Rough Week in Doglandia

Elvis post 2 AM bath, feeling so guilty he won;t even look at me.
Elvis post 2 AM bath, feeling so guilty he won;t even look at me.

You know it’s a bad week when your human companions are considering taxidermy. While last weeks near debacle with law enforcement was not their fault Olive and Elvis have been a lot to manage recently. The day after we got home one of the Olvis pair scored a bar of dark chocolate. This bar of 72% darkness was in a heretofore safe spot hanging in the fruit basket over our counter. Now all chocolate reside in the microwave when partially eaten. Unopened bars are in the freezer staying safe from the mice and heat.

Chocolate and dogs can lead to gastrointestinal distress. The next day we came home after a brief excursion to poop and egg shells. Elvis stole all our eggs from the counter and ate them. Somebody pooped on the newly cleaned rugs. Time to wash the rugs again. All eggs are now safely stored in the fridge. Our fridge is small so we used to leave them out. The entire world outside of the US does not refrigerate eggs. It’s not a real safety issue. These eggs were especially safe as they were homegrown and had vener been chilled. Also, it was a sad loss because they were homegrown eggs. Oh, the super yellow, glossy yokes I will never see. I hope Elvis enjoyed them. We have re-upped our US citizenry and are now chilling the eggs to keep them out of dog’s reach.

Last night was when we discussed mounting postures for our soon to be taxidermied pooches. It was at 2 AM while we were outside in our PJs washing the dogs with a homemade anti-skunk potion. We weren’t doing this for fun. Despite seven previously unenjoyable encounters with skunks Elvis had to try once more. Just like three years ago a skunk must have peeked in our open door and the dogs blasted out ready to kill. Cue me googling Anti-skunk recipe. I’d used one before but couldn’t remember the ratio. Dawn, hydrogen perixide, and baking soda work pretty well and we always have it on board. Well, almost always. Now we are out of baking soda since I used it all last night. We are also down to our last bottle of H2O2 so I’ll have to refresh that. H2O2 is a purgative and needed at all times for inducing vomiting when dogs steal chocolate and accidentally poison themselves. I’m thinking the taxidermy display should have a skunk so future viewers will understand what happened. Our trailer, I presume, still reeks despite a total wash down. Olfactory fatigue has deadened my sense of smell. Luckily, or coincidentally, the rugs were not reinstalled after the egg fiasco so they don’t require a third washing this week.

On to more upbeat topics. I saw my first dung beetle in action this week. Dung beetles are the sewage workers of the world. They eat poop. They lay their eggs in poop. They love poop. Leave some poop and dung beetles take it away and help turn it into soil. Here’s what might happen to a turd pile near you. A turd is deposited and dung beetles find it. I presume they smell it. They fly or walk in. The males carve off bits of poop and roll it into balls and head away from the pile as fast as they can push. There are lazy dung beetles waiting around to steal balls of poop so if a beetle isn’t quick he could be robbed of his bounty. It’s a high stakes game. Female dung beetles follow the guy with the nice ball of crap. The male beetle pushes the ball in a kind of reverse wheelbarrow pose. His hind legs are pushing the ball and his front legs are pushing on the ground. His eyes are gazing skyward and he uses the sun or the STARS to navigate in a straight line away from the source poop pile and the competing beetles. The female might ride on top of the poop. The dung beetle is the first insect species proven to use celestial navigation. Where are they going I wondered? They are just using simple geometry to get as far away as possible from the literal shit storm of dung beetle competition. A straight line is the most efficient way to get far away. I watched my beetle push over rocks and through grass clumps. Once in a while he would climb on top of his poop ball for a better view but only when a particularly irksome obstacle impeded progress. And since they are pushing backwards it helps prevent them circling back to their starting point. People have a natural tendency to walk in a circle when lost. The dung beetle has overcome this.

After the beetle is safely away he and his lady friend might bury the poop and she’ll lay her eggs on it for the kids to eat. Or they might eat it themselves. All that buried poop does wonders for the soil. Check out the Dung Beetle Derby. I’ve posted a video of my pet beetles push to safety on Facebook. Here’s some more info describing the celestial navigation discovery and a pushing video.

Maybe a rattlesnake would make a better pet?
Maybe a rattlesnake would make a better pet?
Or perhaps a dung beetle. We've got plenty of food for them.
Or perhaps a dung beetle. We’ve got plenty of food for them. This guys ball was not very circular.
Brilliant green star navigator.
Brilliant green star navigator.
My favorite new pet for consideration: Cactus wren.
My favorite new pet for consideration: Cactus wren.
This one wants to move in.
This one wants to move in.

15 thoughts on “Rough Week in Doglandia”

  1. My sister was skunked on arriving at work last week. She was in the office 10 minutes before she realized the odor was HER! She went home, called people and Googled that same formula you did. She threw away her clothes and purse. She washed herself, her car interior parts and days later the office chair.

    I enjoy watching the dung beetles here. Once our neighbors came to visit us on their horses. Dung beetles were here in a flash when the horses dropped their “road apples” Our dog’s poo is sometimes taken away by dung beetles, sometimes by me and my scooper!

  2. Travelling without animals would certainly be easier but would it be as much fun or make for as many great stories? I think not!

  3. Pat, that is so funny. I feel sorry for your sister but it reminds me of Burt’s story of getting skunked as a kid. His dad make him take his clothes off in the yard and wouldn’t let him in the house. Burt cried and cried.

  4. You are correct but they are on our last nerve. Now they are obsessed with a lizard or rat in the truck chassis and have ripped out WIRES!!! Were these wire important? That remains to be seen. Also, they have started eating acorns. Binge eating acorns. They saw me doing it and now they can’t stop either. I predict more gastric upset. For all of us.

  5. do you want some dog toys? Buck swallowed a cloth “hotdog” unbeknownst to me/us so it cost $600 plus a trip to the emergency Sunday Vet in Sierra Vista. I supervise 5 minutes each with cloth toys now and buy those Nylabones that are safe for them to chew. or maybe Burt’s old slippers are a dog toy. Let me know and I’ll send over some of Willis’s slippers LOL

  6. We have some Cactus wrens here too. They eat bugs out of the lattice work on the front window and peek in when given the chance! Don’t they know the New Mexico state bird is the Common roadrunner!?

  7. Sure pass your troubles onto us. Like we don;t have enough vet bills and self-poisonings. That said, the kids love a good cloth toy. They gut ’em and love ’em.

  8. Okay, I’ll see Carol and Howard tomorrow so will pass on a magazine I wanted you to see plus the dog toys. If they won’t see you, they’ll no doubt put in the Portal PO cupboard.

  9. oh and these dogs like to get the squeaky thing out of the toys and then I sew them back in for the next time.

  10. Yesterday Elvis decided we didn’t need the wire that goes to the license plate light on the truck.

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