The Tiger Mother Made Me Do It

On January 24, 2011 by Eden M. Kennedy

Amy Chua may be tough enough to keep a couple of little girls and an academic husband in line, but she can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do. Not only am I bigger than her, I’m pretty handy with a field hockey stick. Her shins look kind of delicate, is all I’m saying.

But I think we can all take something useful from the Tiger Mother, and to that end what I really want to tell you is this: I have recently become concerned about my dog’s modesty. When I take him out to the grass to whizz, inevitably someone drives by and starts staring at him. Apparently, people are helpless not to gape in fascination at a bulldog all hunched over and doing his business. Bulldogs are pretty stout to begin with, so when they hunch over and start grunting they become a solid ball of bulging eyes and dingleberries, and if you’re seeing it for the first time, it’s impossible not to wonder what the hell is going to happen next. Is it giving birth? Is this how we get bologna?

Whenever a person drives by and I catch them staring at my grunting, pooping dog–and who knows, maybe it’s just because you don’t see that many bulldogs out in the wild. Bulldogs are pretty crazy looking, even when they’re just standing around waiting for a bus. It’s not like they need to wear motorcycle jackets or leap through flaming hoops to get attention. But if you’re going to stare in fascination at my dog while he quietly knits a Dr. Who scarf and you’re about to drive over a curb, it’s time for you to refocus. Maybe I’m doing this as much for you, the driver, as I am for my dog, but it’s now my habit to protect my dog’s privacy from the prying eyes of strangers by carefully stepping in front of his back end, blocking it from view.

Yes, I know he’s “just a dog,” and has a different set of boundaries than you and I, but if you persist in staring while he performs his toilet you will be rewarded with a couple of things you might prefer not to see. Me turning a biodegradable bag inside out to make a hot, thumbless glove for myself and then freeing the clingons from beneath his curly little tail, for one. Go ahead, wince. You’re not the one who had to pay a vet to shave his butthole.

So, like the Tiger Mother (you were wondering how I was going to tie this all together, weren’t you!) I am fiercely protective of the dignity of my hairy little cub (in person if not online). I also drill him daily on his spelling and vocabulary, and someday he’s going to roll over and play dead at Carnegie Hall.



31 Responses to “The Tiger Mother Made Me Do It”

  • “Is this how we get bologna?” + “quietly knits a Dr. Who scarf” = I am dead now. I inhaled my own tongue while laughing or something, I don’t know. Curiously, in the afterlife dogs don’t even have buttholes.

  • In my house we call them dingleberries. Here’s a money saving tip–it’s cheaper to pay the groomer to shave a butthole than the vet, especially if we’re talking about dogs.

  • I’m laughing so hard right now and I have to go into a conference call. If I get fired, I’m blaming your dog’s poop.

  • ..”.maybe it’s just because you don’t see that many bulldogs out in the wild. ”

    THAT is how we feel about our pugs…who are pretty funny lookin’ shitters, ~they own self~.

    laughter…thank you!

  • “…freeing the clingons,” awesome!

  • Bulging eyes, dingleberries, and bologna. Three things that will be forevermore linked in my mind. Thanks, Eden.

  • You’re welcome, Asha! I didn’t intend to write yet another post about my dog’s butt, and yet here we are. I’m happy that even a few people appreciate it.

  • Oh, man. You know I had Malaseb Pledgets (the name, not the wipes) stuck in my head for like a year. It’s back.

  • I’m with Badger. Trying not too laugh so hard I wake up the kid.

  • Oh, thank you for that!

    Incidentally, wouldn’t it make more sense to pay the vet to wax the butthole?

  • “Bulging eyes and dingleberries” … I had to gasp for air I laughed so hard at this imagery. I’ve been wanting a bulldog forever and this has me thinking twice now. ;)

  • “Is this how we get bologna” just got an Oscar nomination, I’m pretty sure. Brilliant!

  • Damn near crapped my pants reading your blog this morning. Your finger sure have a way with words.

  • That should have read fingers … obviously mine do not.

  • You. Are. Hysterical. Bulldogs are brachycephalic and “brachies” are natural attention getters. That’s probably why people stare at him doing his duty (ha. I said “duty”). Just learned that yesterday on Dogs 101!
    P.S. I’m never eating bologna again. Thank you!! Seriously.

  • Number one reason why I do not eat bologna.
    The story about the wipes still haunts me.

  • When I take my little dog out to poop, I also stand in a way to block his poop action from view. People just don’t need to see that. My dog is really bad about eating string & hair, so he gets dingle-berries a lot. Sometimes, they will be stuck on a hair or string and I will have to pull it out of his butt or it will be forever stuck there danglin’ in the breeze. I have also used sticks and hard leaves to get the normal dingle-berries out. Then there are times where he will sent on it and it will get smooshed into his fur, so I will rush him into the house holding him (butt facing out) and get some dog wipes and pull that stuff out. If I have to, I’ll get the tiny little scissors out and cut the tough ones out. haha.

    Why am I talking about this?

  • My bulldog Tank is so shy about his pooping. He’ll pinch it right off if someone walks by.

  • Ha – I needed that while listening to the republican response to the SOTU. The ears on that guy…

  • For what it’s worth, I think a lot of people are missing Chua’s over-the-top self parody.

  • I suspect the thumbless glove that holds hot excrement is the reason I don’t have a dog.

  • Damn, I wish I could hire the Tiger Mother.

    And I don’t mean that in a kinky way. Although I expect it to become a fetish veeery soon.

    It’s just…I need her. To get some stuff done. Just for a week or two. I need a Tiger Wife/Husband or personal assistant.

  • LOL!!! Very funny, and loved the article about the vet too. The things we do for our pets!

  • Our cat came into the bedroom yesterday…while my husband was sorting through some papers on the floor. (This is a marital point of contention. Can we not use our dressers to dump all our paperwork on? Wouldn’t it be simpler to buy just one of the many handsome desks I have bookmarked via this computer? Yes, absolutely. I knew you would all agree) Anyhow, Miles the Cat, positioned himself in front of Randy…and turned slowly while kneading the papers with his paws, to reveal…a dangling particle. I thought that was pretty smart. “Please remove this with your fingers as I would prefer not to with my mouth”

    Or maybe he was just proud of it…

  • My six year old’s newest joke, learned from my mom (!), is “How is the Star Ship Enterprise like toilet paper? It circles Uranus, searching for Klingons!”

  • Oh my God, I laughed so hard I cried! We have a bulldog, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about.

  • I’ve always wanted to a photo book of people and their dogs on a leash taking a shit (the dogs, not the people).

  • Parents should definitely find a certain balance between the American way and the Chinese way described in Amy’s book. Her approach lacks this balance and ignores the fact that not every child is capable of performing well under so much pressure. What concerns me is that this book can really damage the reputation of those Chinese parents who don’t practice her methods.

  • I have two things to share.

    1. I used to have a Sheltie mix who would not poop if you could see him. This wasn’t a problem when I was in college and lived where I didn’t need a leash. This became a huge problem when I moved into a condo that only had a few bushes and a strip of grass between the parking lot and the building. He was forever trying to find some privacy.

    2. I am now hungry for bologna.

  • I’ve been reading long enough to remember the Malaseb Pledget post, and it stuck with me for a good long while at the time, making me chuckle to myself in the middle of the day. After reading this new post it came back with a vengeance– I had a dream last night that everything in my house was labeled as Malaseb Pledgets. Books, tampons, milk, face cream. Nothing was spared. I had a whole house full of Malaseb Pledgets!

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