This post is rated PG….13.
So I decided that since the weather was cooling down it was time to “winterize” my home. I pulled out several fuzzy warm blankets from storage and piled them on my bed. The next thing I knew, WHAMO, I had a herd of small animals (Myron, Cheeto and Kody) curled up on my bed. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture!
Next, I went out to the backyard and pulled out the giant tarps that I’ll need to cover the wood that I plan to have delivered later this month. Zeke-boy came outside with me after a long nap. I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Guess what ended up on my tarps.
Sleeping Dog + Full Bladder = YELLOW PUDDLE ON TARP
So, I decided to run an errand. When I got back, I found Zeke walking around with something in his mouth, wagging his butt while sporting one of those sheepish, guilty looks that can only mean he did something worse than peeing on my tarp. Turns out he got into my fire bucket (axes, kindling, fire starter, cool sunglasses for wood chopping) and grabbed one of my special leather fire gloves. I snapped a photo (more evidence) and after a short struggle, retrieved my glove.
But something told me we weren’t done. Sure enough, when I walked up to the shed I was mortified to discover that Zeke had pryed open one of my animal decomposition buckets. He apparently ignored the bucket marked “Kitty John Doe” that contains cat cadaver material and went straight to the bucket marked “Decomp” that contained a very, very old pair of canine gonads.
I confess that I’ve had body parts on my property that were worse than decomposing gonads. Back in the 1990’s when I was a police officer and cadaver dog handler (my book Pet Tracker features my adventures with my first search dog, Rachel) I had a frozen human kneecap in my freezer. I always warned family and friends to NEVER, EVER, EVER pull anything out of my freezer if it was not marked. Having a kneecap in your freezer is easier to explain when people know that you’re a police officer with a trained cadaver dog. Explaining dog gonads in your shed because you’re a pet detective.well…that’s just a little harder to explain.
At Missing Animal Respponse Network, we train MAR (Missing Animal Response) dogs like Zeke on both live and deceased dog (and cat) scent. It is somewhat easy to obtain cat decomposition material. We can usually get this from Animal Control. Sometimes, cat decomposition material is “donated” by families on investigations where we recover a missing cat that is deceased (I should point out that if you’re thinking of making a donation, we really would prefer monetary donations!!! PLEASE DO NOT SEND DEAD ANIMAL PARTS…MY NEIGHBORS ALREADY THINK I’M WEIRD).
But obtaining dog decomposition is tricky. We don’t ask Animal Control for dog decomposition material from deceased stray dogs because of potential disease transmission. What if the deceased stray dog had Parvo or some communicable dog disease? We would not want to put our search dogs at risk. Thus we simply ask veterinarians to save “material” from spay and neuter surgeries from their client’s dogs that are both healthy and fully vaccinated. Thus my explanation of how I ended up with rotten dog gonads in my shed. My life. I swear.