August 1, 2023

Understanding The Poo Attraction

Let’s say your dog loves rolling in cow shit. There. He’s done it. Cow shit all over the place.

Can you understand why he’s done it? Can you fathom the joy he’s felt as he sensed the brown pile squish into his back frame?

How the odour of it rose from the Earth and surrounded him, like one glorious cloud of loveliness? And how he’s going to wear that bouquet of cloud and reek all over him for as long as he can make it last?

You can see it: a bit got caked onto his collar and mushed into the rings on his ID tags. There’s a scrap of it hanging from his right ear.

And here he comes, up from the trail he was exploring when he found the treasure – and sure as hell, he’s running straight for you.

Does he want to share it? Show you where the dung is so you might also have a chance to coat yourself in whatever way you want?

Go ahead! he says. There’s lots there. I only took a bit, because I’m so much smaller. But there might be enough left for you to cover your long frame. That would be so nice! Both of us smelling like shit. I hope you do it.

And he’s bounding towards you, satisfied and feeling glee.

Can you see what he feels? How he’s content? How his dog-ness makes sense?

And how are you going to receive him? This boy who wants you to rejoice in his discovery and good fortune.

Can you understand how it is for him, and hold space for his happiness and experience? Is that possible?

Or are you going to FREAK OUT, and scream and get all strange?

There’s a place here where you can both get what you want.

And just because you don’t want to share your home with a dog who’s covered in poo, you don’t have to ruin his memory or victory for him.

Let him have it. Let him have his joy.

Let him know how you feel and what you’re proposing to do about it – a bath is coming. Immediately.

But can’t you let that be your experience and allow him to have his perspective? To maintain his his-ness?

There’s no harm.

Don’t get distracted by trying to make it all change in that one instance.

To try to make such a fuss that you’re hoping it will make him never want to roll in cow poo again.

It’s not going to happen. He’s always going to want to roll in cow poo.

You can’t make him agree with you – just like he can’t make you agree with him.

You’re just going to try to understand each other’s craziness: that you’re a poo-washer-off-er, and he’s a poo-roller-in-er.

It’s okay to understand. It doesn’t mean you’re giving permission, or you’re going to just let anything happen.

You can call him back from the poo. (Good luck with that.) You can leash him up when you see it first. You can avoid the places that have poo when the cattle are out grazing.

There’s lots of things you can do so that it works out.

But, most importantly - you can understand what your boy holds so dear to him and not ty to take that away from him.

Just because you don’t understand.

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