I know, I know. Not exactly an appealing topic for a post, but something that has been on my mind for a while. As a (responsible) dog owner I pick up after my dogs, which means I am acutely aware of their body’s rhythm and preferred locations for pooing. After a period of unpredictability and sensitivity until we settled on the right food, Cooper is now a creature of habit, matching Riley with almost clockwork regularity. Their poo habits are also a topic of conversation at home; or at least I have been known to update my long suffering husband Paddy on their consistency and timing. Am I over-sharing on this? Perhaps, but I bet every dog owner reading is nodding in recognition that part of being a dog owner is developing at least a passing interest (sorry) in poo.
Since moving to the Fens – we are just off the A1o between Ely and Cambridge near the villages of Wilburton, Stretham, Little Thetford and Witchford – we now have a large garden, and of course the 8 acre field that is part of the Developing Dogs centre. This is a novelty for all of us – the house the dogs and I shared in Lincoln just had a small concrete yard – and we still marvel at the space every day.
However, I have had to develop a poo-picking strategy for the first time ever. I have been used to being able to open the back door, letting them do whatever they need to do, and then picking up later in the day or the following morning if it was the late night toilet break. These days I stand and watch for the approximate location so I can narrow the search area for later picking up. And that’s when something odd happens.
There are days when I get what I’ve termed my ‘poo eye’ in almost immediately and find and collect their output with ease. Other days, I patrol the spots I think they’ve used, along with other favourite sites, for several minutes without finding a thing. Then the next day I will check the same spot and find the previous day’s poo at first glance.
This also happens on walks; sometimes the poo eye just isn’t there. It’s not something that seems to get better with practice – some days I have it and some days it’s gone. I can’t be the only owner who has searched vainly in the undergrowth after their dog has been to the toilet. In an attempt to maintain the universal poo balance I will always pick up at least one other dog’s poo if I can’t find my own, whilst feeling extremely guilty and uncomfortable about what I’ve left behind. Please tell me I’m not alone in this.
Of course, just picking up after your dogs isn’t the only involvement you may have with poo thanks to your canine companions. If you’re lucky enough to share your life with a poo-roller or two then you will also have experienced the joys of clipping a lead to a poo-encrusted collar, sharing the car home with the offending stench and, in my case on one memorable occasion, having to share the (small, enclosed) shower with Cooper after he’d rolled in what I can only assume was human poo and I had no other way of cleaning him. Of course, the two mile walk home with him before we got to the shower was delightful too.
I would love to hear your own stories – make me feel better that I’m not the only owner who’s had to wash themselves after washing their dog.