Archive for May 5th, 2014

May 5, 2014

Well, duh

by Janie Jones

A German Shepard makes a lot of poo.  Not exactly a eureka moment discovery, but knowing and experiencing a thing are completely different, my friends.

Some time ago, back in February, Leif got a German Shepard puppy.  She was only 10 or 12 weeks old, tiny, adorable and completely white.  She looked more like a large rabbit, or even a cat, than a dog.  Here she will be called Vera.

Leif loves big dogs.  Now, I love dogs, and dogs of all sizes warm my heart.  But I have a rule, I have to be able to pick up and carry my dog effortlessly, I will not run the risk of owning a big dog I can’t restrain or carry in an emergency.  So, I’ve only ever owned dogs of 30 pounds or less.  When Leif wanted to get a big dog, I didn’t complain I just said, “fine, then it will be your responsibility.”

But, having only ever lived with small dogs, I’m finding life with Vera surprising in many ways.  Little things, not Earth shattering, but a bit surprising when you’re not accustomed to a dog of size.  She has grown, as puppies and babies of all types do, exponentially and in just 3 and a half months has dwarfed Rupert.  Now she can get things off the table top or counter top without any effort.  She can jump on you in bed and immobilize you by laying on top of you.  The power of her paw when she plops it in your lap while not painful is still impressive, and if she smacks you with it when she’s playing, and gets you with a toenail or two, it can leave a red welt that stings tremendously.  She can rear up to give you a dog kiss and put her paws on my shoulders, not something I’ve ever had to deal with before.  And, she can goose you with her nose while you’re walking, getting dressed or sitting on the toilet.  I have to start remembering to completely fasten the bathroom door and not just let it swing mostly closed….

Besides from these quirks and to adjusting to puppy energy (Rupert is an old sedate dog) she is a sweetheart, and smart, and learning to be a good girl very quickly.  When Vera first came home with Leif he kept her in the front room for most of the first 2-3 weeks to limit the areas affected by potty training accidents, and for one reason or another, she was almost exclusively put out in the front yard to do her business.  Within a few weeks she had potty training 99% in hand.

Yeay, Vera!  Good girl!

And, apparently those early weeks of training made quite an impression as she still seems to prefer to do her business in the front yard.

What’s more to be excited about is that the snow has melted, finally.  Yeay!!!

Here comes the but…

With the receding snow comes the full exposure of 3 months of buried poo in the front yard.

Now, Rupert is trained to go primarily in the back.  I hate having a poo studded yard in the spring when the snows melt so I endeavor to keep up with scooping despite the snow and the cold.  Throughout the winter I try to keep a little dog run area shoveled so Rupert can poop right by the back door and where it’s easy for me to see, scoop up, and dispose of regularly.  Seeing as our driveway is out back and Rupert does his business in the back I don’t use the front door hardly ever in the winter.  And apparently Leif got rather behind on keeping up with the scooping out front from Vera.

Last week we were treated to day after day of rain, and the old poop having been reconstituted by the rain smelled to high heaven, besides from looking extremely unpleasant.  Leif had said several times he’d take care of it, but I knew that if it was going to be scooped anytime soon somebody would have to elect herself to do it, and as Saturday and Sunday it was dry and sunny, while Rupert was out availing himself of nature, I figured there was no time like the present.

That was when the knowledge that a dog which would push 80 pounds or more at full size would have more poop than a small dog collided head on with first hand experience.  No previous understanding of the logistics of dog poop mass to body size ratio prepared me for it to take nearly an hour and a half to scoop up some 3 months of poop.  It filled up most of a brown paper grocery sack and was so heavy (even having dried out again) the handles ripped off.  And she’s still just a puppy, barely half her adult size.  I can’t imagine the amount of poo that dog will generate in three months by the time she’s full grown.

And, that folks is one more reason why I’m a small dog person.