I’m Yama the Bernard, a very opinionated Saint Bernard.  After sliming the editors for months, I got my own column in Dog City Digest to bark my dogma.  I felt it was important to have my own column as spokesdog of Dog City because we are frequently misunderstood.  After all, you are human and we are dogs.   Here’s my third chapter!  

  • A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human.

Now walk over to your dog’s mouth and inhale deeply. Really.  Was it as fresh as the Irish springs, or did you detect some funk?  Do you brush his teeth, rinse with listerine and floss daily?  Probably not.  Who does?

Think about all the things that goes into our mouth and things we sniffspect.  From diapers (Coach Tyson), water from the toilet bowl (Masa), dirty socks from the hamper (Assistant Spenny), dog butts (Baci), dog ears (Elliot), cat litter, trash piles on the sidewalk, and slimy communal tennis balls from the dog run. Our mouths are not clean.  It’s filled with as much bacteria as you smell it on our breath.

Let us kiss you, but you should probably wash your face later.  My mom never bothers, and claims that’s the reason why she never gets sick. Don’t listen to her.  She’s insane.

  • Dogs eat grass only when they are sick.

We eat grass for many reasons.  My little brother, Eddy the little terrier mutt likes to graze like the Swiss cows in the Alps.  It’s tasty to him, and he’s part goat.  Dogs eat grass or leaves for many reasons– from nausea, obtaining nutrients, boredom, anxiety or just plain fun.  When a dog is nervous, he can display displacement behaviors such as incessantly plucking things off the ground.  If it’s chronic, you should identify the underlying cause.

If it’s at random, don’t worry about it.  It’s just for fun.  

  • The mounting or humping behavior of dogs is either dominance or sexually charged.

It’s not quite that simple, and there’s more to it.  Yes, it could most certainly be a display of dominance against another dog.  And yes, it could be sexually charged, particularly if your dog is a teenager that’s yet to be neutered or spayed.  It could also be a sign of excitement or stress.  My Chief Kiko, the great Newfoundland used to hump the air when Dog City’s handler picked him up.  It was his victory hump, which he did only when he was super happy and excited.  Next time your dog clamps on your legs when you return home, calmly observe the rest of his energy.  He just might be extremely happy to see you, or excited and frenetically displaying stress because he was bored and frustrated all day.  Now excuse me while I go hump my brother Masa.  Why?

I’m not sure.  I just feel like it.  We don’t have good reason for everything we do!