Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Everybody Poops June 21, 2013

It’s time to talk poop. That’s right, you read correctly. Everybody does it. I hear there is even a book about it for toddlers who are potty training. Taro Gomi’s aptly named “Everybody Poops,” brings to life one of life’s most private and unspeakable things. Well, consider this topic private and unspeakable no more.

If you’re a dog, you already know what I’m about to say. If you’re a human, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed the spectacle firsthand. Either way, the poop circle is a very real thing in the canine world. Most of us labor and pine to find the perfect spot to go number two and just because we find it doesn’t mean the process has ended. Indeed it has only just begun. There is sniffing. There is turning in circles. There is more sniffing. And more turning. Until finally, sometimes a minute or two later, the deed is done.


I’m not sure if what happens next is true of all breeds, but (at least in my case) there is usually a (somewhat crazy) celebratory dance that completes the poop circle ritual. It’s nothing I consciously think about and yet it happens every time. The ritual is not complete without my (occasionally downright spastic) little jig afterward.

I got to thinking about this today after I witnessed the unthinkable at the dog park for the millionth time. It doesn’t happen often, but today I watched as a big black lab (whose name I didn’t catch) did his business right out in the open for the world to see. This is not unheard of, I realize, but the owner was amidst the audience (saw it happen) and physically turned away refusing to acknowledge what had transpired.

Shortly thereafter, the man and his dog left the park without doing anything about the stinky pile of poop in the middle of our shiny new exercise area. It only opened a few weeks ago, so everything about it is still so fresh, new and exciting. Then things like that happen. After the man left, one of the nice ladies my mom has befriended went to pick up the aftermath and said “pay it forward” while she tossed it in the nearby garbage can.

Her positive attitude made me reflect on that moment of freedom and celebration after the deed is done. The truth about the poop circle is there is no real mystery behind it. I’m sure there have been some studies that research why dogs do what we do to make the magic happen. But to me there is a lesson to be learned from all this. “You have to motivate yourself with challenges,” American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld suggests. “That’s how you know you’re still alive.” Poop happens. Everybody does it, but beyond that poop happens in our lives every now and then. Are we going to ignore it like the man at the park did? Or are we going to face it head on and pay it forward like the woman? The choice is ours.


31 Responses to “Everybody Poops”

  1. Lyn Says:

    Oh Wiley, this made me laugh out loud (until I got to the black Lab bit). Cally, and I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you, has exactly the same ritual as you, but at the end, to celebrate, she paws the ground like an angry bull and then runs and bounces around me in circles as if to say, “Aren’t I clever grandma?” Well, of course you are my little Callykins.

  2. angloswiss Says:

    Nera my chief feline says that is perhaps a small thing that canines have in common with felines, that it is a private and concentrated act of nature. She means just making circles before it happens. Afterwards it is buried with use of the front paws, after all we do not want just anyone sniffing it . Somhow it mysteriously disappears from the private toilet, but Mrs. Human has been seen with a shovel (how degrading).and it is removed. Of course if we are outside territory marking takes place.

    • I love your words “private and concentrated act of nature.” And I’m glad to have something in common with the felines of the household—maybe they won’t hate me as much. 😉

  3. MOL…. that was funny, Wiley, now I feel the urge to relief myself. Happy weekend 🙂

  4. Very wise indeed Wiley!

  5. dmauldin53 Says:

    Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the WordPress Family Award. 🙂

  6. The “poopology” is an open field with many different aspects. Here we haven’t to remove the “land mines” – our village has a cleaning service. All people laughed about my mom with the “goodie bag”. But I think it’s better to remove the recycled food – even when it is a sign for good luck to step in poo.

  7. Poops do happen Wiley! Unfortunately I am constipated because of my surgery :-(. Mama says the poops will come now that I get to eat normal. I do my happy kicks dance after I poop and pee! It’s my instinct to cover everything so the polar bears don’t track me! Woooooowooooooo!

  8. Gizmo Says:

    I like to explore my yard, my neighbor’s yard and chase a few lizards first, then take time to do my circle…It’s a ritual…At our dog park this morning someone was ignoring their poop and Momz went over, handed them a bag and pointed at the pile…They weren’t happy, but they picked it up

    • I love all that exploration! We all have our rituals. 😉 And your Momz sure took a stand today! I’m so glad to hear there are people like her standing up for what’s right!

  9. seeker Says:

    another poopy story…. and I have to find a perfect spot for this 😛

  10. Nikitaland Says:

    Loved this post, and yes, poop happens….every day, the dancing afterwards is always present with the ripping up of the grass too. But there is always someone who stoops to pick up the poop, which is usually (always) Mommy. She was just mentioning that to Daddy yesterday on how he has NEVER picked up any poop. Interesting, eh?

  11. […] … poop happens in our lives every now and then. Are we going to ignore it…(or just whine… […]

  12. likeitiz Says:

    Yes, this made me smile when I read it. Poop happens indeed. We need to just deal with it as a reality.

  13. […] Everybody poops […]

  14. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    The inside scoop on the doggie poop dance.

  15. “Wiley”, BRAVO!!!. HA!! HA!!, came out of my guts many times really, spontaneously. We still need to learn so much about all of your nice insights, always underlined with that natural wise, and funny style of yours. “You are really fun”. “Love you Doggie”.

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