Poop Patrol

What’s the difference between little dogs and big dogs?

The little ones like to poop inside. Especially when it’s cold in the morning.

We never had this problem with our former dogs. There was a husky/lab mix who ran off a lot; a lab/Doberman mix who liked to bite exploding fireworks; and we had a hybrid wolf who chewed through a wooden door. But all of these beloved pets—may they rest in peace—pooped outside.

Cinco, on the other hand, who is our 4-1/2 year old Chihuahua, has a going problem. It didn’t coincide with the cold weather. (And by cold in Tucson I mean cold enough to require slippers and sweaters in the morning). It started shortly after our neighbor, Wile E. Coyote, tried to have her for an afternoon snack one day back in October.

We had just returned home from a volleyball game and dropping the girls at piano. I went into my office to check email and heard Cinco bark. Parents who also have small, yappy dogs recognize their barks the same way they recognize the cries of their babies. And in a moment, her bark turned into a cry of alarm. I heard high-pitched, panicked SCREAMS.

I got up at once and wrestled with the door leading from my office to our yard. The deadbolt was released but the handle lock was slippery and I was acting too quickly. Finally getting the door open, I bolted outside and saw a coyote with Cinco in its mouth!

Talk about animal instincts. Mine kicked in immediately. I ran toward them waving my arms and yelling “No! No! Get out of here! Get out!” The coyote tried to scale the wall with Cinco in its mouth, and as I continued screaming and got closer to them, this #@$*&! dropped her, ran across the playground and climbed the wall, returning to the undeveloped desert surrounding our home. Cinco scurried to the opposite end of the yard.

She was not injured as far as we could tell. No cuts. No blood. But OMG the SMELL!!!! The saliva all over her was absolutely foul.

She had an immediate bath. I had a glass of wine. Actually, I think she recovered more quickly than I. But in the ensuing months, it’s become apparent that her internal trauma may have led to a fear of going into the backyard to do her business. And I’m not the least bit confident about leaving her out there unsupervised.

She’ll always take the opportunity when she’s on the leash on walks to the bus stop or around the property when she joins us for our after-run cool down; however, rarely a day goes by when I go on Poop Patrol, that I don’t find a Tootsie roll in one of three favorite places. Just as we have three bathrooms in the house, Cinco tiene tres tambien. They are: The Living Room, The Dining Room and The Arizona Room. Honestly! How much can one little dog poop?

I’m afraid this new habit may be too difficult to break and I’ll probably be scooping and disinfecting for a long, long time. Another difference between little dogs and big dogs is that the little ones tend to have longer life spans. We’re grateful her life wasn’t cut short by the near death experience with Mr. Wile E.; but that coyote obviously scared the crap out of her.

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