It’s long been a struggle of mine, being too sexy for my own good. I haven’t written about this before because it’s … well … kind of embarrassing.
If you’ve been around dogs before, you know that, despite our cuteness, we can be crude creatures. A prime example is how we get to know each other by sniffing each other’s butts. It’s completely normal behaviour in our world and is the way we identify one another should we meet again. You’d be surprised at how much information a dog can pick up from the scent molecules and pheromones of another dog—health, reproductive status, happiness, gender, and even diet. Cool, right?
Another common behaviour in the canine world is mounting or, the less attractive sounding, humping. You’ve all seen it, one dog latched onto the back of another. The humper can be male or female, as can the humpee, and being fixed doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Sometimes it’s a misguided attempt at play, other times it’s one dog displaying dominance over another, and then there’s my situation. For me, it’s almost guaranteed to happen with intact males, occurs regularly with fixed males, and every now and then with a female. In a lot of cases, the owners are surprised, swearing it is highly unusual behaviour for their dog. Well, not when it comes to me.
It looks something like this … New dog comes running up to me to say hello, tail wagging, all set for a meet and greet, and then they get the scent, that something about me that drives them to unseemly behaviour. It’s especially strong around my shoulder blades so I’ll end up with a taller-than-me dog running along beside drooling over my shoulders, waiting for an opportunity to jump on. And they do, repeatedly, sometimes having to be dragged away by their owners.
I try to keep walking and mind my own business, but if it’s a big dog and they latch onto my hindquarters, I’m stuck. That’s usually when I’ll growl or snap, to let them know I’m not impressed. But it doesn’t work. My intoxicating scent has clouded their ability to hear what I’m saying no matter how loudly I shout, “Get. Off. Me!”
It didn’t happen as often when I was a young dog so I guess I’m just getting sexier with age. Problem is, I’m also less able to withstand large dogs jumping on top of me as I get older. Last Sunday at the Strathmore Dog Park, out of just eight dogs in the park, two of them were all over me, one of them a standard poodle who jumped on me twice and then knocked me onto the frozen ground. My left hind leg has been stiff and sore ever since and the peeps have curtailed my walks to give it a chance to heal.
Once, at the Southland Dog Park, there was a bulldog named Angus who got so crazy with lust that his horrified owner had to drag him away until she felt it was safe to let him off his leash. But what did Angus do as soon as the leash was disconnected? He came running for me from the other side of the park as fast as those stubby legs would carry him, smashing into me, knocking me to the ground, and then humping my side as I lay there stunned.
If it were small dogs that took an interest it wouldn’t be so bad, but they can’t get their noses into that sweet spot between my shoulders.
So, what to do? T tried a deodorizer in my fur right before we went to the park on Sunday. It didn’t help at all. Or maybe it did and I’d have had four or six dogs on me instead of two with particularly good noses. But I don’t think so. What I do think, and I’m pretty sure my peeps agree, is that my dog park days are over, at least the small and/or crowded variety.
I’m okay with it really. In my early days with T and N, I was more inclined to sit with them in the park than visit with other dogs (like in the photo below taken in California) and I’m generally as interested in sniffing around where dogs have been as meeting the dogs themselves. And, at this stage of life, when I no longer have excess energy to burn or a desire to roughhouse, an on-leash walk or a wander through a big off-leash area suits me just fine.
As for the sexy part, well, there’s not much anyone can do about that.