Dog of Devotion

dogsits

I’m a big dog lover, so I was very impressed by the discipline displayed by this fellow sitting on the lip of his owner’s 4 x 4 last Saturday. Even after parking next to him and walking by he stayed focused. He certainly earned his best friend status for the month.

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It’s just a dog penis; seriously

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For whatever reason, I grew up with only female dogs. I think the theory as expressed by mom was that female dogs were more easy-going and less apt to bolt for an open door for a night out on the town. They were steadier, more predictable, and less likely to tear up the couch due to sexual frustration. My family had quite a diversity of dogs, and worked through a standard poodle, a Doberman, and an Irish Setter without a penis in the lot. So when my wife told me she was interested in a dog a few months after moving into our first home, I was surprised she wanted a male. She surveyed ads in the paper for weeks and finally found a suitable hypo-allergenic breed to assuage persistent allergies. The pups were a litter of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers located only twenty miles from us. I consented to a Friday trip and then googled the breed for a little background. 

Barley was the last in a litter of seven pups, and we just fell in love with him right from the start. He seemed unsure of the motives of the two strangers smiling at him; I lifted him into the car and he pasted himself against the floor in the back seat. We got him home, helped him explore the yard, then settled him into “his” spot inside the house.

An interesting thing happened a short while later. I was asleep in bed with Barley positioned between myself and my wife. I reached out to pat his head; Like all dogs, he appreciated the gesture and rolled over on his back with the hope of getting a belly rub. I reached out to pull the back of my hand along the side of his belly when I accidentally touched his penis. “Um…, excuse me,” I said, seriously feeling I had violated some human-dog compact. I withdrew my hand and leaned up a little to look at Barley, who was still happily on his back without a care in the world. It really struck me that while I wasn’t going to intentionally touch his penis, it is so ingrained in our penis-obsessed culture to pretend it doesn’t exist on half the mammals on earth, that I actually apologized to a dog. How is it we can glorify the human body as art in Greek statues, but are scandalized by wardrobe malfunctions. We even neuter cartoon animals. Think about it. Did you ever see a penis on Scooby Doo? Snoopy? Our culture denies even the most basic anatomy while exploiting sexuality in magazines and commercials. We are such an odd collection of contradictions.       

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