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Cavaliers In Mud Time

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

Took Bisou to the dog park this morning, for the bi-weekly Cavalier play date. The mud in the park was even worse than the mud at our place–well over the ankles of my wellies. The moment I arrived, the eight-or-so Cavaliers in the park did what Cavaliers do when they see a human being: they rushed over and stood on their hind legs and pawed me lovingly with their front ones. Bisou, not wishing to be left out, joined in. By the time the greetings were done, my right leg was covered in mud from hip to boot.

All the dogs there today, except for Bisou, were males. All except one were neutered. The one exception is a handsome one-year-old ruby who has been trying to make babies with Bisou ever since she was ten weeks old. Today we found that his feelings had not changed, even though he hadn\’t seen her in six weeks.

What had changed was Bisou\’s speed, and she realized that if she kept moving, he couldn\’t catch her. She ran for a solid hour, non-stop. She ran more than all the other Cavaliers put together. And she wasn\’t running because she was afraid. She was running because it was spring, and because any day now, she will come into heat (one of her litter mates is in that state right now), and because the mud felt wonderful between her gorgeous feathered Cavalier toes.

She tried her best to get her would-be lover to play. She pranced before him with a stick in her mouth; she did play bows at him; she stood on her hind legs and tried to get him to wrestle with her. But nothing worked. He was fixated on only one thing. He was all…business. I was struck by the look on his face: it wasn\’t romantic, it wasn\’t lustful, it wasn\’t playful. It was purposeful and businesslike. He had a job to do, and he wanted to get on with it.

I found that a bit depressing. I would have liked a little flirting, a little courting–but then I\’m a female. I wonder–I\’ve almost never been in the presence of unneutered dogs–are there male dogs with different courting styles? Are there male dogs who know how to court, period? With goats, the buck has a little repertory of amorous tricks: he lifts up his upper lip, he sprays himself with urine (yes, I\’ve seen it with my own eyes), he makes little chattering sounds–all this, from an animal who looks like Beelzebub and smells like hell itself. So you\’d think that a dog as cute as Bisou\’s Cavalier boyfriend would be more interesting as a lover.

Speaking of cute, though, I could see how people get tricked into letting their dogs make puppies. Bisou and her guy, both red haired, long-eared, and mud-spattered, looked adorable together, and I could just imagine what their puppies would look like…five red ones and maybe one tri-color, sort of like in \”Lady And The Tramp,\” remember?

But this is all mere spring feverish ravings on my part. I have signed a paper swearing never ever to breed Bisou–at eight weeks of age she was deemed not show-worthy. And the boyfriend\’s owner signed a paper promising to breed him, but only to bitches approved by the breeder. So it will never happen, but in the meantime the dogs had a good time playing in the mud, and we, the owners, had a good time projecting onto them.

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