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Friday, January 30, 2009

Disturbing Behavior

Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

I know, that's just want you wanted to see when you innocently clicked over here: a toilet the size of Italy. The content of this post, "Disturbing Behavior," isn't as scintillating as its title would lead you to believe. No, it's not about some juicy, obsessive-compulsive habit that I've been watching my neighbor do through the window, or my own propensity to talk to myself at length while I'm driving to work. But it does have to do with toilets (or, one particular toilet, I should say).

Moreover, it has to do with my dog.

First, some background. Here's what Tebow likes to do: follow me into the bathroom, sit on the rug by my feet, and just stare up at me while I'm doing the act (he's only allowed in to witness number one, not number two). I suppose this should make me uncomfortable, but it really doesn't. Quite the opposite, it actually makes me feel good that my own act of peeing is interesting enough to generate an audience. (Kevin, on the other hand, feels that this is borderline inappropriate, and kicks Tebow out when he tries to nudge his way in through the doorway. Yes, it's probably bad manners, but Tebow fills such an enormous part of my heart that he can pretty much do anything he wants except poop in the house, and it won't bother me.)

I often wonder what thoughts might be going through Tebow's walnut-sized-brain-of-a-three-year-old:

"How does she make that sparkly, sprinkly, watery sound?"
"This rug feels warm and fuzzy on my bum."
"Mom kind of looks like the Thinking Man statue, sitting like that."
"Mommy, you're the best pee-er EVER!"
"I wonder if we get to go for a walk soon."
"Stop sitting around doing nothing. It's time for you to boil me a beef bone!"

Lately, after I flush, he's started getting all excited. I step back, and he stands up on his hind legs, front paws on the toilet seat, peering with apparent eagerness into the swirling, churning water (usually yellow-tinted, because I never drink those recommended eight classes of water a day), his tail wagging as the water rises and falls, my wad of toilet paper moving in lazy circles, finally making that glug-glug sound as it disappears into the dark, mysterious pit of Never-Never-Land-of-Human-Waste below. He watches for a moment longer, his tail ceasing to wag, and looks up at me and then back down at the now-still water, and then back up at me. Probably wondering what the heck just happened, and if it will happen again if he stares for long enough. But then I leave, and he follows me out and forgets about it - at least until the next time I pee.

I used to think this was amusing, until he did the unthinkable, the unprecedented, the - yes - I daresay, the disturbing:

Just as the swirling, yellow-tinted water reached its swirling peak of height, mere inches from his nose, he suddenly lowered his snout into the toilet and began to drink! Right there, right in front of me! DRINKING THE SWIRLING, PISS-TINGED TOILET WATER!

I gasped, instantly caught off guard, choking on air.

"TEBOW! NOOOOO!," I cried out, grabbing him by the collar and yanking him away, wondering what had gotten into him. He sat back down and looked up at me happily, not guiltily, his tail thumping the floor. Kind of like he'd just done something really awesome, and was proud that his owner had seen him do it. Totally unaware of how bizarre and gross it is to drink water from a used, unflushed (or currently flushing) toilet.

I spent the morning rambling to Kevin about it, psychoanalyzing it, feeling mildly disturbed by Tebow's disturbing behavior. What might have prompted him to stick his lapping tongue in that water this time? It's not like he's never been in that position before, his nose hovering just a short distance above the spinning water. Could the black hole at the bottom have evil hypnotic qualities, beckoning in the soothing voice of the witch with the poisonous apple in Snow White: drink, my dear. Drink from the magical golden water. It won't hurt youuuuuuu.....

I was trying to think of what this might equate to if Tebow were a child, say, if he were Zachary.

Eating his own boogers? Yes, that would probably make me say "ew" and "knock it off."

Picking up a half-eaten slice of pizza on the sidewalk in Manhattan and cramming it into his mouth?

Trying to eat his own corduroy pants from the Good Will, which - yes - I would certainly torture my son into wearing?

Then of course, I began wondering if perhaps I'm overreacting, being that germ-a-phobic, manners-obsessed mother that I people make fun of. Maybe a little pee-tinged water doesn't matter; perhaps it provides some naturopathic benefits to dogs, like some sort of healthy electrolytes that enhance the shininess of the fur.

And maybe, the temptation to drink from a churning bowl of pee-scented water isn't so outrageous after all. Maybe it's a normal canine urge, or perhaps even a human urge. Maybe there are people who do it, or have done it, and can attest that it really isn't all that bad.

All of this is good, I guess, for it gives me something to Google for the next few weeks. Until I get to the bottom of it, though, Tebow can still keep me company while I pee (honestly, I enjoy the company), but the lid is coming down with a "thud" when I'm done. No more tempting calls from the black toilet hole!


*~*Lis*~* said...

Dogs are NASTY!!! I have two of them and quite a few poo, oh yes POO, related stories! I'd share them but it just makes me feel like a bad dog-parent so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Anabelle said...

Rowan likes to sip at her bath water, and I assure you, she pees in it the second the warmth hits her little bum. so yes.. humans do do it lol

on another toilet related funny note, my girlfriend has a son... he was peeing in the toilet shortly after she had just added one of those blue water smell pretty toilet thingies... of course with his pee, the water turned green. He asked her.. mama why does the water changes colors? She replied... it turns green when you pee in it... and he then replied.... If I pee in it again, what color does it change to next?

kd said...

Remember how my host mother wanted me to "bottle" my pee for her? 'Nuf said.

And as for the pizza on the Manhattan sidewalk, check out this NYT article from Monday:

cori said...

HAHAHA! so funny - ninja also barges in on the bathroom when i sit down to pee. never with tom, always with me.

but she never looks into the water, and i think if she did and tried to drink, she'd fall in...and we both know how much she hates to get wet!

Megan said...

My aunt's dog once ate a hundred dollars worth of twenties. She had to pick through his poop and try and put it back together.

Michelle said...

I have to put our kitty liter box where my dog can't get otherwise he will clean the litter for me...and not the way I would like. I do not know why dogs like these things...but I guess I'd be worried if I did.

sharonvw said...

When my Rottie was a puppy she LOVED to drink toilet bowl water, so we have a rule, the lids of the toilets are always put down when done.
As for poo, I can tell you far more vomit wothy stories there. YUK!

Lani said...

one of my cats ALWAYS sits in the bathroom with me when I shower. she sits in the basket with the magazines. she also likes to come in when i pee. I let her hang with me, for some reason, she must find it comforting or something. on occasion she'll put her paws up to watch everything go down when i flush, but she's never tried to drink it!!
i always wonder though what they are thinking i'm doing. especially the male cat who actually does drink from the toilet. i know he is wondering why i'm sitting on his water dish!

Monica LeMoine said...

Lis - agree! Dogs are NASTY! But they forgive our nastiness, so I forgive theirs.

Anabelle- awesome story!

KD - I will check out that article. I'm sort of afraid to, though.

Cori - maybe N and T taught each other that trick.

Megan - EW!!!!! I mean, holy f**king EW!

Michelle, yes, better not to know.

Shaz - good, I look forward to those stories in a future blog post of yours.

Lani - wow, cats are in on it too?! Who knew.