Sweet Penis Rides Again

“Are you the owner of the white dog?”

“Yes,” I say.

The woman is in her early 60s and has a British accent.  We’re at Dog Beach at Lover’s Key State Park, the one where you can let your dog run free, and they can play in the waves and goof around and chase each other in the sandy trails that run through the mangrove forest that separates Dog Beach from the road.  The Dog Beach, in my opinion, reveals more about the people than it does about the dogs, and I enjoy watching the owners’ behaviors when their dog runs away, starts a fight, humps the other dogs, or takes a giant dump in the water right in front of everybody.   Dogs have helicopter parents, too.  And there are many people whose dog is merely an extension of their identity (I suppose this is also true for moms and dads, which is why so many of us end up in therapy or as adults who could benefit from therapy), so whatever the dog is doing somehow reflects on the character and human value of the owner.

I have never been like this about dogs.  Dogs are companion animals, they are intelligent and emotional, and they bond with us.  However, I don’t project myself onto my dog.  And he is better off for it.

The dog I have now is named Buckshot Lee Moore, and he is a coonhound, about 85 lbs, and I call him Buckley. He is white with a tan mask, one speckled ear, is prone to “growths” on his body, and other dogs seem to love him even though he doesn’t care much about anything other than treats and me.   I’m not sure what it is about Buckley that makes other dogs behave the way they do about him, but based on their behavior, Buckley earned the nickname Sweet Penis about two years ago.

I love dogs, and my first dog, a yellow Lab named Ginger Fireball, engaged me in a codependent relationship (as only Labs can do) so intimate that we could read each other’s minds.  If you think I am merely an overly sentimental dog owner by saying so, then I beg you to ask anyone around us at this period of my life, and he or she will undoubtedly confirm the truth of what I speak.  Even so, I never looked at Ginger and saw myself.  My former husband did, however, see himself in her because he’d bought her to be his duck hunting dog, and if you know anything at all about country boys and their duck dogs, you know that it is a similar relationship to a Marine father and his son.  The son is the father; ergo, the dog is the man.

Unfortunately, when Ginger was spayed, the doctor did not remove the entirety of her sex organs, and for the rest of her life, twice a year, she went into “false heat.”  During this month, Ginger, a purebred champion, let every big, brown dog–no matter how scraggly, no matter how mixed-breed, no matter how smelly–mount her in the middle of the street.  And I swear she smiled about it.   The sight of such a transgression against his beloved hunting dog–and what that seemed to indicate about him–was too much to bear for my husband.  I have fond memories of him running in our house, red-faced and agog, screaming at me to get Ginger “out of the street” as if she was our whore daughter disgracing our family in public.  And then there was the time, overcome with anger, when he chased after this particularly gnarly chow mix–again, huge and brown; she did have a type–yelling about how could he do this to her?  I wondered, too, if there wasn’t a latent race issue struggling in his psyche; he wouldn’t discuss it with me when I asked why it bothered him so much.  But there she was, an expensive pureblood–the offspring of ribboned field trial parentage–getting it from behind by the biggest, brownest mutts with crossed eyes that sniffed her willingness.

Today, this British woman’s male dog is all over Buckley, and she keeps muttering “I don’t know why he is trying to dominate your dog like that; it’s just not like him,” and I want to explain to her that yes, her dog keeps trying to hump Buckley, but when her dog bows down to get his face between Buckley’s legs for a better licking angle, it’s not domination she’s witnessing.  Then her husband walks up, embarrassed but also kind of proud, to point out that he is so sorry is dog keeps “harassing” mine.  “I don’t know why they won’t leave him alone.  Why they want to dominate him.”  He won’t make eye contact.

I know why, buddy.  It’s because Sweet Penis has showed up to the dog beach and your precious Luke can’t control himself.  It’s the Sweet Penis Effect.  But, I’ve been in this situation before, and I’ve seen it over and over, the same scene:  most people can not handle the sight of their male dogs licking another male’s junk, and they certainly don’t want me to point out that their barrel-chested guard dog is sucking off my coonhound.  It’s okay, I want to tell him, a lot of male dogs do this with Buckley; I see it whenever I take him around other dogs.  Just ask my dad and his Airedale terrier, The Outlaw Josey Wales.

From the moment Buckley and I entered my dad’s house, Josey was on top of Buckley, pushing, rubbing, humping, nipping, licking.  As Josey’s ardor grew, so did my father’s embarrassment.  Josey was like a bad prom date.   My dad kept trying to regain his dog’s attention, muttering about dominance.  But when Josey Wales crawled under Buckley, rolled on his back, and began doing something with his tongue that can only be described as pornographic, did I point out what, to me, was obvious.

“Dad, your dog is gay.”

I said this just to mess with my dad, who had named his dog after such a legendary Clint Eastwood character, which was extra funny, and it worked.  A little too well.

Now, I am sure that there are thousands of dog owners out there who don’t care that their dog acts gay.  However, those people’s dogs don’t ever seem to desperately need the Sweet Penis.  And I can assure you that after my dad’s reaction, I will never again suggest that some guy’s dog is gay–unless I’m in one of my moods to antagonize people’s fear of homosexuality, and even that has grown tiresome because of the times–and I certainly wasn’t going to mess around and joke with this British couple who was determined to define what they were seeing as “dominance” because folks are just too wound up about what they look like to everybody else.  God forbid you have a gay-acting dog.  Personally, I don’t care about homosexuality because I believe it’s normal: I’ve seen with my own eyes animals of several species engaging in what humans have defined as “homosexual,” and no one gives a shit except for humans, and, really, not all of them, either.

I’m no activist, but I am partially passive aggressive, so I enjoy the fact that, upon occasion, Sweet Penis shows up to the dog park and makes things a wee bit uncomfortable.  I am greatly disturbed by how many people in this day and age, after Enlightenment, when education is so easy to come by, still toe the line that homosexuality is an abomination–I laugh about it, but it also makes me sad that humans get upset at the concept that their dog–their dog–might be gay.  Imagine how horrible it must be to be the child of someone like this?  Just an observation I had at the Dog Beach today.

night night beloveds.  To you and your Sweet Penis, whoever that may be.



About marlowemoore

I'm a writer, dancer, and naturalist living in the Tampa Bay area.
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6 Responses to Sweet Penis Rides Again

  1. It was a pleasure to meet you and Buckley this weekend, Marlow. I just found your blog and the title of this post, um… stood out. Great writing! You had me laughing out loud and remembering my old black lab, Guana. She wasn’t properly fixed the first time, which I discovered after finding little drops of blood on the floor. I had to customize diapers for her until the next “repair” could be arranged. And, goodness, was that dog horny and happy about it. (Maybe some things can’t — and shouldn’t — be fixed.) She even humped legs like a champion. So many stories to swap… wish I’d read this before you and Cristina visited. Keep up the great work!

    • marlowemoore says:

      Hey, Andy! Glad to see you on here, bud. Looking forward to your updates from your adventure ahead. Thanks so much for checking out this blog & it makes me happy that you laughed, which is always a plus. We will have to hang out when you get back for some swapping, as I’m sure you will have added quite a few more stories to your collection. Keep your eyes peeled…I think David Lee Roth is making an appearance in my next post. take care!

      • Laura Conner says:

        I read your story with great interest but differ greatly with the conclusion you have drawn. I have the same situation with one of my dogs. Crowe recently needed to stay with a friend but had to leave after only a few days because her dog – an otherwise sweet, friendly, normal dog – would not quit licking my dog’s genitals. Crowe became nervous, could not sleep, and lost five pounds from his little 32 lb. body.
        He is now in a pen next door to my other dog, Terry, who has to be kept on a cable also so that he can’t reach Crowe. He constantly digs under the fence to enter Crowe’s pen for the sole purpose of trying to lick his genitals. Luckily Crowe has space to get away from Terry, but Terry is then stuck in the wrong pen with no access to his own food and water (and no knowledge of how to return to his own pen).
        Neither Terry or my friend’s dog display these actions toward other dogs. There is obviously some distinct enticement from Crowe’s genitals. These must truly be “Sweet Penis” dogs (all have been neutered). Was Buckley neutered later in life or as a pup? Crowe was not neutered until about age four. I am convinced that it is the draw of his specific genitals, not that the other dogs are suddenly homosexual – especially since the behavior is only directed at Crowe, not other dogs. This must be the case with the dogs you have encountered since their owners are surprised and embarrassed.
        Your post is more than a year old – is the situation the same?

      • marlowemoore says:

        Hi, Laura! Thanks for reading the post. Buckley is as Sweet Penis as ever, and I rescued him when he was about 8 years old, neutered already, so I’m not sure when in life he made his transition.

        I, too, am certain it is the draw of Buckley’s junk, or lack thereof; the homosexual dog reference was tongue-in-cheek to point out certain humans’ irrationality on the subject of homosexuality. I do find Buckley’s “sweet penis” effect entertaining and curious, so if you ever find out the science behind it, will you please let me know?

        My husband Andy and I were just at the dog beach a few days ago and witnessed the phenomenon again–so I do think it is Buckley’s cross to bear although he doesn’t seem affected by this concentrated attention by other dogs.

        Take care!

      • Laura Conner says:

        Hi, thanks for replying and comparing our “sweet penis” dogs. Has Buckley been checked for a yeast infection? It is my understanding that the smell mimics the odor of a female dog in heat? Crowe has an itching disorder not related to fleas which also makes me suspect yeast could play a part. He also has some symptoms of diabetes. I have just moved and must find a new city vet who will hopefully not be so expensive as much testing can be involved.
        I have a second dog who formerly did not care for Crowe but now digs his way out of his pen to go to Crowe’s to be with him. Like you, I am not concerned about the “homosexuality scare” but am concerned that there is a medical cause; therefore, I must continue my search for an answer to this extreme attraction. It’s just good to speak with someone else who has experienced this unusual situation.

      • marlowemoore says:

        Well, Buckley’s situation doesn’t seem to be as intense as Crowe’s, and B is fine on the health front. I hope that you find an answer. I’m sure it’s disturbing to not know what is happening.

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