In a recent photo meme about what’s me/not me, I included a picture of a dog wearing a pink, ruffled hoodie. For those who weren’t paying attention or have never met me, that’s really not me.
I also wrote that my doggie Luna thanks me everyday for this. Well this was no truer than the past few weeks because our little princess was in heat. And she didn’t need any help attracting more perverse pooches.
Probably going to get some interesting search engine hits on that one, but let’s move on.
For those of you who don’t know the secrets behind dog mating rituals (and may I ask what you’ve been doing with your life?), a girl dog goes through menstruation just like girl, uh, humans, even shedding a small amount of blood. Since bitches (I can totally say that as that’s what they are) only go into heat about once every six months, their window is somewhat wider than ours. Stop chuckling–this is serious. The entire thing can last up to three weeks, although a female dog will only be fertile for a few days in the middle of that.
You’re welcome, by the way, for the lesson on dog periods. Feel free to send donations to keep this information, uh, flowing.
So, as Luna is not spayed (keeping our options open), for us, this means a good three weeks of fighting off all of the male dogs courting one of only three bitches in the town–three females and at least 10 males, all of which run free although technically “owned” by someone or another.
P joked that this is very similar to the ratio of women to men around here, and he’s not wrong. No comment on the parallels of running free and courting though.
What does the doggie love dance entail? Mostly leaving their marks (yes, *those* marks) on our doors, steps, general living area. Lovely. I go through a lot of disinfectant in those weeks if you’re wondering, although I still refuse to use the big pink jugs of alcohol. Fellow Italy expats, I know you know what I’m talking about. That stuff smells too nasty even in the open air. Even bleach is better, and we all know that bleach can kill you.
But that’s not the true trouble with Luna’s time of the year. The real issue is that all the male dogs sit and wait outside the house for anyone, Luna or not, to exit. Occasionally there’s a fight amongst them, but for the most part, they just take a vacation from their normal, stressful lives, and camp out here, transforming a charming medieval house into the Hotel Horny Hound.
If we haven’t run into them in the village, the other owners call us to make sure their pets are still alive. Why they can’t come here, retrieve them, and keep them at home is beyond me. Oh, it’d be because no one lets dogs in their houses here. I know. It infuriates me too. Most of them do have little doghouses outside at least, but still….
And what do the dogs do when we leave the house? Well, if Luna is with us, they’re literally up her butt, all sniffy and stuff–but of course we don’t let them get too close. I like to keep her in front of me, so I can prevent any attacks from the rear. And truth be told, she doesn’t show much interest in most of them, although there are two that she’d probably get with if given half the chance. Which doesn’t happen. And won’t.
If Luna isn’t with us, or, more specifically, me? Easy! I become the doggie pied piper of the village with a bunch of male dogs following me wherever I go.
Grocery store? Right behind you!
Post office? Can I hold your bag while you wait?
Cappuccino? One sugar or two?
It gets old after about a minute and a half of the first day, and yet there’s so much more adventure to be had after that.
Here are three of the more determined suitors:
Meet Romano Prodi.
Not to be confused with the current Italian Prime Minister; this dog rolled into town right around election time, thus the name. Although quite loveable, he’s *far* too big for Luna, so he has no chance. Plus he’s tried to violate me many times over the past few weeks, and (n.b.) that’s never going to score you points with Mamma.
This dog’s name is Zuzù.
That right there rules him out in my opinion. He’s also needy, and that’s just annoying in a partner, canine or otherwise. Sorry Zuzù.
And here’s Bobby.
He and Zuzu are brothers, but Bobby’s got a temperament that just shouldn’t be replicated. Or, as my mom would so eloquently say, he’s nasty as cat shit.
He snaps at everyone, including children, but he loves me. If you think maybe Luna has something to do with that, you’re sniffing in the right neighborhood. Anyway, another one with no chance at the Balloopers, although he sure does give it the old college try.
Then there’s Scooby, Whiskey, Lucky (who won’t live up to his name as far as Luna is concerned), Tobacco, Tommy (just visiting), and two others that don’t really have names. Go ahead. Comment on Italian dog names–it’s worthy of a whole other post.
If I had my druthers, I’d go with Scooby, and I think Luna agrees. When Scooby lived closer to us, he used to come up to play with Luna. He’d cry outside and I’d let her out, prepare them some snacks, and beam with motherly love. Now that he’s further away, though, we have to go to the piazza for play dates.
Being a doggie mama is tough sometimes, I tell you. Especially when every boy dog around wants a piece of this:
Oh, and FYI, despite the posizione porno, she’s still pure as the driven snow.
La Mamma di Luna has won another round.
Thank goodness I have another six months to gear up for the next one.
[tags]dogs, dogs in heat, female dogs in heat[/tags]