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Public restrooms

If I’m going to go to the bathroom on a run, I always poop in the first mile, and pee as soon as I hear Mom’s watch beep at the end. Mom doesn’t mind my post-run pee because it doesn’t slow us down. Sometimes it takes me 5 or 6 tries to warm and shake my poo enough for it to be ready. When the “poop toaster” dings, I still have to find the perfect spot, which drives Mom bats. Which is why I was sooooo surprised when Mom decided to stop us mid-run today to go to the bathroom.

Mom frequently goes right before we leave, so she almost never stops mid-run. There have been a few early, early dawn trail runs where she has stopped us, but unlike me she doesn’t seem to care much where she goes. Rather than sniffing in circles, she just dives behind any old bush with no regard to who has been there before, looks both ways, goes, and is back up and running before I’ve even realized that we’ve stopped… For humans it must be polite to pull the leash while they’re going (or else why would Mom always be doing it to me?), so I make sure to always keep solid pressure on the leash while Mom is going. So she feels safe.

So yeah, Mom is usually pretty quick, but this morning she went like a dog. After 2 miles we veered off at a place that smelled like the spam filter of pee-mail. There were two stalls: a big one and a small one. Usually when we go to the People Bathroom Mom takes me to the big stall, but this time she hesitated (just like I do!). She stood outside the big stall on high alert, probably sniffing to see if someone was inside. I don’t think she liked what she sniffed there, because then she went into the little stall. Once we got in there, she turned around once, twice until I figured out that she didn’t want me to stand between her and the toilet. Then she hesitated again, listening to the toilet nextdoor flush. I get distracted sometimes too and need to be reminded what I’m doing, so I urged her, “C’mon! Go potty! Go potty, Mom!” Nope. Under the door I saw a set of people feet walk by, and Mom decided she just *had* to cover up the other person’s scent. She left the stall and walked us into the big one. She spent ages arranging herself: making sure that no part of her body or article of clothing was touching the bowl before finally marking that she had been there. While she did, I tried to climb under the door to get enough length on the leash to politely pull her firmly away from the bowl. With love.

And she says that *I* take too long to go to the bathroom?! “You know,” I told her as we started to run again. “When I’m looking for a place to go, it’s no different than when you’re at the airport and push open 6 stall doors trying to find the one without pee on the seat, poo in the bowl or an empty TP roll.” See? Dogs are people too. Sometimes people need to be reminded of that…

–Oscar the




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