Sunday, September 21, 2008

Intestinal Fortitude

My Junior year in college I went on a cruise with 11 other girls to the Bahamas. It was a five-day, four-night cruise, full of the typical cruise-like behavior: drinking, over eating, drinking, sunbathing, drinking, flirting with boys, drinking, drinking and more drinking. You find out a lot about each other living in close quarters, even if it is just for a few days. One of the girls, Sharon*, who eagerly partook in the festive behavior throughout the week refused to go to go "number two" all week while we shared a bathroom. She called it "poop fear." I called it impressively painful.

I realized this weekend, as we walked the girls among hundreds of visitors to the Ocmulgee National Monument for the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, Roxy may have the same poop fear that Sharon suffered from. In a dog, I think this is an admirable quality. It doesn't force me to walk around with a smelly bag, looking for a trash can. She politely holds it until we get home. When we travel, it's not an issue. She potties on a leash perfectly. But she has a sixth sense of knowing that there are 1000 people around watching her every move and she prefers to be more lady like.

And boy, were they watching our every move. The fall weather (anything under 85 degrees is considered fall in Georgia) had everyone outside, looking for something to do, so the festival was very crowded. Seka and Roxy were pretty much the only dogs there, and certainly the largest. We walked among the vendors, carefully keeping their noses and mouths away from the beautiful fur pelts that were on display. We really couldn't go more than about four or five steps without someone asking to pet them and as proud parents, we were certainly happy to show them off.

There were beautiful costumes, horses covered in tribal war paint, lovely beaded jewelry and amazing pottery on display. I guess I didn't think about the other Native American-oriented things that would be a part of the day, like drums and black power rifles, both of which were present and both of which almost ruined Roxy's day right from the start. But she pulled it together and was a big girl. Treats help calm your nerves when the thunder gods are chasing you.

Both girls enjoyed all the attention they received. Seka stood quietly and received her petting in true greyhound fashion. Roxy was a bit over stimulated at first. Even while sitting to receive her love, she whined a little. She got used to all the strangers loving on her pretty quickly, and after a little while she started seeking out love herself. I'm telling you, the girl's got a sixth sense. She could tell who was going to bend down and give her attention just by looking at them. She would suddenly sit down and wait for the approaching person, who I wasn't even looking at, to come up and ask me to pet her. It was really funny.

Seka proved that she does not suffer from poop fear. We couldn't even get out of the car before she was marking on everything. However, she did hold her poop until we got to the burial mound, so she could show everyone just how big and gross it could be. I've threatened her with getting a vest that has pockets on it to make her hold her own poop bags until we can find a trash can, but I don't think they make them with pockets big enough.

To end the day on a sweet note, we took the girls for an ice cream. They were so tired, they barely made it out of the car, but as soon as they got a whiff of the waffle cones, they got their second wind.

Maybe it was the four hours we spent out in the sun. Maybe it was lactose intolerance. Or maybe it was just the fact she was in the comfort of her own back yard, but as soon as we made it home, Roxy's display intestinal fortitude was over. It reminded me of Sharon when we stepped off the plane in Atlanta and she went running, no sprinting, to the ladies restroom. So much for her no public pooping rule.

*names have been changed to protect the constipated.


Anonymous said...

What an adventure and loved all the pictures!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

I'll admit, I have poop fear too to some extent also... unless I'm dying I will not "go" in a public restroom- too dang hard in that "no-touch-of-toliet stance" -
but I don't consider hotels and such "public"...

Good for Roxy! Maybe she can teach Peanut some of those manners, she'll go anywhere, anytime:-/

Zan said...

My Sugar was that way - no public pooping or peeing. Neither of my current hounds suffer from that affliction though. sounds like you guys had a great day!!

IHateToast said...

a dog clenching, drums, power rifles? what could go wrong. man, she's stronger than i. one bang, and i'd flinch enough to need a bag.

i had poop fear with boyfriends.

and some people have those crappy toilets that barely flush. they brought back poop fear. i don't poop in other people's houses. it's like tht david sedaris book me talk pretty one day.