For The Lick Of It
For The Lick Of It Part 2
For The Lick Of It Part 3
St. Bernard Story
JUST FOR THE ~LICK~ OF IT -
by Roberta Lee, DD., PhD., ND. TheDogPlace Science Editor
You know I just love dogs. Well, if the truth
be known, I just love animals, all animals,
but dogs are so neat. When you really get
to know dogs, and why they do what they do,
then you have to sit back and have a really
good laugh…..not at the dogs…..but at yourself.
Dogs are so natural, if we allow them to
be. But humans are so up tight about what
is permissible, and not permissible in society,
that we just aren't natural any more. Now
don't get me wrong, I would no more burp
in public, or allow flatulence to escape
my little body than I would fly. And if by
chance any of those two happened to me in
the presence of another soul, I would die
of mortification. When my family really wants
to tease me they call me, Miss Manners. But
why are we that way? Not for ourselves, that's
evident, but why do we put our social values
on our animals? We feel as though it were
us ourselves that had done the indiscretion.
Today we are going to see why our beloved
although somewhat rude, furry friends do
some of the embarrassing things that they
do, at the most embarrassing times! Of course;
you don't expect them to do it when you are
alone, do you?
SNIFFING BOTTOMS: ( OR OTHER AREAS EQUALLY
I want to tell you a little story right here.
I have a mid size dog. She is absolutely
the love of my life. You know the kind. What
I call a soul dog. She has managed to become
part of my soul and always will be. And the
way I feel about her is, if they don't allow
dogs in heaven, then I don't want to go.
But anyway, on to the story;
My pup was about 14 months old and just about
at her full height(18 inches), and we were
going to entertain a very important government
official for dinner and cocktails. Now you
have to understand, at this time we were
living in a foreign country. Customs were
very different in this country than here
at home. This was a very dress up affair,
the ladies were wearing long dresses and
the men were in black tie.
As was the custom, when their car arrived
at our gate, the driver honked the horn and
our guard let them in. This was my signal
too, that the guests were arriving. So, my
husband and I went down stairs to greet them,
and of course our beloved pup was in tow.
As the maid let the guests in, I told pup
to sit. She did so very obediently. As the
guest entered, and I reached out to shake
hands with the gentleman, my pup rushed forward
as if on cue and placed her nose very directly
in his crotch. Now I don't mean that she
went up to him to take a lady-like sniff.
Nope, not my girl. And she was intent on
keeping her nose buried where it was. I very
discretely tried to get her back and to sit
by my side, but nope, she wanted a good long
smell. Well, we all tried to laugh about
it, but try as I would, she was just going
to do what all dogs do naturally. And yes!
I was very embarrassed. But the question
here is, why should we be embarrassed about
the things our dogs do quite naturally? It
sure didn't embarrass her.
As we all know by now, animals have very
heightened senses. They have us beat in every
respect. It is a wonder that they aren't
the owners and we the pets….. well, maybe
we are and just don't know it. But anyway,
the only thing that we have that they don't,
is that we walk upright on two legs, and
we have an opposing digit. The thumb! Their
eyesight is better than ours, they certainly
can hear many, many times better than we
can, they can smell 100 times better than
we can, and of course for any of us that
have been forced to chase down our beloved
run-away, who thinks this is a fun game,
they are so much faster than we are. And
in many ways, they are stronger than we are.
Just think about it. They best us at every
turn, and yet we are the masters who expect
them to fit into our world.
I heard someone say once, that if we had
the same sense of smell, we'd be sniffing
bottoms too. Well, I wouldn't go that far,
but we sure would know a bunch more about
the people that we meet. Who would need the
Here is what a dog can tell about you or
another dog at first SNIFF.
1. From the anus, genitals and mouth there
are secretions that inform the dog of;
a. Which sex you are
b. Are you ready for mating. (This is really
more for other dogs)
c. What your social status is in the pack
d. What you last ate
e. If you are you a well pup
Now let me ask you, can a dating service
do any better?
Now there is a very important ritual that
goes along with this sniffing. If you are
paying attention here, you will notice that
they don't just go up and sniff any old place.
No, just like we put our hands out to shake
someone's hand, they too have their social
behavior and rules;
a. Just pals will sniff each other's faces,
heads, neck and ears.
b. Equal ranking gives you the right to smell
each others bottoms at the same time.
c. However, if you are not up there on the
social ladder, then the lower ranking dog
will just stand and submit for the higher
ranked dog to sniff under the tail. What
determines the ranking? My dog hasn't told
Ever wonder why, especially when you are
in a hurry, like in a thunder storm, you
dog will take all day (or night of course),
to sniff every blade of grass, and every
tree trunk within ten miles? Here you stand
freezing, or getting drenched, and your dog
is smelling. The reason for that is that
from the feces and urine, your dog can tell
almost as much as if he were sniffing the
dog that left the signal. It will also tell
your dog if he is in someone else's territory,
or if that good looking gal down the street
is ready for HIM! Ummm Boy!
REMEDY (to sniffing people only)
If it is you that is the sniffee, then move
forward somewhat aggressively. Now I don't
mean in a threatening way, but I mean step
right on up there to the dog. Now, if this
is an unstoppable dog, and there are those,
believe me, and that doesn't work, then it
is better to let the dog sniff and be done
with it. If you don't they will just keep
trying. Hey, this is important-to-know stuff,
for the dog.
If you are the owner of the dog, and you
are not quite that much into the natural,
then try to distract your pooch. Show him
his favorite ball, or give him one of his
favorite treats, and AT THE SAME TIME, say
firmly, "NO, (dogs name)!" It's
just a matter of training and time.
That embarrassed little laugh of yours won't
do it. You will have to be firm here, because
you are asking your dog to go against one
of the most basic instincts he has for survival
in the pack.
It looks like we are out of time and space
for this week, so we will cover the other
things in the next edition.
Why Dogs Howl
Why Dogs Lift Their Legs
So until next time, remember to have fun
and enjoy your dog. We have them for such
a short time here on earth.