Some people think they’re dog lovers. Some people say they’re dog lovers. Some people even believe they really are dog lovers. However, most people just don’t have what it takes to fully own the true “I’m a Dog Lover” title. It’s pretty simple to tell if you do or not. If you are a true dog lover you will be able to relate to most of what I’m about to write; and the stuff that sounds disgusting to most people, won’t bother you a bit.
We are true dog lovers and yes, we can own the title proudly. We’ve earned it. I know this to be true because I have done some things that I never, ever thought I’d do and yet now I’m bragging about them. Seems odd but could be interesting. We’ve done simple things like buy dog proof furniture. No real leather, we’re all about really nice pleather! Really, it’s nice. I can’t see spending thousands of dollars on real leather when I know I’m going to let the dogs on it and cloth is out of the question. Our whole house is tile except for the new area rug we just bought. I found one at Costco, I absolutely loved it along with a gorgeous coffee table. We got our stuff at Wal-Mart or Big Lots or somewhere like that. But, I don’t worry about the dogs being on any of it. Well, they aren’t allowed on the coffee table but still.
Our bed has never been our own. When we had smaller dogs we could have a couple on there but now with Jax, who I’ve mentioned is ginormous, it’s a bit cozy with just him. He’s pretty good about laying down the middle of the bed. However, there’s a few things that need to be done quickly and with precision for this sleeping situation to work well. We have to get to the bed before him so we can move the blankets and pillows because once his big body is laying down, there’s no moving him. This means there’s some trickery involved in order to fake him out for a few minutes. Once we’re in the bed then he knows exactly where his spot is. One truly unfortunate thing that we’ve succumbed to by letting Jax on the bed is, well, hmm, I don’t want to embarrass him but, his farts will clear an entire city block. I’m talking call the Haz-Mat team in! Neighbors go outside to see what the stink is, thinking it might be an attack of some sort. It’s quite unpleasant. With that said I’m sure you can imagine the damage he can do in close quarters such as when he’s lying on our bed (sometimes with his butt towards our faces) and he farts. It quickly becomes a critical situation that no one, not a Navy Seal, not a Green Barret, no one can ever be fully prepared to deal with. Immediately, the oxygen level drops by 40%. Eyes start watering, noses start running, there’s coughing, gagging, and choking involved; and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get the blanket over your nose to block some of it out. If not, the room starts spinning and even though you tell yourself it’s not possible, you believe you can taste the unbelievably offensive odor. All you can do is evacuate the area or get the covers over your mouth until the gray cloud dissipates. Again, quite unpleasant.
Other simple things that I’m sure many people also do are bathe their dogs inside during winter because the water is way too cold outside; try 100 different kinds of food to hide medicines in; celebrate and buy presents for their birthday; and lay on the floor with them when they’re sick. (Ok so maybe not everyone lays on the floor with them). Another thing is dealing with dog hair. Most everyone with dogs has to work with that. Making sure there’s none in the food, on the counter, near the table and so on. This means vacuuming incessantly; never ending vacuuming. We have TWO vacuums and we vacuum daily. Sometimes twice! I mean, we can’t be the only ones who do that. Oh and poop cleaning up. That too has to get done every single day because our dogs are big and that means big poops and many piles. We even feed them grain free food and they still poop a lot. Again, I’m sure that too is something others also deal with.
Some maybe not super common things that other dog lovers might do is apologize for stepping on a tail or paw. Saying bless you when they sneeze. Having a completely one-sided conversation with them and being positive they understand. Moving out of the way for them, not the other way around. Saying excuse me and thank you to them. Asking them questions; again, sure that they know what you’re asking and hoping that maybe one day they’ll answer. Defending them when someone blames their own fart on them. Sitting uncomfortably on the sofa so you don’t have to make them move, because they look so comfy and cute. Allowing them to lick your face, a lot! Walking around furniture rather than making them get up. Leaving a light on for them when you’re not home. Of course the radio or television gets left on as well so they aren’t lonely. Buying seven different types of food over a short span because they just don’t seem to truly enjoy any of them. Buying them different food bowls and water containers because their tag clanks on the metal one and it freaks them out or the water bottle bubbles and scares them. Making sure they have supplements that you don’t even take, like fish oil and vitamin E because those help their skin, coat, and digestion so they CAN’T be without them! And if you’re spending $50 on a 32 pound bag of dog food that lasts two weeks, why wouldn’t you give them supplements right? Exactly!
These next things that I’m going to mention will determine the level of Dog Lover you can legitimately claim to be. Are you sort of a dog lover? Are you pretty much a dog lover? Are you no longer thinking you’re a dog lover? Or are you 100% dog lover no matter what? I’m talking hands down-gold medal, on the cereal box winner of dog lovers everywhere. You can decide now but we’ll see how you feel when we’re done here. Some things are a bit gag worthy in my opinion so consider this your fair warning.
A simple thing that is in the higher level of dog lover is taking your dog to the Chiropractor. Stop laughing; yes, we take our boy Jax to the Chiropractor for a neck and back issue he has with a disk. We’ve tried numerous medicines but nothing works so Chiropractic care is now part of our routine. Let’s move on to the truly not so simple and sometimes nasty stuff. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve had many dogs over the years. We had a foster once who ate kite string. We didn’t know she ate the kite string until a 2 foot long piece was hanging out of her butt. Yes, just hanging there. What does one do in such a situation? We had no idea but knew we had to get it out. Ok, I knew Marc had to get it out! He’s such a trooper. The only solution since it wasn’t moving was to slowly pull the string out! I think “disgusting” is the word you’re look for here. One of our dogs gets ear infections. He took it to a whole new level recently. I realized his ear was swollen when I got a whiff of the horrific stench coming from his head. I lifted the flap and there was an unfathomable amount of puss and blood oozing out. No I’m not a bad parent. He had been rubbing his ear earlier that day and then again just before the explosion of nasty. He ruptured a puss sack. Sounds yummy huh? It was horrendous grossness. Anyway, wiping green and gray puss while holding your breath is disgusting. So let’s talk bodily functions now. I definitely would rather catch pee than mess with poop. I mean it’s difficult and quite awkward as you follow the dog around and hope you can get the container under them in time to get enough but without misjudging and putting your hand in the stream. Then of course playing it cool when you did overshoot it. Still, it’s not “solid” bodily waste and to me that’s maybe just a bit better. Poop is just a line I’d rather never have crossed. It’s disgusting to dig through poop. I’m not proud to say I’ve done it more than once, searching for worms. When we fostered a mom and her pups, the mom made worm searching super easy. She pooped what looked like a pile of spaghetti but it was actually all thick, white worms, that was much worse than any poop digging I’ve ever done. That one tested my stomach and my ability to swallow my own vomit. The easiest thing is collecting poop for the vet. Putting the poop in a container, Tupperware, whatever will work, is fine. I’m not saying it’s something I’m looking to do as a hobby. Just that I’m fine with doing it. Now, keeping it in the refrigerator until you take it to the vet, not always so fine. It’s not like it stinks once it’s in the container and we always put it in a lunch bag so no one has to look at it. But you still know it’s there. You’re aware that right next to the butter is a bag with your dog’s turd in it. Enough about poop for now. You haven’t felt something totally gag worthy until you’ve had to literally pull a soggy, slippery, piece of something that’s covered in dog food bits and bile out of your dog’s throat. For us, it was a piece from a rawhide bone that our son’s lab was choking on. Trying to grab it and pull while he’s gagging and you’re gagging and he’s going to throw up is difficult. You have to stay focused but it’s like handling a slimy fish-almost impossible. You can’t give up though. I mean if he dies you’re going to feel so much worse than if he throws up on your or you throw up on him. So you persevere and get it out. Keep in mind, you’ll never be the same because you will forever cringe when you hear anything that sounds remotely like a dog gagging.
I’ve saved what I consider to be the absolute worst thing ever, for last. Sharting. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s when a person “thinks” they need to fart but they sh*t themselves instead. (It’s fun and educational here). Humans do it. You don’t have to admit you have but I’ll go out on a limb here and say, “most” people have had some level of sharting occur in their life. An important sharting fact here is that there isn’t anything solid about a shart. They are always liquid. We recently learned that our dog Jax does in fact shart. To get the full effect here you need to visualize Jax. 170 pounds, his shoulders reach my waist (I’m 5’4”), and when he stands on his back legs he’s over 6 feet tall. Now, with that image you can imagine that his um, poop releaser (some creative wording there) is large. That needs to be known because if he were to shart, it’d be very similar to a human shart. Unfortunately I can attest to the fact that Jax has sharted and I’m pretty confident that if I tried my best to shart on my finest day, it would not be comparable. Anyway, what can only be described as a legendary shart came from Jax and occurred while we were sleeping. A really unfortunate part of that is it happened in our bed while we were sleeping and we had no clue, until the next night. Poor Marc. Poor, poor Marc. He lay down in bed and couldn’t figure out where the horrendous stink was coming from. He decided one of the dogs had just farted. He then began adjusting the blanket on his side of the bed but he kept getting a stronger aroma. He got up and turned the light on, pulled the blanket back and there it was, an 18 inch elephant size shart-in the bed, on Marc’s side, on Marc’s blanket! I’m going to admit here that when he came out and told me this story I was crying from laughing-mostly because it didn’t happen to me! My guess is, Jax had been sleeping, he was probably super comfortable and relaxed and then his stomach grumbled. You know that feeling of, “Oh my gosh my stomach is getting ready to explode?” I’m assuming that he decided he could just let a fart out to ease some of the pressure and to buy himself more time before being forced to go outside to poop. That was not the case. Nope, he must have pinched and puckered and then squeezed it out but it wasn’t a fart. It was a full blown, moisture filled, offensive and vile air bubble of a shart right out his rear end; loaded and then soaking in to our sheets. I’m truly grateful for two things here: 1, that his rear was not closer to our faces and 2, that Marc found it because that may have triggered me to instantly vomit. Here’s a fact for all you dog lovers: Sharting is not just for humans.
How’d you do? Any gagging; nausea? Do you know what dog lover level you are now-what you can and can’t, would and wouldn’t do for your dog? You know, now that I wrote it all, it doesn’t seem so bad. Still though there’s enough disgusting stuff that happens when you own animals that if you do them, you have a visual that will never leave you. It’s burned in your brain. You can’t un-see it, ever. But one thing is certain, doing unfathomably grotesque things for your dog ensures that you can own the gold medal honor of being a R-E-A-L Dog Lover! And that title is not easily acquired nor is it for the weak!