For two lazy people, we’re very blessed to have Polly. She came to us (at two years old) fully housebroken. She LOVES her crate and doesn’t mind staying in it for hours a day (allowing us to go off for work or play easily) and she doesn’t get into things – not garbage, furniture, or even her own food bowl.
If the door to her bed or crate was closed, she’d sit in front of it until you noticed and let her in (which can sometimes take hours).
Before Polly came into our home, we weren’t sure that we’d fully enjoy being dog “parents” (we don’t dress her in outfits or anything – other than for Halloween – but we don’t think of ourselves as “pet owners” either) but now we wouldn’t give her up for the world. As weird as pet cloning might sound, we will consider it if only so that we can have “another” dog just like her.
Of course, Polly isn’t perfect. She is, after all, a dog. And sometimes dogs do strange things.
Like this morning, she ate her own poop. She hasn’t done that in a while and we’re not sure why but she was definitely being rebellious when it happened this morning. When Charlie let her out for her morning bathroom break, he noticed that she started picking up her own poop afterwards. Wanting to stop her from eating more (sorry if you’re reading this after a meal), he rushed out to where she was in the backyard but even with him standing over her (and showing obvious disapproval), she still promptly continued what she was doing.
Not knowing what else to do, Charlie had no choice but to give her a breath mint before leaving for work and left me to do the disciplining. Even though she’s suppose to have the intelligence/understanding of a smart five year old child (we were told), no kid I know would try to eat their own poop so I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
As a matter of fact, from what we’ve read, it’s not uncommon for animals to do this. One reason could be to supplement any deficiency in their diet. Another could be to cover up their tracks from predators (a habit from their less domestic, wolf-like days). And others do it simply because they “like” the taste.
We don’t know why Polly does this but this morning, it was clear that she knew we were displeased.
First, she tried to hide in the bathroom in her favorite spot behind the toilet. (I say she was hiding and not just chilling in there like she normally does because she was facing inward, towards the wall, as if to hide herself from sight.) Once kicked out of the bathroom, she proceeded to stay in her bed (where she is suppose to go) all day. Maybe it’s just coincidence but I think she knew that being there would earn her back some brownie points because every time she’s in her bed, I have told her that she was being a “good girl.”
Not only that, she didn’t ask to pee outside again until late in the day when Charlie came home from work. Being a loving parent, I would never have kept her inside if she needed to go but it was as if she knew that what she did this morning was wrong and put herself under detention. Once Charlie came home and we paid her sufficient attention, she was back to her normal, somewhat free roaming self.
We will never fully understand Polly and know how much she actually understands us but taking care of her has definitely trained us to be better prepared for real parenthood. I mean, one of the things all parents think and talk about is their child’s diaper routine, right?