After 27 years of being obsessed with dogs, watching every documentary I could find about dogs, and reading every book and article I could get my hands on about canine behavior, anatomy, and genetics, I consider myself rather well versed in general regarding dogs. I’ve been a dog owner for nearly a decade, and in that time, I have shared (and/or am sharing) my life with 4 of my own dogs (2 of which were rescued or re-homed) and about a dozen fosters. I’ve dealt with a myriad of different behavioral problems, from dog aggression to submissive peeing. I don’t know if I’m an expert, since I don’t have any sort of paper or certification to prove my knowledge, but I certainly know more than most when it comes to four-legged fur-kids. Between my connections in the conformation/show world, the performance/sport world, and the rescue world, I’ve either dealt with it directly or I probably know someone who has. For that reason, I’m the one my friends and family come to for advice about dogs.
“My 6 month old puppy and my 3 year old dog are fighting – what do I do?” I can help with that.
“My female is 4 and recently started peeing in her sleep almost every night – what do I do?” I can help with that.
“My dog is incessantly licking its paws and scratching its face – what do I do?” I can definitely help with that!
But I am currently faced with a problem that even I cannot seem to ameliorate.
Westley, my littlest – and “rottenest” – dog, is intact. He has to be – he’s a show dog. And anyway, it’s healthier for him to remain intact for as long as possible (yes, really!). For the past 6 months or so, he’s acted as though it’s his job to personally keep my couch, counters, bed, and door frames well hydrated. If they were plants and he peed water, this would be totally awesome. But they’re not, and he doesn’t.
This isn’t strictly a behavioral problem. It’s hormonal. It’s anatomical. And it’s annoying. Damn those testicles…
Everything I’ve tried has failed to work. We’ve now resorted to managing the problem by way of a belly band. I call it Westley’s “diapee” – a diaper strictly for pee… Makes sense to me…
But managing a problem is not the same as solving a problem, nor is it 100% effective. Wes can’t wear his diapee 24/7, and I can’t watch his every move 24/7. Plus, it breaks my heart to watch his little face fall when he sees me coming with his diapee in hand. I know he hates it – but not as much as I hate cleaning up his pee!!
I try talking to the little bugger, explaining what the diapee is and why he has to wear it, but I swear, it’s like he just doesn’t understand English! (Heh.)
This isn’t the worst – or funniest – problem we’ve encountered thanks to Westley’s testicles. Despite all my dog experience and knowledge, Wes is my first intact adult, and I’m definitely experiencing “baptism by fire” when it comes to understanding the challenges that presents. Ironically, that’s the one thing Wes won’t pee on – the baptismal fire I wish he’d extinguish!!
That’s why we’ve begun calling Westley “Testicles” (rhymes with Heracles, which is the Greek name for the demigod known in Roman mythology as Hercules). He is controlled almost entirely by his balls – and oh, the things they make him do!!
Stay tuned for more of the Trials and Adventures of Testicles.