Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Arden poops and then he scrapes away at the grass or gravel just afterwards. I imagine that he does this because of some type of adaptation - a desire to cover up his excrement -- the smell I imagine. I read that dominant dogs and cats do not do this, they want their shit to smell. Advertising, you know.
But Arden is very dominant and every cat I've ever known does this, no matter their supposed rank, and Arden pees like a banshee on everything to mark his territory, so I don't buy it. But no matter, he does this. I can't make him stop it. He is never anywhere near his droppings. He's always two feet away, happily throwing dirt or grass into the air.
It makes me laugh because I know that he doesn't know why he does this. It just feels right. I often wonder how many behaviors I have that are just like that behavior - divorced from necessity by time or culture or what have you, divorced even from exigency, because it's done no where near the act that precedes it - the act that prompted it - the act that instigated it! And all of it unknown to myself.
I truly wish there were a God, simply for all the giggles that are left un-giggled, because there is no supreme all-seeing-one to witness them.
The bottom line is, I have to stand away from Arden as I pick up his poop to make sure I am not hit with a head-full of dirt or grass even though he is always well away from the scene of the crime.
This morning I was filled with a joy about the autumn here. It feels trite to say that fall is my favorite season. I have ached for fall like for a long lost lover. It's not the same visiting places where the leaves turn either. For me, it's the day to day watching the change. The trees that have one or two days of brilliance before they're gone. I love the familiarity of it, the astonishment at the changes which are small, but then surprise me with a shock of red.
In any case, I took my camera along this morning to take some snapshots of trees and paths that I like. Above is one that came out almost right. The truth is I can't capture it. The pictures I took at the water - at Lake Michigan, the end of my daily walk, look horrible. The water simply washes out the colors and I am not an experienced enough photographer to learn how to do it properly. And I guess too distracted to learn better, at least for now.
In any case, Arden relieved himself and I had to put the cap back on the camera before I fished around for a poop-bag. While this was happening I absentmindedly pulled Arden back towards his recent donation to the ground. You can probably see where this is heading. This is heading to Arden projecting a substantial amount of grotesque gooey crap all over my legs, all over my shoes and all over the bottom of my coat, narrowly missing the camera itself. You see? You take a moment to try to capture the beauty and you're dealt a shitty punishment for the arrogance.
The sin of pride, I think.
Penance: I'm doing laundry today too.
Posted by Julia Sweeney at 9:54 AM
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I love this. I was just explaining my dog's post-poop ground scratching to a friend the other day. My dog has the most bewildered expression while she does it, and it seems to go on forever. Just thinking of it now makes me crack a smile--thanks for that (I needed it)!
Your skill as a photographer is not at issue in getting the colors to come out right. The photos may actually be fine, and just need to be color-adjusted in the computer afterward.
I suggest you use iphoto to edit the photos and adjust the color. Select the relevant photo, press the edit button, and press the magic wand in the edit screen. If you like what it did that's great, if not select "undo" from the edit screen, press the adjust button, and play with the sliders until you're happy. The first few will take a lot of practice (hint: "Saturation" is a common culprit) but you'll get the hang of it fast.
My dog does this too -- I read somewhere once that it's because of their sweat/scent glands in their paws, so they do that to leave behind their scented "signature," as if to say, "I did this. It's mine." I don't know if that's the real reason or not, but it seems plausible enough to me.
Not knowing how brillant the actual trees looked in the shot, has me seeing a very beautiful splash of color. We don't get much of a display in my area, so I have a heightened sense of appreciation.
One of my dog is calm, constantly cheerful, and never scratches the ground after going, or marks her territory in any other way.
The pensive, serious yangish dog however does a display of grass tossing almost every time. She marks with her urine during our walks (?) Like you said, theres this look of contentment in her eyes when she kicks the grass. Seems to just set her universe right. It doesn't go very far, she's only 6lbs! (ants marching)
Funny and lovely dog.I suppose it is clever ,although it is just an annimal.And at the same time,it does has emotion,too.I like your dog,and thanks for sharing all of that.
Julia, is Arden part Boston Terrier? I ask because my dog Stella does the EXACT same thing (the flinging of dirt/leaves over her piddle patch)
She even does this when she hasn't 'produced' anything....but she still looks so 'proud' doing it :)
I miss the traditional fall weather back east. It's too subtle for me here in Los Angeles.
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