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Dogs: Like Refrigerators, Almost

February 10, 2012

When I was eight, my family got a dog. It was a passive acquisition—a cocker spaniel puppy showed up in our back yard one day and then stuck around for thirteen years. His name was Randy.

There were numerous vacant lots scattered around our neighborhood. This was in Florida, which meant those lots were thick with trees and underbrush. They were perfect places to take Randy on his walks and let him nose around and do his biological duties. And we didn’t bother picking up after him. Poop in the woods seemed a pretty reasonable natural occurrence.

One of the lots he frequented, just down the street from us, was eventually cleared for a new house. So he started occasionally doing his business in the adjacent lot. This displeased the new homeowner, whose name was Hank. Hank was probably middle-aged; I was a preteen, so I only remember that he had gray hair and he was big. Hank didn’t like Randy using that lot (to which he had no claim of ownership) for defecatory purposes, and so he started turning his hose on me or my older brother if we ever ventured over there with Randy while he was outside. That action wasn’t preceded by a verbal warning, by the way; one day I was minding my own business, holding my dog’s leash while he sniffed around, and the next thing I knew, an old guy was wordlessly spraying me with his garden hose from about twenty feet away.

Needless to say, Hank died a few years later of a heart attack, and long after he was gone Randy was still shitting in the vacant lot next to his home.

Karma: 1

Hank: 0


My daughter has always displayed an ability to entertain herself with a variety of projects and interests. Give her some scissors, tape, glue, staples, paper, and maybe even some fabric she shouldn’t be cutting, and she can make a huge mess. But out of those messes are usually born clever creations focused on her latest obsession. These have included dragons, owls, yard sales, crocheting, Harry Potter, lizards, dogs, N’Sync (I know), and bake sales. She’s a Renaissance girl. Also a hoarder.

My son, on the other hand, worried me for the last few years with his reliance on electronics for stimulation. If he wasn’t on the computer or playing the Wii or DS, he was sooo booooooooored. Was I going to have a kid who didn’t like physical activity or imaginative play, who just sat around in front of a screen getting dumber every day? I listen to NPR and read literary fiction—this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

Fortunately, that phase passed. Legos, basketball, and science kits are now a part of his arsenal, and I couldn’t be happier.


My own little family recently added a new member. He’s a German Shepherd/Labrador mix, our first dog. We call him Dexter.

I’m trying to be a responsible pet owner. I take him on daily walks. I brush his coat regularly and I give him baths. If it’s too early or too late and he’s barking outside, I bring him in and we have a frank discussion about the importance of courtesy.

I also pick up his crap. I’m thirty-three years old, and for the first time in my life I’m literally handling poop. This is far different from changing diapers; that was wiping, not picking up the stool with a thin plastic bag and carrying it for several blocks until I pass a dumpster.

It’s been a few months of this, so I mostly don’t dry heave anymore when performing this chore. Instead I just try to count the number of chewed up Lego pieces visible in his offering.

But my constitution was tested again the other day when he did his business at the dog park. Because what came out of his butt looked frighteningly like Jello. As in, there was normal poop, and then on top of that was about a cup’s worth of wobbly yellow gelatin. Fully set, like it were straight from the fridge. I did not enjoy being a responsible dog owner at that moment.

The mystery of the poop wasn’t explained until that evening when I was at work. I received this text from my wife:

So the jello poop was because Dex ate gelatin from Noah’s science experiment kit.


I’m thirty-three years old; I have a dog; and Legos, basketball, and science kits are now a part of my son’s arsenal. I think this is what it means to be a happy adult.


From → The Progenitor

  1. Linda Graves permalink

    Ben, you have a way of talking about just about anything. You are SPECIAL!!! I ask a big favor of you though, please…no more poo poo talk.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    potty talk….practically the only language we speak here. may hank rest in peace…and may we all keep pooping!

  3. Has there really been that much talk of poop on this blog? I know I use the word ‘shit’ a lot, but it usually isn’t in reference to actual feces…
    But you’re right about one thing, Linda: I am special.

    • Grab the garbage can with a bag in it. Take a plitasc grocery bag and put it over your hand. Pick up said droppings and drop in trash can. Tie bag up when done and throw in city can.VA:F [1.9.3_1094]please wait…VA:F [1.9.3_1094](from 0 votes)

  4. Bob Essex permalink

    Ben that was a great story. Thank you for sharing.

    • Wow. What a lucky dog. Most dogs probably live in ciites where all the people are but not lucky dogs like you. Youve got some good pics. Who is your photographer by the way? Your man seems like he has some pretty good taste in music. Ive heard of Floyd. Hank aint so bad himself either. You’re alright in my book Desert Dawg! See you out there.

  5. Your dog poop can be very useful for your potitng soil and indoor plants if your house uses gas for cooking and heating dog poop prevents gas infections which cause yellowing in your house plants just put your dog poop in your mixer or buy another mixer for just that use and apply it in your potitng soil bag and shake it to evenly distribute to the soil..VA:F [1.9.3_1094]please wait…VA:F [1.9.3_1094](from 0 votes)

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