” spot that seems a little elusive to him at these times. It started to get more interesting as, while he appeared to be making random turns, he was moving very close to the road. After a few moments he stopped, and he started to go into a squat position with his back feet on the roadside concrete curb! To add more concern to the situation, he was having a little balancing issue because one of his back feet was on the very edge.

I watched him swaying there when he seemed to grasp the cause of his problem, but his solution was to not only move away from the curb a little, but to also turn a little.  I said to Carol at that moment “He’s going to poop such that some will be on the grass, and some will be on the road!” That is exactly what happened! After bagging his poop from the grass, I had to step into the road to get the rest.

It is just too easy to explain his antics away as just natural canine behavior.  He is not a stupid dog and can manipulate better than some humans I know. Those of you who have read his book (pic in right column), may well remember that his plan to adopt us was much more effective than our plan to adopt some rescue dog!

Ray knows that when on a walk, it is usually me that picks up after him and, while I am doing that, he just stands and watches. Is his relaxed jaw nothing more than the sign of a relaxed dog… or could it be a smirk?

I have climbed into shrubs to recover his poop. I have trespassed on Ray’s behalf as I remove the evidence of his visit from a professionally landscaped sloping rockery. I have extricated his poop that had skewered itself on frozen long grasses, and I have to mention the numerous times that it has melted its way into a snow pile.

I may only be able to speculate on Ray’s motives but, while his habits are certainly interesting, there’s something to be said for a cat, or even a Brewster Bun, and a litter tray!

20 thoughts on “Dogs and Litter Trays?

  1. Pingback: Friday Five
  2. Give me dog poop over the litter any day! It isn’t even the poop that bothers me so much as the cat being perfectly happy to climb all over previous poops to go again.

    Also, I don’t think pre-pets that I ever thought I would spend so much time talking about poop!

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  3. Kudos to you Ray! Keep finding the trickiest places to go, making it harder for Colin! Yes Colin, Ray is definitely SMIRKING at you!! I mean where do you think he learned it from, he is your dog! 🙂

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    • It certainly can be! He went through a phase where he would wait until I was bending over to pick it up, and then go into a frantic digging mode. I would get covered in soil, leaves and who knows what else was on the ground there! He’d then look back at me with that relaxed jaw!

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  4. Ahh….cats are not always that simple either. Sometimes there is a message like a pee over the side to tell you that the box needs cleaning. Morgan recently caught me watching her so she hoisted her butt up and it sprayed the wall. I’m sure that was my fault.

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    • Oh yes…….. you just stirred a number of memories regarding cats and how they tell you to “Clean my damn tray so that I can use it. It’s disgusting in there!”.. or a similar message! 🙂


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