Stinky Lessons 2: Express Yourself


Before I get into one of the more disgusting Stinky Lessons, I wanted to say that I experienced a great deal of joy this afternoon when I discovered the most blessed Stinky Lesson of the autumn season: Any consistency of dog poop is easier to pick up when there is a bed of autumn leaves for it to fall on.

In other words, I now love the fall.

Now, without further ado, we must press onward into stinkier matters. The following discussion and accompanying video are really gross. You have been forewarned.

Sometimes your dog does not know how to express itself, and I am not talking about creative angst. When your dog’s butt starts to smell strongly of fish, this means its anal glands have filled with fluid and must be emptied or, in veterinary jargon, “expressed.” If a dog cannot express itself, it risks infection and severe pain unless someone else — a vet or groomer, perhaps — steps in and does the expressing.

When it comes to issues like this, Amy and I are rugged individualists. The first time Tiberius had this problem, Amy sucked up her pride, watched the following YouTube video, and, as I described it to my work friends the next day, “milked my dog’s butt.”

I was supportive. I distracted Tiberius with peanut butter while cradling his abdomen to keep him from sitting down, and when it was over I promised that next time I would do the dirty work myself.

“Next time” happened this past Monday. Like Amy, I watched the YouTube video. I visualized the operation ahead of time in hopes of getting it over with as quickly as possible. When Amy had expressed Tiberius previously, the fluid, which ranged from dark to yellow-brown to clear, squirted all over our living room floor. We had the benefit of a hard wood floor, but the room still smelled like a fish market even after I scrubbed every lick of anal fluid off of it. Having learned from our mistakes we set Tiberius up in the bathroom and I stripped down to my undies in order to prevent cross-contamination.

From there it was just a matter of in, up, squeeze, out, repeat.

Expressing Tiberius was much less nauseating the second time. In fact, having overcome the initial hurdle of doing it myself, I started to feel pretty jazzed about my new found ability. I felt confident enough in my utility that I started thinking about offering to express dogs for other people. Maybe I could advertise that I could match or beat competitor offers and go into “expressing” as a side business.

Sure, Tiberius hasn’t been able to look me in the eye since Monday, but that’s not exactly something I’d have to worry myself with once the expression money started rolling in.

Now, if only there were a secondary market for canine butt milk…

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