The Poop-Imbibing Chocolate Lab (And How I Lost All Pride)

Poo.

I’ll just let you settle in for a moment, with that visual. That’s right…Poo.

As I sit and wonder how on earth to begin this twisted little monologue, I first think how vastly different we are from our canine friends, in terms of our relationship to fecal matter. (If you are disgusted now, just wait. It gets even better).

As a human being, I really have no desire to be in close proximity to feces, nor smell it, nor analyze it (unless of course you are trained in the medical profession to look at poo under a microscope all day, looking for irregularities; colossal waste of student loans there)..

But I digress.

It seems in the canine world, in particular the world of my Chocolate Labrador Jackson, that poo is actually considered a delicacy of rare and succulent flavour, to be savoured whenever and wherever it may be found.

Jackson Brown (1998-2010)

Jackson Brown (1998-2010)

I discovered to my utter dismay at the age of about 1 year, that my boy thoroughly enjoyed a good poo, in the same way one might enjoy a charbroiled rib eye steak on a hot summer night (or perhaps a vegan-friendly pizza, for those vegetarians who may be reading this). Not TAKING a poo, but EATING a poo.The idea is that he was completely overcome with desire to imbibe any offending bit of fecal nastiness he encountered on a walk. I know he enjoyed this completely, because I could hear the “schlummucking” sound he made as he chewed it down (refer to the earlier steak reference for the full effect).

I discovered he enjoyed fresh poo, much more than stale poo. In this way he was a bit of a “fecal snob”. More of a purist, you might say. In the same way, some people will only eat organic foods, Jackson would usually only eat fresh organic poo. He would customarily pass by the pies that had been baking in the sun for some hours.

Perhaps the most horrifying moment came for me, years ago at the off-leash park. We were out with the dogs, my good friend and I. She had a Yellow Labrador, named Linus. We would often take the boys out for some good running and swimming together. Jackson would play, run, and grab the odd fecal snickers bar on the run (which, by the way, usually ended up in the kennel at about 3 a.m. the following morning).

Linus and Jackson made a very interesting duo. Linus had the ability to produce perhaps the runniest, most mustard-like poo I have ever seen in my life. Ironically, this particular brand of nastiness was only evident on off-leash walks, and usually done in cacti, or other prickly bushes and shrubs. This made it exceptionally difficult to retrieve and bag.

Fortunately for Linus, and for my friend, picking up and bagging his mustard was not necessary – all thanks to Jackson. This particular day several years ago, my friend and I were chatting away, blissfully enjoying the sunny afternoon, her children playing and the dogs were frolicking. An idyllic scene, until the unthinkable happened.

My dear friend casually says, “Oh, Linus has to go…” quickly followed by “Oh no…no…oh..NO…OH MY GOD NO JACKSON!!! NOO!!!” By which time, I have finally turned around to see Linus humped up like a hog going to war, squeezing out a coil of mustard, which Jackson is lapping up like soft serve at DQ, as it’s being dispelled…with a look on his face like a toddler who has been given a giant wad of cotton candy at the carnival. Pure and utter ecstacy. Crack for dogs.

To say that I nearly lost my vocal chords screaming, “JACKSON!!! BAD DOG!!! LEAVE IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LEAVE IT!!!!!” would be an understatement. He was licking his chops and already off playing by the time I had screamed myself hoarse. Of course one cannot understate the utter mortification I felt as other dog owners pranced by with their prissy little froo-froos “who would NEVER do THAT” giving me a look of total disdain.

You must understand, that I tried mightily to find a solution. And of course, all sorts of well-meaning people tried to help. Things like, “Maybe it’s something lacking in his diet”, “Well, they grow out of that”, or the best one yet: the people at the pet store told me there’s a little pill you can give him, that makes it taste bad….

Yes, they actually said that. Let’s see…from my way of thinking, IT’S POO. IT IS SHITE. IT COMES FROM THE ANAL END OF THE DOG. MY DOG EATS IT. HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH CAN IT NOT TASTE BAD ALREADY???

And what, you may wonder, is the big cosmic lesson in this story? I am convinced I learned the value of UNconditional LOVE. Yes. My dog enjoyed eating poo. Fresh, runny, organic, poo. I can say there is a time frame in which he was is not allowed to kiss me after imbibing.

However, when he laid at my feet and looked up at me with his big doughy eyes after a long day at work, and was so happy to see me, and every time I came in the front door was like the beginning of the dawn of time for him – I could forgive his nasty habit.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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