The Straight Poop
Hey, pooches, got a question? Cat food breath? Toilet seat left down? Not getting enough projectile in your bark? Well,Ask Poncho
Doggie advice for the tail-wagger set.
By Paul | September 13, 2009
I’m a huge fan, and wanted to know what breed of dog you, please. Thank you.
– Carol Roche
I, like all dogs, am a product of a million generations of evolution. Many thousands of those generations were won by my ancestors through force of strength, endurance, and tenacity. The more recent generations were won by force of sucking up to humans. Like all dogs living in your homes and eating your food, I am adept making sad eyes and whimpering noises and keeping a low profile so that I can get unwatched food into my mouth every time you slip up. Perhaps not as proud a living as that of my ancestors, but far less sleeping on cave floors. I am no breed. I am just dog.
By Paul | August 15, 2009
My owners are trying to house-train me. How will they ever realize that nobody wants to “do their business” while stepping on awful, crinkly newspapers? THEN, if you could imagine, they want me to go OUTSIDE to do it. In the winter, my paws get freezing cold, and when it has rained, they get soaking wet! When I come in from outside all freezing cold and wet, I try to get in the blankets on the couch and they yell at me for getting them dirty! How am I supposed to win? What should I do? I’ve tried hiding my “business” behind the couch– that doesn’t work.
Thanks for the advice,
Thank you for including the “mark of shame” photo with your question. Doing “business” behind a couch is never the answer and we here at the P-caf do not endorse that type of behavior unless you’ve been left longer than 8 hours or you lost a bet. Aside from that, you have my complete and utter sympathy regarding the unpleasantness of papers and icy exteriors. Rough on the ol’ pads, to say nothing of the complete lack of privacy. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the joy of watching them have to pick it up afterward the whole experience would be a complete wash-out. If you make enough of a fuss in rainy weather (threats to squat right at the doorstep are effective) you might be able to instigate some umbrella action, but on cold winter days you’ll invariably find yourself on your own again trying to squeeze it out to grumbles of “just go already!”, etc. When they say “it’s a dog’s life”, this is what they’re talkin’ ’bout.
By Paul | May 4, 2009
I’m going to have a party. I have lots of friends but we don’t know how to act around the girls….I want the party to be a woof woot! Any suggestions?
Yes, I do have a suggestion: invite a border collie. They have this built-in herding instinct, so if all the guys are on one side of the room and all the girls are on the other the collie will push everyone together into the center and everyone will have no choice but to sniff butts and get to know each other. Do not try to play Jenga, though. Dogs stink at Jenga.
By Paul | February 19, 2009
As we all know, the occasional ‘butt drag’ in the grass is a necessary evil, however enjoyable it may be. My question is, what do I do about those embarrassing green stains on my rump?
With a name like “Ranger” I’m guessing that you’re not a Bichon Frise “best in show” type dog, so who cares about some grass stains? Okay, being a white-furred dog I do understand that sometimes those marks can come out in an unfortunate shape; I once walked around the dog park all day with a stain that looked just like Ryan Seacrest. It’s times like that when you find out who your friends really are. But generally, Ranger, don’t worry about it, just let the good times roll.
By Paul | January 21, 2009
I need a new hobby? Any suggestions? Our family just got another cat? Could that somehow figure into the equation?
Hobbies are very personal things. That’s why people ask other people about their hobbies when they’re trying to get to know them. A hobby choice can say a lot about a person. So it would be remiss of me to tell you what hobby you should take up. That said, I’m going to tell you a hobby you should take up. It’s called “tooth-pasting the cat.” I just came up with it recently, and it’s awesome. The cat hates it (check!) and as a bonus it punishes the cat owners for owning a cat, since bathing a cat is like a scene from Braveheart. It also gives them an appreciation for the comparative ease of dog-ownership. And the cat is left with a pleasant hint of mint.
By Paul | November 13, 2008
Dear Poncho,My name is Izzy, short for Seniorita Isbella Lopez, called Ilo by some, and I am a hot little Yorkie/Poodle mix with black fur and smouldering dark eyes! I think I’m in love with you Poncho. You are such a hunk. What are my chances? I have attached photos.Love, IzzyPONCHO:Dear Seniorita Lopez; I must repay your compliment with a compliment: you are observant, and have excellent taste in canine hunk-age. Alas, like any good dog, my heart belongs to another, the kind and nurturing central figure in my life: the garbage man. My heart flutters each time I hear the tearing gears that trumpet his approach and the divine stench that whispers his name. I dream of joining him one day and riding atop his garbage truck like a Dalmatian on a fire engine, forever. But hey, baby, romance is fickle, if you wanna take a stab at me I do accept gifts, rawhide bones are my favorite.
By Paul | November 4, 2008
The other day my master left the house without putting me in my cage then when he got home he was all pissed cause I made a mess. Is this my fault or his?
Freud said there are no such things as accidents. But then he lived in an age before Carrot Top. Still, I endorse keeping behavioral expectations as low as possible, so go ahead, make a mess, and where possible blame it on any available cats, aliens, or exiting Presidents.
By Paul | October 19, 2008
My people have put me on a diet! They’re total control freaks. They don’t appreciate my natural physique. I’m mad and hungry. What would you do in this situation?
It’s quite simple. Humans these days are all concerned about the thinness of their appearance, but they’re even more concerned about someone developing self-esteem based eating disorders. Start acting like you agree with them about your weight issue, and start eating even less than what they give you. Tell them you only want to eat wheat germ. Stare at yourself in the mirror with a look of dread concern, and barf a few times on the front lawn after dinner if you can muster it. Trust me, I don’t fully understand the reason behind it, but they’ll be forcing pork and sausages soaked in gravy down your throat in no time.
By Poncho | March 19, 2008
Recently my owners got me a neat brand new collar. But now I’ve noticed every time I want to go out in the street to play with my buds I get a nasty shock. What gives?
I’ve heard about this before. A little Bichon Frise associate of mine relayed a similar experience. He was also convinced there was a giant “invisible fence” around his house. Now this little chap is quite erratic, and fluctuates wildly between fits of Napoleonic rage and quivering fear of floating leaf debris. We’re not entirely sure of the state of his mental health. So by way of comparison I ask you this: are you seeing any giant invisible rabbits as well? I don’t ask this to sound glib. But we could find no evidence of this “invisible fence” my associate spoke of and so I wonder if this is a related malady. Of course there’s always a chance you just got a bee stuck under your collar.
By Poncho | March 19, 2008
I have one blue eye and one green eye. Does that mean I’m part Husky?
– Chimo, Alaska
Nope, that just means you lost a contact lens.
By Poncho | February 1, 2008
What sort of music do you like? Our “dog people” are always playing
Pearl Jam, which is good tail-waggin’ music, but we’d like to hear
– Remy and Charley
Makes sense that you’d want to hear more Clash, since it’s every dog’s fantasy to be “Lost In The Supermarket”. But of course like every dog my favorite band ever is the one that did that version of Jingle Bells set entirely to barking. Why didn’t those guys put out any more albums? I love the way humans eyes roll and their jaws go slack when they hear that song. Try putting it on in mid June and watch them really wig out. Of course when it comes to “Who Let The Dogs Out” I’m on their side. I promised myself if I hear that song one more time I’m gonna slit my paws. Even WE’RE sick of that song.
By Poncho | January 13, 2008
Do you like ham?
Ham isn’t so much a meat as it is a magical gateway to a celestial plane. Like cats’ catnip, like Gollum’s ring, but multiplied by Fermat’s final theorem, magnified through a prism, and chorused over by an assembly of angels. Ham is a transcendental experience, a Rosetta Stone, a very reason for life itself. And so are hamburgers, pork chop, chicken, bacon and hotdogs. And zebra (I assume). Tofu, on the other hand, is one of the sixth signs of the devil.
By Poncho | November 8, 2007
Although my name is Archie, my masters insist on calling me by other nicknames, such as Archity, Smoopie, or the absolute worst, PooButt. While I normally don’t mind, it’s an absolute horror in front of my buds. My buddy Spike overheard them one day and now when I go to our weekly greet and sniffs, he just yells out, “Hey, PooButt is here”! I’m now the laughing stock of the neighborhood. Plus our house cat (I’m sure it has a name) snickers every time they do it. A cat laughing at a dog! This is GI-NORMOUS! Is there anything I can do to gain back my rightly dignified canine respect?
– Archie, Chicago, Illinois
The sad fact is the more you dislike a nickname, the more it sticks, and your nickname is very sticky. The only way to dislodge a nickname like that is through a heroic act. You need to save a kid from a well or something. Unfortunately there’s never a little rugrat stuck in a well when it’s convenient, so you may have to bide your time. In the meanwhile, tape that laughing house cat to your buddy Spike’s butt and point at him and start yelling “CatButt” . If the nickname sticks it might take the heat off you.