I was taking Millie out in the backyard before our usual Thursday run to Funnybones for Big Dogs for her weekly playday. I noticed her rubbing her ear in the ground repeatedly even after being redirected. I thought perhaps she had an ear infection and was planning a trip to the vet after her playday.
Turns out she did not have an itchy ear. She was rubbing herself in deer poop. We did not know it at the time but Bob soon remembered a deer leaping over the fence the night before and then back over again to join the group walking through the area behind our property.
As I was dropping her off at Funnybones the handler was nuzzling her face and noticed he came away with something ‘gross’ on his hand. Then I found it on my hand, my shirt, the back seat of the car, her carseat, and two babies at home as well as her day bed. We knew it wasn’t dog poop as the smell was more dark and musky – sage and pine. He said he though it was deer poop. I remembered then when she had rubbed her ear and face in the backyard. He said that’s what dogs do.
My next stop was Google. Turns out it is completely natural and very dog like behavior. For several reasons:
- Warning others of predators
- Camoflauging themselves so they become the masked predator
- Marking their territory
- Delivering messages about where they found something
- They like the new smell and want more of it
Later that night after the great bathing and cleaning of everything she had touched -Bob and I were comparing her behavior to living out our UU faith and came up with some pretty creative scenarios….. thoughts?