Weird Things We Do for Dogs: The Wackiest Thing I Ever Did For My Dog

What is the weirdest thing you ever did for your dog?

Over at Keep the Tail Wagging, Kimberly wrote a post 11 Ridiculous Things I Do for My Dogs. I went through the memories of my time with Jasmine, I thought about the whackiest thing I ever did for her.

Weird Things We Do for Dogs: The Wackiest Thing I Ever Did For My Dog

The weirdest thing I did for my dog

It was back when Jasmine’s body was secretly struggling with several undiagnosed issues.

Not for the lack of trying on our part, I must add. Jasmine was generally happy and active. While things looked pretty much ok on the outside, though, inside her body was struggling with things. Despite her vets at the time not finding anything, I felt something wasn’t right. And Jasmine felt the same way.

She started to bury her pee.

The discussion with the vet

When I told the vet about it, he said it was normal. No, I said, she is not ground scoring. She is burying her pee. She tries to cover it up. He, again, said it was normal. We went on this way to no avail.

I might have been a dumb dog owner, but I knew what ground scoring was and the purpose it serves.

This was not it. And the purpose was quite obviously the opposite.

The difference between ground scoring and burying pee

Jasmine would push the material on top of her pee with her nose to cover it up. Then she would sniff-check it and push some more on. Jasmine quite clearly didn’t want her pee to be found and inspected. A self-assessment indicated that she considered her pee communicating weakness a physical problem.

This went on for quite a while. When the weather was warm in the yard, Jasmine would push wood chips on top of it. Then, in the winter, she would cover it with snow.

One winter night, I took her out to potty. It was cold, but it rained during the day. The yard was frozen solid, and the wood chips turned it into a grater.

The ground is frozen

Like any other day, Jasmine was determined to disguise her pee. 

But the ground wasn’t budging, and she was on her way to scraping her nose raw. I tried to break the ground up to help her, but it was rock solid. It was not going to happen.

What was I to do?

Jasmine was not going to be happy with her pee out in the open. She was not going to be able to do anything about it. I could have gotten her out of the yard, but, trust me, Jasmine wouldn’t forget about it. She’d sit there, obsessing, asking for the door, and the first time out, she would try all over again.

Must fix the problem

The only solution I could see was fixing the problem so she’d be happy with it. But how?

Then I remembered some of Stanley Coren’s books. Perhaps, if it got marked over, that would take care of it. The idea seemed sound. So out there, at night, in the cold, I pulled down my pants and peed on top of it.

When I was done, Jasmine carefully sniff-inspected it. And then she turned back to the house. She was satisfied! It worked!

Fortunately, the next day we got a bunch of fresh snow. And then, with a new vet, new diagnoses, and a new diet, Jasmine felt better about her pee, and I never had to repeat this stunt.

Eventually, she got to the point where she was proud enough of her pee that she would indeed ground score for the whole world to notice it.

Every time she did that, I was so happy. To me, that was the greatest thing ever. A sign that her self-assessment was positive. She felt good about herself and about how her body was working.

What is the whackiest thing you ever did for your dog?

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

8 Comments
  1. Ha ha! You had me laughing when you went to pee! I wasn’t expecting that. Yes, I’d be alarmed too. Jasmine was acting like a cat covering pee as cats cover their waste with litter. I’m glad you were able to find a different vet and seek different treatment for her at the time. Thanks for sharing this funny memory. Ah the things we do for our fur babies!

  2. That was some quick thinking on your part! I’m glad you were able to find a better vet for Jasmine who could help her with health issues.

  3. What a story! It’s great that you were willing to do something a little strange to help your pup. I haven’t done anything on that order for my kitties. I did move one of the litter boxes right in behind the front door. My cats were going there anyway and it was the only thing I could think of to stop the behavior. It worked.

  4. FiveSibesMom

    That is quite the story! You had me laughing, in a good way. What lengths will we go to for our beloved pets! Having five Huskies, I have had my fair share, that not just one sticks out in my mind right now. Now, I look back and am so glad I did it all the way I did it. I think your story might be a good one for Chicken Soup books about dogs!

  5. That’s an awesome story! I can’t say I’ve done something so baring or cold for Henry. But he hasn’t required it either – thank goodness. However, he did start this thing about a year ago where he’ll only eat part of his food, if I’m lucky, even if he’s starved. Then he sits there and looks at me and then his bowl. He wants to play “fetch the food”. So, every night I get down on the floor and toss his food out one piece at a time for him to go find. He chases each piece with tail wagging and happily looks for the next piece. (I’m glad I have wood floors). Then when the bowl is empty he curls up for his nighttime cuddle. Yep, he’s got my number. And I’m okay with it. 😊💖🐶

  6. When Layla does not want to eat I hand feed her and she is happy eating off my hand or I put her food on top of her snuffle mat on a placemat and she eats, I think lately especially she is having problems seeing her bowl proper so have decided if this works for her and she is eating that is all good

  7. Marjorie Dawson

    I am not surprised you braved the chill for your Jasmine! It was the craziest and most logical thing to do and it worked. That’s what matters. We go that extra mile, or two or ten if we have to – this is what family does.

  8. Us dog owners do some crazy things to keep our dogs happy and healthy don’t we? I’d have to think a bit about the wackiest thing I’ve ever done for one of my dogs, but I know for sure that the most extreme thing I’ve done to date for them was to move. One of my little ones was very, very anxious living in the city. So we packed up and moved to a tiny little town about as opposite from a city as you can get. And yes, my dog has been much less anxious since!

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