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(repost from February 2009)

Okay, well, it's another day, another dingleberry hanging out the ass end of my dog only it's not just any old dingle, it's a clear plastic bag which I suppose means it's not a true dingleberry but whatever. It's hanging out and it's not going anywhere and Stella's doing the butt shuffle around the park dragging the long stringy shit bag with her. All I'm thinking is it looks like she's just half pooped out her intestines. Now I'm going to have to go over there and finish the job by pulling the rest of the plastic bag out of her and how please-I-hope-I-don't-puke gross that's going to be but I'm also thinking Hey that's kind of cool how the poop comes prebagged already but then I'm back to thinking please I hope I don't puke and also I hope no one else comes to the park this minute and sees what I'm about to do.

Which reminds me of the time I was at the park with Stella, and "Kevin" and "Derek" (I've changed their names to protect their future prospects of having children) were there with their dogs. Derek had with him his three rescued dogs who don't really play a big part in this story except as traumatized witnesses to the following event.

I had just arrived at the park and already I knew there was something wrong as both Kevin and Derek were leaning over Kevin's dog, "Jax", who was on his back. Jax was usually a very lively dog so him being on his back when he could be chasing squirrels or rolling in crap was very unusual. I walked through the gates and approached the group slowly but when I got a peak at what was going on, I immediately gagged back my Captain Crunch and quickly returned Stella to the car so that she wouldn't have the horrific image singed onto her eyeballs for the rest of her life as she's got enough mental problems already.

Once I made sure Stella was safely ensconced in the car, I walked tentatively back to Kevin and Derek. Derek's dogs were all in various stages of shock and awe but Kevin and Derek themselves, and I have to give them props for this, were totally cool, well, pretty near totally cool, well, close enough to cool given what had just happened.

Okay, this next little bit is gross but if you can get over the gross there's some funny stuff afterward so bear with me if you can.

Jax had gotten himself so excited that morning from butt surfing on the soft moist grass that his lipstick had squeezed out but it had come out so much and expanded to such a degree that it had gotten stuck and couldn't get back in. The penile sheath had been pushed all the way back to the base of Jax's stickshift and because everything was so swollen, the stretched sheath was acting like a super tight tourniquet not allowing the blood in his members only club to flow back out. It looked like a bloody big blood sausage just wobbling off of poor Jax's belly. The poor guy couldn't walk. He was totally immobilized.

The thing was so swollen that at the base of it, it had ballooned out so much that it looked like Jax still had his plums even though they'd been removed ages ago.

You know what's funny is that at this point when I tell the story to people, the women are all, "Oh yeah, that sounds uncomfortable," like I'm describing an itchy pair of wool socks or something and the men who are still listening are all standing around with their hands over their gonads like those soccer guys about to get their balls mashed in by a free kick.

Anyway, Kevin and Derek were trying to figure out what to do about the situation and every so often they'd reach down and examine Jax's affected area and Jax would yowl in pain. At least I think it was pain.

Kevin was like, "Let's try pulling the sheath back down," and he'd reach for it and I was like, "No, no, no, no, don't touch it for God's sake. Let's take him to the vet before it explodes!" and Kevin was like, "No, I think ... I ... can ... if ... I ... can ... just ..." and then Jax would yowl and Kevin was like, "No, it's too tight," and I was like, "We got to take him to the vet. We'll take him to emerge. The traffic's not too heavy yet. We can still get there in time."

"How're we going to get him to the car? It's too far," Kevin said and I looked down at Jax and realized that even carrying him might cause things to flop around too much resulting in who knows what kind of wear and tear.

Then suddenly Derek was like "You know, I just read about this on the internet the other day" and I was like, to myself, "Huh?", and Derek was like, "There were some pictures," and now I was like "Wha?" and I was thinking there was a good reason why he was living on his own with just his dogs, and he was like, "... and we just need to wait for Jax to calm down and relax a bit and everything'll be fine. We just need to wait."

10 seconds later I was like, "Holy shit, we gotta do something here," and Kevin examined Jax's dingdong again but it hadn't gotten any smaller and his yowling, whenever they examined him, seemed to be getting worse (or better - who knows?).

Okay, you know how earlier I had said that when Stella had that bag hanging out of her butt and I thought I'd have to go tug it out and was hoping no one would come into the park to witness the event and how that reminded me of this story? Well, here's the part in this story where I started hoping no one would come into the park.

"Okay, I've got an idea. Do you have any water?" Kevin asked me.

"Yeah, sure, in the car. There's a bottle of it," I responded, then added, "Why?"

"Well, it's not getting any smaller so I'm thinking if we pour some cold water on it, it might encourage it to go down a bit."

"Yeah, good idea," Derek said, "Plus it would provide some lubrication."

Me: "Lubrication?"

Derek: "Yeah, well, it's been out for a while so it's probably getting dry."

Me: "Okay, whatever."

Kevin: "Yeah, it does seem kind of dry."

Me: "Okay, I'm going to get the water."

I ran to the car and grabbed the water and I was thanking Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny that Stella was a girl and I rushed back to the park.

I handed the water over to Kevin and he unscrewed the lid and he was about to pour it on Jax when he stopped and he said, "You know, this water's a bit cold."

Derek said, "Let me see that," and he grabbed the bottle. "Oh yeah, that's pretty cold."

"I don't want to shock him or anything 'cause I don't know what that would do," Kevin said.

Me: "What are you talking about?"

Derek: "Yeah, we don't know what would happen if his penis gets immersed in too cold water too quickly."

Me: "Well, it's not going to explode or anything. I mean cold things contract, right?"

Kevin: "Yeah but it still might be too much of a shock."

So we stood there for another 20 seconds and finally Kevin looked like he had finally made up his mind about something and he said, "Okay, I'm going to swish the water around in my mouth first to warm it up and then I'll dribble it on," and then he added, "I hope no one comes into the park right now."

I was kinda wishing I wasn't in the park right then either.

Kevin glugged some water into his mouth and gurgled it while Derek stood watch to make sure the operation went smoothly. Kevin looked at Derek and nodded his head to signal that he felt the water was ready and Derek returned the nod. They were tense and held one another's gaze for a few moments, two people who understood the importance of the moment. After this, nothing was ever going to be the same.

Kevin bent over Jax and let the water run out of his mouth.

"Damn, I missed it," he said and it felt like someone trying to give someone else an emergency tracheotomy with a Bic pen and saying, "Oops, too much to the left."

Kevin took another swig of water and gurgled it around again and again Kevin and Derek gave each other their nods and Kevin bent over Jax and he lowered himself this time and then his head disappeared between Jax's legs.

You ever wish you had a video camera?

Seconds, which seemed like an eternity later, Kevin straightened up and he said, "Got it."

We three men then gathered around Jax and watched and held our breaths.

Nothing. Stiff like a little gourd.

5 seconds.


10 seconds.


15 seconds.


But then just as Kevin was going to take another swig of water, we saw a movement in Jax's purple pickle, just the slightest flicker and then another and then suddenly it was obvious that blood was starting to drain out. We would've clapped if we didn't think it was going to draw attention to us. Also, clapping would've looked silly and we didn't want that.

A minute later Jax was back on his feet and whiplashing his tail, obviously overjoyed that his mouse was back in the house.

So with the morning's adventure over, I turned to leave when Kevin turned to me and he was like, "Okay, we're never going to tell anyone about this, right?" and I was like, "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no I'm ... this is just between the three of us."



15 Comments to “Stuck”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay I have tears running down my face, because that was just too darn funny!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the funniest story I have read in a while - Fred, you should write a book

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious. Are you still a dog walker?

  4. Lynn says:

    I wish that like "Anonymous" I could read this story and laugh. But I remember it from the first time you posted it: couldn't read it then, can't read it now. I get just past the "little bit is gross but if you can get over the gross there's some funny stuff afterward" part and I can't, I can't get over it. I'm sure it's a great story, as all your stories are, but I'll have to let others enjoy it. For me, I'll just have to wait for your next story to enjoy.

  5. Fred says:

    Hi Anonymous, I'm a volunteer dog walker at Toronto Animal Services South and of course I walk my own dog but I'm not a professional dog walker.

  6. Fred says:

    Hi Lynn, I promise you, it's not horror movie gross. If you handled the plastic bag in butt part, you probably handle this other part.

  7. GoLightly says:

    Fred, you had a great write-up in the Star today, congrats and kudos! I never buy the paper anymore, so glad I impulse purchased it today.

  8. Fred says:

    Hi GoLightly, yeah the article brought a lot of new eyes to the blog and lots of phone calls to TAS from people interested in adoption. I hope I can get people interested enough to keep coming back.

  9. We had a dog come in to the shelter the other day like that- only his had been that way for the 3 days the finders had seen him running loose but been unable to catch him. That reminded me of this story (from when i originally read it).
    Glad it worked out well for Jax- it can be a pretty serious health concern :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    the same thing happened to my 4 month old puppy. I was traumatized as he was my first male dog. I pretty much stuttered the whole emergency phone call to my vet. Let's just say that Dexter has not been allowed to "bond" with his stuffed ducky since.

  11. mel says:

    This is by far one of my favorite posts from One Bark at a Time. So much so that the first day I started reading that blog, I made my boyfriend drop everything he was doing to read it. And he who hates blogs, loved it.

    I spammed my facebook with this yesterday - I hope everyone reads this.

  12. andrea says:

    Freakin hilarious :) so nice to revisit the story - loved it the first time but had forgotten as one does ... thanks for reposting

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Fred, big fan. My cat Lulu was nudging me to try and see why I was laughing so hard at my computer screen. I pushed her back, saying: "Don't worry, Sweetie, it'll never happen to you."

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear god I have a boy dog who sometimes gets really excited and his "lipstick" comes out! I didn't know that was possible and the first time I saw his lipstick and started panicking and wanted to take him to the vet because I thought it was a parasitic creature! my ever so calm boyfriend had to calm me down and tell me that was his reproductive organ. I am by the way a 4th year biology student with two full year courses in animal physiology and anatomy.

  15. Fred says:

    Anon, you may need to have a discussion with your profs about the program's curriculum.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.