Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dirty ol’ dog

Dogs become accustomed to the surfaces they spend the most time on.
As a puppy, Sensi always had a patch of grass to pee on. When Brent moved into a place where construction had caused the lawn to be torn up, it was a little difficult getting him to understand that he could pee on dirt too.
He learned, but he stills prefers grass — and not just for the potty. Sensi loves to lay on the grass, roll around on it, stretch out and sunbathe in it. He just loves a good plush lawn.
Outside our house, Sensi certainly has a couple choices as far as surfaces go. There’s the lawn, the concrete porch and the dirt driveway. We’re used to him choosing the lawn to spend his time on.
During the past weekend, Brent and I began digging up our overgrown and neglected garden beds. They stretch from one end of the house to the other.
Last week, Brent tore out 10-plus dying, browned bushes that I have loathed from the time I first set on eyes on the house. The garden beds were ripped up with mounds of dirt and holes where the roots were. Cleaning and evening out the beds was a lot of work.
As we started working on it, Sensi was passing the time in the usual way — lounging around on the grass. But the sun got hotter and shade disappeared.
I figured he’d go hang out on the cool concrete porch. I was wrong.
For the first time in his life, my dog figured out that dirt — which he doesn’t care much for — can be good for something. As we turned up the soil in the beds, he realized the dirt was nice and cool, and softer than the concrete.
We kept a few burning bushes, and one of them provided a spot of shade. The shade also happened to be covering a spot where another bush’s roots left a big hole.
He curled up in the hole, enjoying the cool dirt and shade. And he stayed there practically all weekend, even after the hole was covered up.
I’ve seen lots of dogs dig themselves out holes in the dirt to keep cool in the summer. I know it’s common. I know I shouldn’t be surprised.
But you don’t my dog. He avoids dirt. He always has — even back when he was a puppy, searching for a spotty patch of grass to pee on.
So I was surprised. After six years, he’s finally discovered that dirt is good for something.
And now I’ve got myself a dirty ol’ dog.

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