The Etiquette of Dog Flatulence

I took Tisen to the vet.  He was due for heartworm medicine and given the number of mosquitos that have been active, I figured it’s not safe to skip heartworm in the winter like we used to in Columbus.

He weighed in at 60 pounds, but the vet thought he still looked like he was on the thin side.  He’s gained 20 pounds since he first arrived at the McKamey Animal Center.  1/3 of his total body weight.  I wonder what I would look like I lost 1/3 of my total body weight?  That’s rhetorical.

Apparently the bald patches in his fur are due to a severe allergy to fleas.  Although his hair is growing back and we’ve seen no sign of fleas, the vet encourages me to try a flea treatment that is a bacteria taken orally.

I give him the “test” pill with his dinner Friday night.

He does not exhibit any allergic reaction, but by Saturday morning, he seems to be suffering from excessive flatulence.  Well, at least he has excessive flatulence–not sure he’s suffering as much as we are.

Of course, this is the day I am having a guest.  What exactly is proper etiquette when your dog is passing gas silently, but so lethally that it makes your eyes water?  Do you say, “Oh my, Tisen, you’re really stinky today!”

I think about an article by Miss Manners on this topic.  As I recall, she felt because a polite person would, of course, never pass gas, there was no reason to excuse one’s self because it simply didn’t happen.  Does this rule apply to dogs?

I eventually am so distracted by his stench, I have to say something.  I end up telling this story:  When I first started working from home many years ago, I didn’t have a desk.  So, I would sit in a recliner with my laptop in my lap and a speaker phone further down on my legs, which were propped up on the foot rest.  Our Mastiff, Bogart, liked to come over and sit in my lap from time to time.  He would walk up, swing his rear around in a large arc, and then plop his butt down on my lap while all 4 feet were still on the floor.

On this particular occasion, I was on the speaker phone on a call with 12 people.  When Bogart swung his rear around, he paused about 6 inches above the speaker phone.  Then, he passed gas for at least 10 seconds with reverberation audible in the next room.

The longest silence on a conference call I’ve ever experienced followed.  Since I didn’t think “It was the dog” was going to fly, I remained silent and hoped no one knew it was my phone.

I wonder what Miss Manners would say about that?

Today, I am back to using the iPhone to snap a few shots of Tisen curled up next to my lap, still stinking up the room.

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