Saturday, December 19, 2009

The pooping Labrador retriever

(Zeus and DrTom don't know nothin bout no deer leg.)

I have a dilemma that I would like to share.  Our black Lab Zeus needs to go outside to relieve himself several times a day.  I know, I thought I had purchased the model that didn't need to do that, but I was wrong.  I even thought about not feeding the guy any longer so he wouldn't have to poop or pee, but when I do that he gets all lethargic and isn't any fun. 

But here is the real problem.  I want to just let the dog out when he has to go and let him in when he wants back in.  But Management insists that we walk him on a leash each time (the "we" in that sentence really means "me").  This seems ridiculous, because we live on 12 acres of forested land surrounded by more forested land.  Who wants to walk a dog in their pajamas when there is a foot of snow on the ground and it is 15 degrees, and we are over 100 yards away from the nearest house, and the dog likes to have a little freedom, and I enjoy watching him frolicing around the property, and the traffic on the road is not THAT bad.  But THAT is the problem.  Zeus will go down to the road when he follows the scent of deer that have passed through our woods.  My wife is afraid he will get hit by a car and I understand that.  So Management usually wins this argument, like she wins most of our arguments, and I walk the dog on a leash.

But sometimes, when it is really early in the morning, and my wife is still asleep, and there is almost no traffic, I cheat.  SHE will never know.  So on this frigid Saturday morning, Zeus and I got out of bed, and I let him out the back door.  In a few minutes he returned to the door to be let back in, but he was carrying something in his mouth.  (Dogs only carry things in their mouths.  But if you don't add that phrase, "in his mouth", the reader just might picture the dog carrying an item in some other way, and I don't want that distraction right now.)  When he stepped inside, I immediately recognized the item as a deer leg, a fresh deer leg with hair and skin and sinew and bone marrow dripping out from the femur.  Crap!  You see, there are often dead deer scattered about the landscape, and this Lab can smell one a mile away, and he loves the smell of deer. 

Zeus was so proud of this prize, but you see my dilemma.  If Management discovers the leg, she will know I let the dog out without a leash, and I will receive a tremendously forceful tongue lashing that I would really prefer to avoid.  If I just throw the leg in the woods near the house, the dog will simply bring it back again the next time I cheat.  Remember:  I didn't buy a poodle that never has to relieve themselves.  I bought a pooping retriever.  This leg will be like a piece of scotch tape that you can't get off your fingers.  Throw away, and retrieve, throw away, and retrieve.

So I put the leg in our kitchen wastebasket under the sink.  And as soon as the bag is a little more full, I will tie it up and take it to the can in the garage.  Zeus knows the leg is in there and I know the leg is in there, but Management is clueless.  Thank goodness she does not have a Lab's nose.  I know that Management thought it weird of me to be anticipating when she wanted to throw some trash in that wastebasket.  I immediately jumped to her side as she wiped her mouth with a napkin and said, "Here, let me throw that away for you."  And that is the way I played it, although I replaced her napkin six times for one bowl of soup.  I know she thought that napkin:soup ratio was a little over the top, but it worked.  I kept her away from the leg-filled wastebasket, and the secret was safe with Zeus and me forever.  Until Zeus returns for another helping of that carcass that is out there, somewhere.


  1. "I kept her away from the leg-filled wastebasket, and the secret was safe with Zeus and me forever. Until Zeus returns for another helping of that carcass that is out there, somewhere"

    Or Management reads this blog......

  2. Management and dog are conspiring somehow...

  3. Let him outside for a while and let him do all of that stuff, then when he wants back in, let him in. That is what we do with our dogs. And our dogs are German Shepherd/Black Lab mix and Golden Retriever.

  4. I have a Black Lab and a Golden Retriever. THey kinda have the same problem. So what we do with them is, let them outside, they go play and do their business. Then when the come to the door we know that means they would like inside. And we haven't had a problem since.

  5. Great read. It brought a laugh tonight to my weary soul.

  6. Katelyn: that is what I have always done. However, if he smells a deer while he is out there, he goes down to the edge of the road, where our last lab was killed by a car. He always comes back, but only after he has satisfied his curiosity. And you know what curiosity did to the cat.