7:30 am is a critical time in Ray’s day, as it is the time that I go outside with him to let him do whatever he needs to do, after which I give him his breakfast.
As noted in a recent Post, I usually race him back to the house when he has finished outside and get great pleasure in watching him blast passed me!
Typically he will pee, and then be looking for some indication of me getting poised to race him back. He will generally be out again perhaps 2-3 hours later to poop. However, there have been many times that he has clearly wanted to poop at 7:30am and, either because he was not quite ready or breakfast was more important, he has not. We know the signs quite well. He sometimes drags his rear across a section of grass or, more commonly, he goes crazy for a few minutes and then poops. We assume that both routines simply loosen things up a little for him.
For a few days now, and as soon as he has peed, I have taken up a “play” stance to which Ray has responded in a slightly bemused way. He leaps around and I “rough up” his back half in a controlled but playful manner. He would do this for a minute or two and then watch me for the signal to race me back to the house and get his breakfast.
This morning, we may have had a break through! After he had peed, he faced me and went into a play stance. We then proceeded to run and leap around and I managed to “rough up” his rear end a few times. This lasted for probably a good 3 -4 minutes, when he suddenly broke off the game and trotted over to a corner of the garden and promptly pooped! Once that was done, he then stood waiting for the race signal!
It will be interesting tomorrow to see if he again encourages playing; breaks off to poop, and then clearly wants his breakfast i.e. Is he consciously using play to make his bowel movements easier?
While dwelling on the whole issue of Ray’s habits and how he could well be manipulating circumstances for his own benefit, I started thinking about those dog owners who just open the back door to let their dog out, and then wait for it to return. No doubt very time effective, and certainly convenient, but they are missing out on so much.
With the routine with Ray, I not only get the pleasure of seeing him very happy to be outside in the early morning; I get to now actively play with him; I get to see him power his way passed me as he heads for the back door; I get to know exactly what he has done which takes some of the guesswork out of the rest of the day and (really important), I know exactly where he pooped! It makes so much sense to throw some appropriate clothes on and go outside with him!
Of course I am very lucky to have neighbors who are preoccupied at 7:30am so they don’t see me leaping around with Ray! I suspect that they may not understand my behavior!