O.k., I give up, give in, surrender, acquiesce, capitulate, raise the white flag, and throw in the towel. The coprophagia battle is over, and Lexi wins.
As you know, in an attempt to keep Lexi from eating my other dogs\’ poop, I have been tying her to a chain suspended from a line that goes from the house across the yard to the big ash tree at the edge of the woods. This has worked perfectly: for the last several weeks her diet has been pristine, her breath immaculate.
But her quality of life has dropped significantly. One of her few remaining pleasures used to be to patrol the fenced-in acre behind the house, sniffing and tracking, barking at the coyotes, bears, fisher cats and chipmunks lurking in the woods, and, yes, eating poop. In the really cold weather her sled-dog genes would come alive and she would sit Buddha-like for long periods on the snow, smelling the breeze.
Under the new hygienic regime, she goes out on the chain and, because she often gets tangled up around the tree trunk, I don\’t let her stay out more than a few minutes. She doesn\’t get to go on patrol, or lie daydreaming on the snow. She\’s tied up.
I have weighed Lexi\’s pleasure in her old routine versus my displeasure at her breath and at the idea of her nasty habit (which several vets have assured me is harmless), and I have to acknowledge that her needs outweigh mine.
She will be thirteen years old in July. Her hips and elbows hurt. She is getting hard of hearing. She is welcome to her dog joys, every last one of them, for as long as she is with us. Me, I\’ll do my best to keep the yard clean, and when she nonetheless does the unthinkable, I will avert my face, and think of England.