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Going for The Tweed

There are a lot of myths out there about dogs, and, frankly, one of the questions that I hear asked is: "Why do dogs hump your leg, sometimes even after they have been spayed or neutered?" Most people believe we do it because we love you, and others think that when humping your leg we are somehow marking their territory. First, don't flatter yourself; your dog has many other ways of showing his love and appreciation for you. In reality, most dogs that hump your leg are generally not neutered or spayed (yes female dogs have been known to do it too), but sometimes dogs that have been fixed will try to hump your leg; this is somewhat rare.

The main reason we "engage" is because your leg is warm and inviting, and we are, shall I say, sometimes a bit lonely. If you will notice, the elevation of the average human leg when a person is seated, is usually about the height of a female dog's backside. At times like this, we aren't fussy; virtually any leg will do; we probably - just randomly - chose yours. Again, nothing personal. We pretty much have to take our pleasure where we find it, and up here in the country our choices are limited. A full-moon generally exacerbates the situation, just as it does in human relationships.

Why do spayed or neutered dogs sometimes do it? I guess hope burns eternal in the canine beast, or maybe the veterinarian missed a snip. I have not personally seen many 'fixed' dogs 'go for the tweed,' but I am told that it does happen from time to time. Luckily, Isabel hasn't taken me to our family veterinarian, Dr. Stubbs, for the neutering procedure, so I am still good to go, so to speak. I'm not advertising, it's just a fact.

I generally refer to leg humping as "going for the tweed," an expression that I heard used by one of our more discreet British guests a few years ago. I have discovered that more dogs "go for the tweed" in the winter months than in the summertime so maybe the cool air has something to do with it.

Many dogs that 'engage' or 'go for the tweed' are usually young, hyperactive and decidedly under-trained. For instance, last fall, we had a young couple from Chattanooga arrive with two male 'standard poodles,' one black and the other white; two very large dogs. Luckily, Isabel doesn't allow guests to bring their dogs inside the Inn, but they have the run of the porches during the day, and they are put away in the kennel during the nighttime hours. These poodles, Topper and Toby, were not only large, but they were young and extremely hyperactive. They virtualy 'flew' everywhere, and it seemed like they never came to rest. To add to the problem, their owners, the Cantrells, didn't have a clue as to how to control them, nor could they catch them once they got loose. Keeping up with these fast-moving maniacs, was, for a dog my age, impossible and way above my paygrade. I watched their shenanigans from my favorite spot on the shaded porch.

Topper and Toby aren't mean dogs, but in the course of thirty minutes, they had overturned and ravished several nut and pretzel dishes, tipped over a half-full punch bowl of fresh lemonade, knocked two small children down, humped the legs of two elderly retirees sitting on the porch, and were still cavorting on the front lawn, refusing to be restrained. The porch looked like it had hosted a food fight, Isabel was furious, the Cantrells were embarrrassed, and Micah Davenport was out on the lawn with the remains of one of the nut dishes in an attempt to lure them into range for capture.

Roger Cantrell stood at Micah's side, waiting to get them leashed. After another half hour of mayhem, the dogs, who were panting heavily, finally slowed down long enough for Roger to slip leashes on them and wrestle them into two large cages in the new kennel behind the Inn. Isabel later learned that neither of the dogs had been neutered, and it wasn't long before the Inn's pet rules were modified to state that un-neutered dogs or puppies were not to be at large unless on leashes.

Isabel's new heated kennel was used a lot more after that, and it has proved to be worth the money and effort that went into building it. The new 'doggie hotel' cut into my social life somewhat; but, in the long run, I think that it was a good decision.

Now, if Isabel would only build another small heated building to house small children, things at Faded Glory Farm would be just perfect!

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