Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Poop

Shiloh’s a poop-on-demand dog. Granted, after seven and a half years of living with him, I know his schedule. But if I’m leaving the house for a few hours and want him to feel relieved, he senses some urgency and will produce the desired results at an alternate time.

Monday morning Shiloh went out at 6:30 before his breakfast—a meal that looks the same as his dinner, raw or canned meat with a dry food chaser. In recent weeks, an overprotective doe with a freshly birthed fawn has kicked, chased, and harassed Shiloh even when I position myself between the two, so Shiloh hasn’t been relaxed enough on his first trip out to muster number two. Although we haven’t seen the doe in a week, Shiloh’s recall is pretty good, and this morning he only wet the ground and returned for rations.

By 9:30 I figured all systems would be go, so I said, “Shiloh, do you have to go poopy?” He knows the word, so by my inciting his memory, I hoped his venture outside and back into the house would be a short one.

After we stepped onto the back patio, Shiloh conducted his normal surveillance to ensure he wouldn’t be in the midst of a personal moment when another creature interrupted his concentration. Once he determined the deck was clear, he moved forward.

While he sniffed every sprig of green, I tossed leftover cat food to the other side of the fence into my back forty. “Shiloh, go poopy,” I reminded him twice, pitching my request as if to a higher being. “Good dog,” I encouraged hopefully.

As if some cruel answer to prayer, I felt two dollops fall from the heavens onto my fresh, clean white robe. I looked skyward and saw a happily relieved robin swinging on the wire overhead. With a smile and a wink, he flew away in a hurry.

From now on, I’m going to think about the old adage and consider the consequences of my request when I’m in nature’s territory, because the fulfillment of my wish might come from a different angle than expected.

And as for looking toward the heavens and asking for a miracle, next time I’ll take an umbrella.

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