Do You Kiss Your Dog?

Posted on June 13, 2009


Nothing but a nice, cold kiss to soothe the fraying nerves of an anxious Toby

Nothing but a nice, cold kiss to soothe the fraying nerves of an anxious Toby

Hello. I hope you have all been well.

Do you kiss your dog? As in, full frontal-no reservations-lip on lip-sometimes tongue-saliva smothering-face sucking-kiss?

Okay I jest with some of the seat squirming antics. Personally, I restrict my kisses and sometimes loving kicks to Toby’s face to just his nose (it’s almost always cold and wet; that’s a good thing) and on days when I know he’s just been cleaned and hasn’t been grovelling his face into some other dogs’ faeces, I allow him to lick my mouth and face.

Working in a dog environment, I get to interact a lot with owners and our conversations range from the mundane (“what kind of diet is your dog on?”) to the nitty gritty (“is he on Advocate? I heard Revolution is better!”). Most times, the conversations degenerates from the serious into a public declaration of how much their dog is loved. And it degenerates even further when they ask me whether I have a furry friend at home myself. Me? Of course! I don’t just love him, I kiss him too!

Often, that line alone is enough to put some dog owners off. Regardless of the dog’s size or breed, they are curious chumps and the likelihood of them stuffing their face silly into a dead possum, chook or (bless me!) his own faeces is relatively common.

Blink and you’ll miss.

Dog owners often tell funny stories of their dogs getting up to mischief and putting God knows what into their mouths. The worst I’ve ever seen Toby clean his teeth with are the skeletal remains of a *insert animal* when we went walking along a creek. He had disappeared behind some bushes for awhile, and when I called out to him, he reappeared with half a jawbone of an animal that had obviously passed on at that same spot. I didn’t know whether to feel disgust or laugh at Toby’s antics. Afterall, what do you say to a dog who’s obviously happy to find a chew toy and was wagging his tail furiously to show off his trophy.

Then there are the faeces belonging to other species. I have, on many occasions, returned home to find Toby’s entire body matted with the faeces of our neighbour’s cat. Not that I don’t dig cats, but when they roam the neighbourhood (as all cats do) and venture into other people’s properties, they love leaving their mark all over.

Dogs love covering their scent with the smell of other animals. Nature’s way of covering their trail; survival instincts, that kind of thing. Not that Toby requires much survival and predatory skills, but all he does is make Michele and me extremely cross. Which results in a stern scolding, an hour wasted cleaning and drying him up and a idle moment spent on ridiculous measures to kill the bloody neighbour’s cat.

Did you know dogs lick their pee while they’re, eh, peeing? I guess it’s their way of cleaning themselves. Maybe they like the salty taste in their mouths. Whether or not all dogs do it is another matter, but all dogs clean up after they pee. That is, they lie on their sides, spread their hind legs and lick their little ‘doody’ clean. The way Toby smacks his lips after licking his ‘doody’, I swear he reckons it’s a tasty soup dish!

On Australia’s popular Dogz Online Forums, we often share what our dogs get up to. The funniest remark I’ve read was from a mid 30s lady who was married with two kids.

“Look, I love both my husband and dog. But I would only kiss my husband and suck on his balls because it doesn’t have pee on it!”

An owner is more likely to kiss his dog if it’s a home dog. I guess a farmer in woop woop with several cattle dogs won’t be clamouring for his dogs’ attention with his grubby face anytime soon. In the metro area, a dog spends most of his time indoors or within the property’s premises, and is more likely to be clean. Which is great for Toby as he enjoys his kisses from Daddy, and sometimes, Mommy.