Pooping Dog Syndrome

Some days the right spot is painfully elusive.

Some days my dog will take forever to find just the right spot, the most optimal alignment. Until I brought her home, eight years ago, this is not something I ever had occasion to notice, or for that matter, even really consider. Growing up in a house with a pet door, I never noticed how much effort and time was involved, because the dogs came and went (pun intended) as they pleased. My only concern was for the after-effects. These days residence is a town house, and any pooping the dog does takes place at the end of a four foot leash. Maybe somewhat longer if I stretch out my arm. I tell you, there are days when Leia (as in the Princess) does sorely stain my patience.

It never comes easy and it never comes quickly. It almost always involves a little walk first. I have come to expect that. The process begins with a lot of sniffing, a whole lot of sniffing. Every ten feet or so involves another pause to check out a scent. At this point let me note that Leia is a dachshund. I have become thoroughly convinced that dachshunds, being so low to the ground as well as members of the hound family, are far more enchanted by foul smells and scents than other dog breeds, those whose noses are further above the ground. No little, ground bound, odor escapes them. Now back to the task at hand; you would think with all that sniffing around, an adequate spot would be located fairly quickly. No. Typically, nothing close to home will do.

Eventually we will reach a spot that smells just right. She will circle to the right a couple times, switch direction once, aaaaannddd, break off. No good after all. Walk a little more, and now we are nearly at the end of the block. I am not sure how many little patches of scented turf we have surveyed by now, but eventually another promising one is found. Circle around, and around, stretch out the leash, back and forth, and forth then back. Align with, I don't know what, something she can sense, but I can't. I don't know, can dogs have OCD?

Anyway, on with the analogy. Have you ever noticed how some days you just cannot get comfortable on the saddle? Sure you have. Nothing has changed from the previous days, weeks, maybe even months, but for some reason you just cannot find that right spot.

You shift from one side to the other, try a little forward, then a little back.

Maybe you didn't sit right the first time. Maybe you just go ahead and press reset - you stand on the pedals while coasting, and then strategically sit back down, expecting that somehow that will have accomplished the trick. Looked at after the fact you are surprised that, indeed it did work. At least for a few minutes, and you ride in comfort, assured with the belief that the right spot has been found. Sooner than later, though, you find yourself shifting in the saddle once again. True, sometimes this shifting is a matter of discomfort, or even actual pain, but just as often, if not more, you shift because your position simply does not feel right. Something is off, a millimeter here or there makes a noticeable difference.

Of course all this shifting is no good at all - it is terribly inefficient, affecting the fluidity of your pedal stroke. It also detracts from your mental focus. I will only mention the wear and tear all that shifting puts on the sit side of your self. On days such as these, ye olde aggravating saddle soreness may be the inevitable outcome of all that shifting. You know this, and so you force yourself to sit still, attempt to ride through those nagging doubts of not being properly placed. That in itself may be a mental exercise, detracting from focus.

Thankfully, those days are rare. Mostly you just mount up, sit and pedal, without undue thought or concern. But there are those few occasions when the right spot will not come naturally, times when pooping dog syndrome takes hold and you find yourself searching for that surprisingly elusive right spot.