We have a little bassett hound named Petie (PT). She is soon to be 10 months old. She is the love of our family. She happens to be our only child still living at home. She is very much like a child. She cannot be trusted alone in a room as she cannot restrain herself from chewing up distal parts of furniture, kleenex, newspaper and various other inanimate objects. She has pronounced rodent qualities in her chewing proclivity. Unfortunately she is so hyperexiteable that she cannot restrain herself from jumping on and performing some mitigated chewing of our grand children when they come to our home. This is very annoying and makes people not want to come in the same room with her. She, therefore, is banished to her kennel or the back yard when we have company.
Our last bassett, Maggie, drowned in our swimming pool around 4 years ago. We are very careful about allowing PT much time around the pool. Fortunately we installed a kiddie fence some 10 years ago to control access to it by various grand children. It is gated and locked and provides much peace of mind when all is in place.
Last week while cleaning the pool I found the carcass of a dead skink in the skimmer. If you don't know much about skinks, think 5-6" snake with legs. I removed the carcass throwing it over next to the base of the kiddie fence. My hope was that a bird would discover it and carry it off.
Flash forward to this morning. I am cleaning the pool and PT accompanies me to sniff all over and discover what she can to illuminate her little hum drum life. I notice that she is upside down writhing and wallowing all over something along the fence. I think, I should have buried that skink in a shallow grave or thrown it over the fence so my neighbor's dog, Rex, could wallow all over it. However, Rex' owner is a college dean and most likely has been taught to forego the tendency towards wallowing all over dead, necrotic reptiles.
I continue to vacuum the pool and then notice PT padding along the deck with something snake like in her little jaws. I connect the dots and I say " Oh no, not on my watch. You are not about to dine on a week old, drowned skink today." I put down the vac pole and head hastily PT's way. I catch her just before she gets to the gate. I grab her behind the neck and try to extricate the skink. She protests vehemently and I win. Or lose if you want to calculate that I am now holding a week old, dead, rotten skink in my hand. Ewwwww, much hand washing goes on in an instant.
A little later I am sitting down in my family room reading the paper and PT gets up from her nap and comes to get some spontaneous scratching and loving on. She is such a a cute little fellow that I cannot resist picking her up and putting her in my lap which she always enjoys immensely. It is then that I catch a drift of the pronounced smell of the dead skink, one letter off from skunk. I mean I catch the entire effect of her wallowing all over it.
This leads to an immediate bath which is a whole other realm of PT escapades. It is a wonderful workout with chasing her, restraining her with one hand while lathering her with the other and her being convinced that I am torturing her.
This is all leads me to make the declaration found in the title of this post. What sort of errant DNA mapping makes the dog want to roll around on dead corpses and other vial smelling substances? Perhaps it is some sort of primitive protective activity. No enemy of the dog would stoop to make it a meal if it smells as putrid as is caninely possible. Indeed, dogs are wierd people.