Today, Cooper rolled himself in not one, but two disgusting smelly things in the park: something that had once been an animal, and something that had once been inside an animal. After the second rolling, I had no choice but to grab him (carefully), throw him in the cargo section of the car (the part with the washable mat), and take him home and bathe him. My family may remember the one time that we tried to breed our poodle Kemo. We let him out earlier in the day as we usually did, and he came home in time for his date, but – this time only – he was covered in manure; perhaps he wanted to smell good for his date. Cooper smelled about the same today.
Why do dogs roll in crap? One website explains:
Wolves will often roll in decomposing carcasses or the feces of plant eating animals or herbivores. This would mask their own scent and enable them to sneak up on their prey without detection…. This ancient instinct may have carried over to domesticated dogs.
Another school for thought is that dogs may roll in smelly things to ‘advertise’ what they have found to other dogs.
Cooper has been able to sneak up on his Milk Bones without having to change his scent so far, so I have no idea who he was trying to impress. It sure as hell wasn’t me.
As for my non-dog-bathing time, this week, I started figure drawing at the Academy of Arts, the college-level institution for artists and musicians in Tirana. I was hooked up with a professor there who is letting me use one of the studios and the two models (clothed – they’re brother and sister, and both of high-school age) that are there for open session. The models are nice kids, but they’re terrible models – they keep shifting their positions slightly, which throws everything off. It forces you to work quickly.
Next week, we’ll start a more formal arrangement of instruction, but for now it’s helpful just to draw people on my own, since they are a lot more difficult to draw than are oranges and clay jugs. This week I’ve learned that I draw based on what I think something should look like rather than on how it actually appears, and this isn’t always helpful. Good to learn it early. (There’s a rather interesting page on the proportions of the human body for artists here if you’re interested in the science of it.)