Deep pile carpet. Deep grass. Deep decomposing deer droppings. It doesn’t matter. Dogs just like to roll, and roll and roll. I asked Grady why, but he just gave me that one fish eye as he did another Olympic worthy twisting turn. Simply put, they enjoy it. Plus, I imagine it’s pretty funny to hear all the theories that humans come up with to explain it.
There is the post-it theory: that dogs are leaving a message for their pack, e.g. “Kilroy was here”. And the “cat” theory: that they are leaving their scent on things. The most popular one is that they are trying to cover their own scent, out of some primordial instinct to keep their next prey from smelling them.
I was explaining all this to Grady when he was on one of his marathon rolls while we were outside. He stopped briefly as I went into detail about covering his own scent, snorted a piece of clover up his nose and sneezed it out, hitting a Blue Jay in the tree behind us. I took that to mean he has little faith in theory. That, or he has allergies.
The only scented immersion experience he’s engaged in so far is prolonged and enthusiastic rolling in the half acre of oregano that grows wild and has taken over part of the yard. His next prey will think they are being stalked by an Italian chef. But then, I don’t imagine tennis balls think much about that kind of thing.
Grady, like many dogs, indulges in a good mouth massage on the nearest surface after he’s eaten. If the menu was particularly tasty (in other words, he stole something off the counter), the massage turns into a whole body experience, complete with a diving glide to the floor, wriggling, squirming, tongue flapping, and much wild eye glaring. In some Asian countries a simple burp will suffice to show your pleasure in the cuisine. It’s a good thing Grady doesn’t live there.
Theory is all very well for humans, but it doesn’t hold much water with dogs. If it did, they’d have drunk it all, then gone outside for a pee and a roll in the grass. Even if their brains are 1/10th the size of ours, they have a better grasp of the basics that make life bearable. Basically, it feels good. And if it feels good, do it.
Grady’s joie de vivre in snaking through the grass on his back, never fails to make me smile. If he can still find pleasure in life and the company of humans after being starved and neglected to the point he went blind, he can roll all he wants. I’ll just go out and roll around myself a bit, to make sure the skunks get the message that they should find another yard to go potty in.