Last weekend I was enjoying the warmth of a beautiful Spring morning while walking my three dogs. Rosie, my 15-year-old Hound mix has a propensity for eating repulsive street morsels if not carefully monitored – cat poop, clumps of mysterious animal hair, dead frogs, discarded food scraps… you get the idea.
Lost in the loveliness of the day, my laser focus wavered just long enough for her to snag the flattened, decaying carcass of a little gray mouse. As I pried it’s oddly firm remains from her vice-like grip I wondered: Can our relationship recover from this blow? Can I ever giddily receive another good morning lick on the cheek from my sweet, silly Hound without flashing back to the horror of this moment??
I’ve witnessed pups committing some pretty nasty faux paws in my day, some of which still haunt my dreams. I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the most vile offenses our precious pooches can perpetrate against us. Deciding whether they’re Doggy Deal Breakers is entirely up to you. You’re the one who has to look your pup in the eye.
If you’re a dog lover then, chances are, you’re pretty fond of animals in general. Thankfully I have never personally owned a canine assassin, but I’ve known a few. It’s in the nature of certain breeds to chase down and terminate small woodland creatures. It’s their innate prey drive. I get that. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. The senseless murder of squirrels, moles, birds and adorable bunnies is definitely on my personal list of Deal Breakers.
2. Unidentified Stains On Your Pillow
My senior Lhasa Apso mix eats his meals of organic canned food on my bed. Usually with me hand feeding him each bite because he prefers not to get his beard dirty. Afterwards he performs a strange ritual of rolling, kicking his legs in the air and smearing his face on my bedding. I’ve grown accustomed to changing my pillowcase twice a day, but once I came across the following stain…What IS it?? Why is it in such a straight line?? Needless to say, that pillowcase went in the trash.
Male or female, neutered or intact – some dogs just be humpin’. It’s not always a Deal Breaker, and can sometimes be rather amusing. I had a 10 pound senior spayed female Shih-Tzu that would hump her 70-pound Shepherd Mix brother. She was also blind and deaf, which made the whole scene even more ridiculous. Things really get awkward when your dog starts humping you. Or your children. Or your grandma. Or your favorite stuffed dog named Josephine that you’ve had since you were 3. (I am so sorry, Josephine.)
4. Rolling in Mystery Substances
There is probably a scientific reason why dogs come across a rotting, foul smelling substance and think to themselves “If only my entire body could be coated in this sweet perfume!” But I don’t know what that reason is, and this isn’t that kind of post anyway. The first time I saw one of my dogs do this I thought it was adorable. I was 10 and my dog was having a grand old time rolling on the beach. Little did I know, he was rolling in a sun baked, rotting fish corpse. Riding next to him on the hour and a half drive home definitely added the Mystery Roll to my list of Deal Breakers.
5. Squirting You With Anal Glands
I was a vet tech so I, unfortunately, have squeezed my share of anal glands. If you have ever had a hot, fresh dose of anal glands squirted onto your skin or clothing, you know that that odor not only stays with you, that odor haunts your nightmares. It’s certainly not your pup’s fault – sometimes their anal glands release if they are nervous or startled, but it can be hard to look your BFF in the eye after an incident like that.
6. Stealing Your Underwear
Yeah, I know, dogs like our clothes because they smell like their favorite humans. But couldn’t they steal our T-shirts from the hamper just as easily as our underwear? There’s definitely a more sinister reason that they prefer our naughty bits to our more civilized wardrobe staples, and I for one, don’t want to think about it. My advice to all you pawrents of pervy pups: Don’t ask why. Just lock that little factoid away in your mind vault and forget about it.
7. Bringing Dead Creatures Into Your Bed
My dogs may not murder critters, but they sure are fascinated with their corpses. I live in the South, and geckos are as abundant as mosquitoes. Every now and then the poor little fellas get trapped in the house and starve to death…and then my dogs carry their crispy carcasses into my bed and attempt to eat them like granola bars. Take it from me, the crunching sound of a mummified lizard is something you don’t soon forget. Gag.
8. Pooping Out Your Belongings
I once met a Rottweiler that ate his mom’s $2,000 diamond earrings off of her bedside table simply because she refused to wake up and play with him. The owner swore he did it out of spite. Luckily they passed through his digestive tract with no problem, and she was able to “retrieve” them. I’m not sure any piece of jewelry is important enough to me that I would wear it again after that ordeal. Not even my wedding ring. Sorry, honey.
9. Watching You Get Busy
We’re all adults here. We can talk about this, right? It’s not such a big deal if they’re in the room during the deed so much as the watching. What are they thinking? Are they judging us? And then there are the pups that try to touch you – paw at your arm or lick your nekkid, vulnerable bits…enough said. Deal Breaker.
10. Eating Their Own Vomit Or Poop
As you can tell from this list, I have witnessed some pretty gross dog behavior. As common as this one is, it’s just something I never get used to. Somehow it’s way less gross to me when Rosie eats old, decaying cat poop than when she goes in for a taste of her own hot-off-the-presses dookie. The same goes for vomit. There may be some semi-formed kibble floating in there, but it’s surrounded by foamy bile and stomach acid! In other words – GROSS.
We want to hear all about your own traumatic experiences and Doggy Deal Breakers. It’s okay to let it out. Talking about it is therapeutic. This is a safe space.