Another Blog Post Goes to the Dogs

The book reading continues apace (never got to use “apace” before). Yesterday I picked up (meaning opened on my laptop to) a really really good book, and I was so happy. It put a song in my heart it’s so good, and it just happened to hit me at the perfect moment. I can’t tell you what it is other than it’s a book most people would never pick up — but as far as I can tell four chapters in — most people would enjoy it and get something from it. Anyway, when I CAN tell you, I’ll post a whole review here.

As there is still snow on the ground, the dogs and I went out to seize the day yesterday. I got a full-on dog compliment from Bear. As the three of us were walking along — Teddy pulling to the left, Bear mostly at heel to my right — Bear stopped to roll in the snow. This is a thing about putting an animal’s scent into her fur. Well, the animal tracks she was rolling in were mine. ā¤

Dog compliments are always given in “Dog” which is sometimes an uncomfortable language for humans. My dog, Dusty, who had been picked up beside the freeway in California, beaten and terrified, taken to a shelter, declared “unadoptable,” (ha ha showed them!), was so incredibly happy to have a real HOME, dog FRIENDS and his own human that, for the first year or so he lived with me, he pissed on my foot the moment I came in the front gate after work. “MINE!!!!” I dealt with that by wearing rubber flip-flops in the car so I could wash my foot before going into the house. He stopped marking me, but he never stopped “marking” his favorite mother/sister, Lily T. Wolf, and till the day she died, he peed on her hind end as she was relieving herself in the morning. Not a full-on micturition such as a Nihilist might do on a carpet that holds the room together, just enough to mark her. I don’t completely understand this behavior but I have a couple of theories. When he came to live with us, he had three Siberian Husky mothers/sisters. He began this behavior when Jasmine died, but he ONLY marked Lily. He didn’t mark Cheyenne.

Dusty at 6 mos. with his Siberian Husky mothers/sisters, back to front, Jasmine, Lily and Cheyenne

So, every morning for 14 years I cleaned up Lily before she came into the house. A valiant effort, but there is really no way to get 14 years of dog pee smell out of the multi-layered fur of the Siberian husky. On the day I took her to the vet to be put to sleep, I held her in my arms, tightly. I did not want to let go. Eau d’Dusty was pretty powerful that morning because I had had no chance to really clean her up before our last journey together. I remember thinking that I wished Dusty’s method would work and hold her there, but I knew better.


12 thoughts on “Another Blog Post Goes to the Dogs

  1. You are a special person, Martha. I think most would interpret their dog peeing on their foot as hostility. At best, they’d say the dog was expressing anger because they were gone all day. To see it as the dog marking territory/claiming ownership takes a willingness to see from another’s eyes. To deal with it by wearing flip-flops requires that uncommon quality we call common sense. šŸ’œ

    • Thank you. That’s the most lovely compliment I’ve ever had ā¤ Dusty's story was the classic of a shelter dog picking a person. Dusty loved me with his entire heart and soul. It was a huge gift that I got to spend almost 15 years with that dog. And, that he loved it here in Colorado so much. His little terrified dog heart blossomed.

  2. I wanna be friends with Dusty! I love that story…and yes, I obsessively watch those stories about people saving and adopting animals on youtube. Probably one of the few things that warms my heart these days.

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