Early mornings I usually with a mother’s instinct briefly become perfectly conscious and purely awake to find Otis quietly sitting all pudgy and darling in the middle of the bedroom facing the back deck door. He is silently and politely asking to be let out for an early backyard mountainside bathroom break. I’ll smile, jab Dylan a little with an elbow and Dylan will with more mechanical impulse than actual awareness get up to open both the back deck door so Otis can do business as well as our bedroom door so Otis can slip out and get a drink of water or whatever else he might feel like doing. Then he’ll come cuddling back into bed and sigh and lick his paws or lick my arms and face and hands as he waits adorably, quietly, patiently till I’m ready to get up and take him for our morning run.
I noticed recently on the runs that Otis didn’t regularly stop ever to poo. I conjectured Otis’ early morning bathroom breaks might be more than a back deck mountainside pee. Indeed we spied him in reflection from the big mirrors in our room a couple times scaling the rocks and rounding the fence to Matty’s place and then discreetly quickly return. I assumed this was Otis chasing birds or raccoons or doing some form of illicit adventuring. I realized next that Otis was probably actually peeing in our backyard but saving all the pooing for the neighbour’s. Very polite and cute of him to make such distinctions but I felt the neighbours might be a little less stoked on the point than me. After the run I therefore decided to check the next door backyard and clean things up as needed. I expected to find two or three little poo piles but ultimately I counted seventeen. Seventeen! That’s a lot of pooing. I chuckled a bit to myself as I set about to work. Otis accompanied me and stood sheepishly by as I picked up all his poo. The little poo bags made a gradually fairly impressive poo bag mountain. A mountain of manure can only bring merriment in these types of limited conditions. “Who’s my impressive pooper, who’s my impressive pooper!” I gaily cooed. Otis got into play pose, performed some half bounds and leaps in his sheepish excitement, I smooshed my face into his, he licked me lots while making squeaking sounds and then I grinned and smiled and hugged him good.
One recent early morning after Dylan opened the door for him, Otis rushed out onto the deck while Dylan and I continued cozily to slumber inside as per the usual. Our comfortable snoozing and lounging was disrupted by Otis making awful coughing, throat clenching, hacking sounds. “Oh shit,” we thought, “Not again.” We were worried we were in for another upsetting week of unenlightening veterinary visits with Otis being mysteriously ill, throwing up constantly a bunch of goo and grass and not being able to keep either water or his kibble down…
Once I was up, I went out to the deck to see. Thankfully this time the vomiting scenario brought about concrete and visible results. Otis had thrown up some inanimate uneatable thing so this instance was more in keeping with how things “should be.” Dog eats something bad and inanimate, dog throws up, case closed concisely and with ease. Feeling thus less concerned and more casual about things, I turned my sleuth brain on and peered closer at the vomit. It was strangely tidy and twisted, unlike the big gooey vomit piles from the week long mysterious illness period. This vomit looked like just whatever the offending article itself was alone, covered in a clear thin glaze of goo. Whatever Otis threw up looked something like a small child’s tiny woven shoe. Gingerly I poked at the tidy pile and peered closer. It now seemed potentially like some bra straps or a small bunching of purple and beige twisted fabric. “Curious,” I thought.
Later I described the occurrence to Marika. She immediately went outside to survey the scene. “My panties,” Marika announced in a voice as solemn as it was conclusive. Her expression was intimate and grim. “I know why he ate those,” said Marika. “Oh,” I said, signifying that further elaboration was not needed.
“I can’t believe he ate my panties,” Marika again later mused. “Those were really nice panties,” she added sadly. “Well,” I replied, “You could always just wash them real good and wear them again?” Marika gave me a look. The look transported me quickly to the understanding that my suggestion was significantly less than reasonably amazing.
Later we told Dylan about what happened. Dylan listened, attentive and amused. Then he called out, “Professor Pantysnacks! Professor Pantysnacks!” He rushed at Otis and tickled him. Otis with wide wild eyes and wiggling body leaped, bounded, panted, squirmed and squeaked.
Afterward as Dylan was changing for the day, Otis stood around and nibbled with open secrecy at the corner of another pair of discarded briefs. He offered a couple further test licks and nibbles at the undergarment all without taking his eyes off Dylan. “Professor Pantysnacks,” Dylan said with warning in his voice, “I’m watching you. No more panties for you!” Otis startled, stopped and played sheepish. Then he plopped himself sideways and down and began panting elaborately, apparently now completely tuckered from life’s excessive promises and exciting delights. In the imagination place of his wistful dog heart, I could tell he was happily plopped upon and ruefully lost inside a pile of used panties and dirty lingerie. Outside of walks, runs, garbage, chew toys, car rides, love, attention, cuddles and treats, it’s really about the underwear.