Currently going through a period of adjustment with my adopted dog Molly. Molly is a 7 year old cairn terrier who has a striking personality. Striking in that she seems to have moods and attitudes that confound me. Sometimes she loves going for a walk and is excited and energetic. Other times she takes one look outside and wants to head back for the apartment. She is disinclined to walk in the rain or upon wet ground, which is a problem in the City of Seattle. Just wait until she encounters snow! She has skin problems and scratches herself or rubs her back on the carpet. She has medication for this condition which I have been giving her like clockwork. Nancy (Janice's sister) told me that when they cut her hair very short for the summer her skin was much better. Molly has an appointment with the groomer this weekend. She'll be getting what we used to call "a Butch."
A butch for the bitch...
This past weekend Molly and I went up to Whidbey Island for a writing seminar. The seminar was 7 hours long (wayyy tooooo long) and Molly got restless about halfway through. So I unhooked her lead and let her walk around the room. What should she do, but start grinding her hindquarters on the rug. I'm sure you've all seen dogs do this. One of the attendees pipes up--"she's got worms!"
Doubtful. I researched the condition and found that it most likely is the result of obstructed anal glands. Yes, you read correctly. Anal glands. Dogs have them--that's why they sniff each others' butts. It's how they recognize each other. When they have a good diet and such, the glands get cleared when they go poo. But sometimes they become clogged and full and then it's like a doggy hemorrhoid.
The solution is to express the anal glands. Isn't that quaint? That's the technical term: Express. As in "freedom of expression." One can do it oneself. I put Molly on the counter, and tried to find them (poked around her butt for a little while) but I couldn't locate the glands. So I took her to the vet and the technician took her into the back room and a few minutes later she came trotting out. Federal express. "They were pretty full" said the tech. So hopefully that takes care of the problem.
She was still spinning last night. She sits down and then twirls around. Sort of the "sit and spin" method of butt relaxation.
But it still doesn't answer the question of why, if her butt is bothering her, does she wait until she's in a room full of strangers to begin demonstrating the fact. Sheesh.