Puppy licking woman

I absolutely adore the vast majority of my longtime clients.

Not only are these pet owners smart, motivated and mostly compliant in the service of their pets, but I’ve also known them so long — more than 20 years, in some cases — that almost nothing they say shocks me. Not in a bad way, anyway.

Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m not occasionally amused by the quirky line of questioning some of them will doggedly pursue.

Doubt me? You won’t after you read these doozies that I’ve collected over the years!

Why Is Dog Saliva So Sticky?

I can answer this viscosity question in strict biological terms, but I prefer this answer, courtesy of a 9-year-old: "That sticky stuff? It’s not saliva — it’s liquefied love. Because dogs love us so strongly, it has to be tough enough to stick with us a very long time." So cute!

If a Cat’s Tail Hangs Over Her Butt, Why Doesn't It Get Dirty?

Cats and dogs have a lot more natural oils on their fur than we do on human hair. These oils repel the mucosal exterior of most dog and cat stool. Of course, this isn't universally true, which is why groomers invented "sanitary clips" for longhaired kitties and pups.

Why Do My Dogs’ Ears and Feet Smell Like Fritos?

These owners have somehow confused the aroma of corn chips with that of the yeast that’s growing inside a pup’s ears and in between his toes. For some reason, lots of people think they smell alike!

Why Do Dog Bottoms Look So Different?

I’ve heard this anal conformation issue raised so often that it’s almost a joke in my practice. I mean, why do people spend so much time looking at their dogs’ butts, anyway?

Why Can't Cats Swim?

Sure, they can! Just because felines evolved as desert creatures with no opportunity to do so doesn’t mean that they can’t. Think of how many jungle cats, like panthers and tigers, swim when they have to cross a river — or even just cool off. But don't assume that your cat will appreciate a dip in the pool or that he'll instinctively know what to do if he lands in water. Not even all dogs are good swimmers. 

Is My Pet Gay?

Where to begin . . . There’s no easy way to answer this one effectively without knowing your client well. Otherwise, a demure smile, and a referral to a behaviorist, goes a really long way.

Why Does My Female Dog Try to Hump Me?

The world may never know, but I can guess at the answer: She thinks it’s fun. While dominance can definitely be part of the equation, play can look like humping, too. And dogs’ wires for sex, play and questions of social status can be very easily crossed.

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