Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cockroaching

During the craziness of life this past spring, Izzy has kept us smiling, especially with her trademark antic: cockroaching.  What the heck is cockroaching, you may ask?  We wondered the same thing when it was listed as one of her favorite activities in her online bio that we read before meeting her.  But then we got to witness it first hand when she tried to cockroach on the concrete floor at the Meet and Greet.  That might not sound very interesting until you realize that “cockroaching” is when dogs roll over and rub their backs on the ground.  I don’t know about you, but rubbing my body all over a concrete floor doesn’t sound too soothing to me. 

You might also be thinking here, “My dog cockroaches all the time, too!  Don’t all dogs?”  Well, yes, but I would argue that none do it with the style of Izzy.  Whether it’s a short or long cockroaching session, she gets her whole body into it.  First, it’s a little back and forth motion with her hips.  Then she gets her legs into it, shooting them into the air with the full force of a ninja warrior.  Finally, “the urge” travels up through her spine and head until her entire upper body is rocking up and down off the floor.  If it’s a really good session, she’ll start to grunt.  All in all, it’s a hilarious and ridiculous sight, all at the same time.  You can see a couple of very tame examples of her cockroaching at the bottom of this entry.  I warn you, though, the videos really don't do her justice.  You have to see it in person to get the full effect.

What’s even more interesting is what she likes to cockroach ON.  At first it was just carpet, and oh yeah, the concrete floor of the Petsmart.  Then it was grass.  I can understand both of those things—they have texture and probably feel really good, like when we humans get a massage.  But then, she started to cockroach on really weird things, like piles of pollen.  I kid you not, this happened.  Walking by the Trinity River one day, I spotted a pile of tree pollen just off the trail.  You know the kind that looks like green caterpillars?  Well, it was as if someone had loaded up buckets of the stuff and dumped it in a massive, wet pile beside the trail.  I wasn’t the only one who noticed it.  Whether it was the sight or the smell of the thing, Izzy made a beeline to this pile o’ pollen and rubbed her entire body in it like it was bath time.  No wonder she’s so itchy all the time.

If you think cockroaching in tree pollen is weird, just wait.  I’ve saved the best for last.  Recently, we came across a rotting squirrel carcass.  It was lying in someone’s yard, bones sticking out and just a little flesh hanging on.  I’ll admit, I didn’t try too hard to steer Izzy away from it.  After all the times I’ve seen her go bezerk over live squirrels, I was a little curious to see what she’d do with a dead one.  So I let her go over and sniff it.  Just as it looked like she was about to take a bite, she dumped her body over and started cockroaching.  Thankfully, I had yanked her away just in time so that she was going crazy right next to the squirrel carcass, not on it like she so desperately wanted.  Still it was pretty disgusting.

What makes a dog want to bathe itself in the scent of tree pollen and rotting squirrel flesh, we’ll never know.  But two things stand out to me here.  One:  Clearly, cockroaching, at least to our eccentric dog, is not just about how it makes her feel, but how it makes her smell, too.  Weird.  And two: The sight of Izzy cockroaching will never fail to make us laugh.  Never.  It’s just one more way she adds joy to our lives.

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