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.
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.