I am up at about 6:20 a.m. every morning to walk our big dog, Isaac. Regardless of my sleepy outward demeanor, my mind is usually cranking out strange thoughts. Unfortunately, as of late, the old noggin has been relatively inactive in the area of the weird and unusual. However, the cycle was broken a few days ago while my dog was finishing up his number 2. Right after he is finished with his morning ritual he scraped his paws across the ground shooting dirt and blades of grass into the air. After three years of experience I know better than to stand behind him.
I have read the main reason why dogs scrape or scratch their paws on the ground is to help release the scent from the glands that are on their paws and in between their toes. In short, in addition to defecating or urinating, it is just another way to mark their territory and signal to other dogs that they have been there. Of course this is all done instinctually.
However, when I observe Isaac’s face in the throes of scraping I don’t see some primal look in his eyes governed by pure instinct. What I see is glee, elation, euphoria, and triumph! It is a celebration that is so infectious I find myself cheering him on. For the outside observer it may seem a bit odd, but hey I am a bit odd. If you happen across a person congratulating their dog after it poops around 6:40 a.m., it might be me.
As I cheer and maybe dance a little, a germ of an idea starts to blossom. Isaac can do his business just about anywhere outside without repercussion. Well, I will revise that statement to say almost anywhere. By human standards long lengths of grass, bushes, and trees are the most favorable areas for animals to use as toilets, but to be sure there are others like patches of dirt strewn with leaves and unfortunately in my neighborhood, sidewalks.
After I had run the gambit of accepted areas dogs could go to relieve themselves my brain decided to turn its focus to accepted places for humans to do their own business.
As far as I can tell, the only real acceptable place for humans to go number 1 and 2 is the bathroom. Occasionally if we find ourselves out in the wilderness, a tree or bush with relatively good coverage can become a suitable replacement when no restroom is present. Even with that exception our options are limited.
That does not bother me though. I’d rather keep it that way. I did a little research on the world-wide-web and found sites that explained in detail how things used to be. On a historical side note the kings of old used to employ someone to wipe their bottoms for them. The individual that did the dirty work was officially called ‘Groom of the Stool.’ Apparently the position was highly sought after. Today that would not fly.
“Hey everyone I just got a new job! It is a little more active then I would like, but I get to work closely with my superior. “
“Yeah, it was a rough day at the office…. my boss had spicy Thai food for lunch.”
All right, historical side note over.
So I found it interesting that when comparing acceptable bathroom habits of humans to dogs the latter have more freedom. What if those roles were reversed? Dogs could only use restrooms and humans had to go outside. Any kind of privacy would be thrown out the door. It would be easy to tell who likes to read while they are on the can. With a good portion of people outside sitting around we could become more social possibly. If there was ever a TP shortage you could just ask your neighbor who was sitting next to you. Sounds like a win win situation right?
No, not by a long shot. Just from a hygiene stand point we have a real big problem. Flies would feast. It would be a utopia for them. Plus, it would have to become part of our daily routine to not step in a big pile of well…. you know.
Let’s suffice it to say it would be really disgusting. Although a dog sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper would be hilarious—almost as good as the dogs playing poker. Those crazy canines.
To finish up this post, I guess it is apparent that my mind is back on the crazy train. I am not sure where my mind will end up next, but I am sure it will be interesting.