I chose this life

I Chose This Life-

The perpetrator.

Gus and I are currently embroiled in an epic battle of poop wills.

Not surprisingly, he’s winning.

(Fair warning: this post talks about dog poop. Actually, it is an entire post about nothing else but dog poop, and dog poop alone. Sorry.)

Our old-lady house comes with a very neat, very tidy old-man backyard. The type that was always mowed, impeccably maintained. They even put a little brick border around the edge of the lawn so the mower would get right to the sides without needing a weed whacker. I mean really. 

It is laid out in two portions, which I have helpfully rendered with the help of high-end illustration software available exclusively to bloggers of a certain calibre.

poopSo, in this finely wrought architectural rendering you will see the garage in the back left corner, then a lovely large patch of pristine grass. Between the grass and the garage is a cement path, which leads to a large cement pad at the back of the house. Between the garage and the house on the left side is a smaller, shadier patch of grass. Also pristine, but less visible and generally out of the way, in the backyard sense of things.

And then we have Gus.

Gus has what can only be called a defective colon. Everything and anything gives him diarrhea (I’m SORRY). Too much running, excitement, stress, strange food, normal food, breathing, fur, sunlight – it all seems to contribute to intestinal distress. We are not entirely negligent dog owners though, and have made numerous attempts over the years to rectify this situation. Why just last week I gingerly loaded a ziploc full of his filth and paid almost $200 to our vet for the privilege of being told that he has a sensitive stomach.

That’s half a kilim rug! AGH!

So in between exorbitantly priced vet visits which tell us nothing, we just ignore it, because seriously Gus, get your shit together! (LITERALLY).

Dog poop is a disgusting part of dog ownership on the best days, but when the poop doesn’t even scoop it just sort of…smears, and never disappears entirely – that’s some next-level business right there.

SO upon moving in I designated the left patch of grass as the Gus zone. He could be free to befoul that area in whatever disgusting way he saw fit, leaving the larger part of the lawn for Olive to frolic upon without fear of stepping into and possibly being swallowed by a large Gus patty.

From the first day we moved in, several times I day I would take him outside on a leash, lead him to the designated area and praise him like a crazy person when he did his business.

And several times a day, he would sneak out, or Adam would let him out WITHOUT a leash, where he would shit all over the pristine portion of the yard with wild abandon.

I trust you need no explanation of why this would give me no small amount of rage. I had a SYSTEM!

So we have engaged in a battle of wills, my dog and I. I keep trying in vain to make him poop on the side, and he will stall and stall and stall and pretend that he isn’t just bursting at the seams with excrement until he finds a tiny five second window where I am distracted or Adam lets him out (the SYSTEM, Adam! The SYSTEM!) and then he rushes to the big patch of grass faster than I’ve ever seen him move like it’s his duty in life to see just how huge this throbbing forehead vein of mine can get.

He literally made eye contact with me the other night as I looked out the kitchen window while doing dishes. He stood in the middle of the yard, and of course he was pooping. I, like a normal, rational person, became instantly incensed. I may or may not have leaned out the window and hissed something obscene at him, and then I swear to god when he saw me watching he looked RIGHT AT ME and then started walking around the yard. While still pooping.


I Chose This Life-

Don’t be fooled.

I just don’t even know how this is my life. THIS IS MY LIFE. I chose this life. And by god I will win this one if it kills me.

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  • Reply Suzy August 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    My dog likes to watch me out of the corner of her eye while she shits. It’s slightly more polite than a full-on-watch-me-poop-you-loser but it’s eye contact nonetheless. Good luck with your war on excitement. May the odds be ever in your favour.

  • Reply jamieramirez August 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    i would look in one of those pet supply catalogues, b/c i could’ve sworn that there is something out there that has an odor that attracts dogs to poop there, that you stick in the ground or bury in a shallow hole or something. i don’t know whether it works or what it’s called. but hopefully you can find it and it will work and gus will be drawn to poop there instead. maybe a dog has already peed or pooped all over the big lawn, so gus is currently attracted to that area b/c he feels like he has to make it his by covering up the other dog scent? btw, lmao at this post. b/c i know this kind of pet drama. where they seem to be intentionally sabotaging you… 😛

  • Reply Andrea August 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Canned pumpkin! Firms them right up. We use it only episodically, but it works well. For a dog of his size, he might need to eat the whole can or something. I always stock up after Thanksgiving. (Note: not pumpkin pie filling, but canned pumpkin). Seriously, we were also spending big money to never find out the cause but our vet recommended it for the symptoms. I probably wouldn’t google it because you will probably discover links to ‘canned pumpkin worst ever to feed to dogs’ etc. or something. Good luck! We’re about to go lawnless and do low water native plants and gravel for similar reasons plus the earth.

  • Reply Sheana August 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    I second the canned pumpkin if you haven’t already tried it – works like a dream.

  • Reply Sam Pereira August 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I love Gus, but I’m really glad I don’t have to clean up his shit. And I didn’t even know you could buy canned pumpkin. (probably not here in Oz) Bashahahahahaa!

  • Reply Tamara August 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    This post cracked me up. Third the pumpkin (or sweet potato… Not sure what you call it in Canada) is amazing.

  • Reply Susan Coulter August 10, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Ok, my theory is this: secretly (don’t tell Gus) reassign the poop/nonpoop areas. He will get pleasure from pooping on prohibited lawn but unbeknownst to him, the lawns are switched! You will have a poop free lawn and Gus gets to think he’s the winner. Alternatively, invest in nappies for him (you call the diapers) good luck

    • Reply sweetmadeleine August 13, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      Ha! Olive out of diapers, Gus in! I like it 😉 Adam suggested those poop bags that horses wear 😉

  • Reply Stephanie August 10, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    This might be one of the funniest blog posts I’ve ever read in my life. Sorry to laugh at your pain in the ass. (Or pain from the ass, I guess.)

  • Reply kate August 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    omg, this is too funny! respect the system, GUS! i feel your pain on the excessive vet bills with no answers, we have the most allergic bloodhound (allergy shots, prednisone, copious amounts of zyrtec, HE HAS HIS OWN DERMATOLOGIST. caps needed). but when he was a puppy our vet suggested forti flora to help keep things together down there, it did help with diarrhea! maybe it could work for gus? good luck!!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine August 13, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      I think this is actually what his vet gave us. It didn’t seem to do much after a week – do you think it has to be longer than that?

      • Reply kate August 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        hmm i am pretty positive ours started working after 2-3 days… but we didn’t keep him on it consistently, probably just a week or so to get things back in check! poor gus (and poor you guys!) i hope you can find something that helps soon!

  • Reply Michelle August 23, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Have you tried leaving clear plastic drink bottles full of fresh water on the DOG POO FREE ZONE? It’s supposed to stop them as they instinctively don’t want to crap on or near drinking water. Do you think Gus has instincts you could exploit in this fashion? Good luck!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine August 29, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Ok so this is why he is maybe not pooping in HIS zone – his food and water are there. Adam suggested this and I mocked him, but your comment inspired some googling and you’re right! He must never know.

      • Reply Michelle August 29, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        Haha I’m not telling.

  • Reply Squirrels, Snakes, and A Cat Named El Chapo - Sweet Madeleine May 16, 2017 at 5:54 PM

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