The State of the Duncan Address

By Mir
December 11, 2013

We’ve crested the three-week mark with Duncan, so I thought you might like to know how he’s doing.

I’m kidding, of course. I don’t care if you care how he’s doing. He’s my SMUSHY LITTLE BABYKINS SWEETIEBOY and one of the only one of my children whose problems I can actually solve (the other one with solvable problems is, of course, Licorice), so I’m going to tell you about him whether you care or not. I’m selfish like that.

But seriously…

… if this face doesn’t make you start talking in a high-pitched baby voice, I just don’t know what to tell you.

The really super-great most fantastic news is, of course, that Duncan is responding well to the meds he’s on and the medicated shampoo and the fancy grain-free food and daily coconut oil and he seems to be getting healthier by the day. That doesn’t change the fact that his hind legs don’t seem to work quiiiite the way they should, and that his vision seems to be somewhat compromised, but overall he is healthy and happy. So that is a major YAY all around.

[Sidebar: For a while we thought he was incapable of climbing stairs. He can do it, but the coordination of his hind legs for the task does seem kind of taxing for him. On the other hand, maybe he’s just a spoiled prince. We’ve had a ton of rain lately and when we take the dogs out in the rain, he will just walk out and pee right on the porch if we’re not staying on top of him and making him go down to the stairs to the lawn. Brat.]

We are still working on teaching Duncan that not everyone likes to play with their teeth; he’s a little nippy (not aggressive, just not understanding that we are not chew toys) still and as we never had to deal with that with Licorice, I’m still figuring out how to break him of that habit. Also HOLY HELL is this dog a talker. Licorice barks only when she sees something outside or someone is at the door. Duncan barks only when he sees something outside, or someone is at the door, or he wants to play, or he’s bored, or you have something he wants, or… yeah. He also has a pretty impressive howl for such a little guy. (I think it’s kind of hilarious, but Otto keeps saying, “Oh yeah, this is going to be FANTASTIC the first time we take him camping….”)

Other positive pieces of Duncan news:
1) It would appear that he loves Monkey best of all the house humans. Which is exactly what I hoped would happen. GOOD DOG!
2) All Duncan wants in the world is for Licorice to play chase with him. All Licorice wanted for the first two weeks was for Duncan to go away and/or die. They are playing now—somewhat grudgingly, on Licorice’s part, as Duncan announces his intentions by barking in her face until she responds—confirming my belief that OH YES LICORICE TOTALLY WANTED A BROTHER.
3) Mystery Butt is healing up.

Duncan is embarrassed that I’m going to talk about this, but I’m totally going to talk about this.

I don’t know if you noticed in this earlier picture of Duncan figuring out our little doggie door, but he came to us with an… interesting… hindquarters situation:

I asked the vet about it and he said it was just another manifestation of his skin issues, though I didn’t ask a lot of questions because I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to know what, exactly, might turn your butt-area black. Just sayin’. He said something about food allergies and inflammation and I just nodded and moved the conversation along.

ANYHOO. I now spend an inordinate amount of time admiring Duncan’s hindquarters, because the skin has resumed a healthy pinkness and the fur he’s missing there is starting to grow back in. This means I’m often all “OH DUNCAN WHAT A BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY BUTT YOU HAVE” while my family is all “WHY DO WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS FREAK OF A WOMAN?” It’s magical.

But just LOOK!

See? Here Duncan is wagging and howling at the screen door for Licorice to hurry up and come back inside so that he can bite her ears, and underneath his blur of a tail you can see TOTALLY NORMAL BUTTICULAR PRESENTATION. (That’s a thing. That I just made up.)

Some people are proud of their children’s athletic or academic achievements, I am proud of my dog’s butthole.

Okay, FINE. I’m also just generally pleased that he’s turning into a really sweet, good dog and a nice fit for our family. AND that he has a healthy butt. Whatever.


  1. Heather

    Haha congrats on the healthy butt. We all wish for such things for our loved ones ;)

  2. el-e-e

    This gave me an irrepressable laugh, and even though I didn’t WANT to do it, I desperately NEEDED a laugh today, so thank Duncan’s butt for me. (And thank you.)

  3. Nelson's Mama

    His butt looks awesome!! Reminds me of Thanksgiving, my 16-year old informed my brother that his dog had a “weird anus”. ;)

    So glad his skin is improving, he looks happy and I’m really, really glad he loves Monkey!

  4. Kelly

    I can’t remember where I heard this, but when he bites you while playing, you should yell “OW!” really loud, just to kind of startle him. I think it’s supposed to have something to do with how his mother and/or littermates would react if he’d gotten too rough with them. We used it on a dog we once had, and it really did work. Good luck and congrats on your great new boy!

  5. Average Jane

    I love everything about this post.

  6. Aimee

    Let’s play a game. Let’s see how weird we can get in the comments, and see what kind of Google searches you get as a result.

    Three cheers for Duncan’s butt!

    Duncan has a beautiful butt.

    Is your butt weird? Here’s a weird dog butt to look at.

    • deva

      Dog butts are weird.

  7. Kim

    you don’t just yell “Ow!”, you yipe. You have get that high pitch in there, because that’s how dogs signal each other. If you don’t, it’s just another weird,loud thing that monkeys* do that interrupts dog’s games.
    *lowercase m monkeys, as in the primates dogs live with.

  8. Christina

    We adopted a min-pin chihuahua mix from a rescue 2 years ago- his foster mom renamed him “Chewy”, we immediately found out why. He loves to chew hands, not hard, of course but some people really would prefer NOT to have doggie slobber between their fingers.
    We learned that if we yelp like a dog as if he’s hurting us, it stops him in his tracks. We aren’t good at doing it continually so he stills “mouths” our hands but we don’t mind.

    A year later we decided Chewy needed a buddy. We found, what we believe to be(because of all the information we’ve been able to get), his littermate.
    The new boy, Amigo, was the hesitant one about playing at first. Now they have a love/hate thing going on. They wrestle for the spot next to me on the sofa, that is, if my lap is unavailable. and if Amigo is hugging his “piwwow” or laying on his “bwankie”, he will not allow Chewy anywhere near him.

    As for the barking: Chewy was always fairly quiet unless someone banged on the door, with Amigo’s influence, they both bark whenever a fly farts 2 miles down the road. Yeah, it’s annoying as all heck.

    Sorry for the novel :-)

  9. g~

    Never underestimate the importance of a healthy butt.

    On the flip side, never underestimate the misery of an unhealthy butt.

  10. Rasselas

    These doggie posts are absolutely hillarious and a treat, I wish the photos and words would never end. :D

  11. Holly Gault

    One of our newly adopted cats is a nipper. We’re supposed to hiss at him when he does it, I wonder if that would work with Duncan?

  12. Jeanie

    He is so stinkin’ cute. Kudos to you for taking such good care of him. I know how expensive it can get.

  13. Kelly

    We had a dog that would try to nip at us, however, when I started biting him back, he stopped. I would yelp and either pinch his ear real hard, or actually bite his ear. He stopped immediately. He never again tried to really bite us. He might put our hands in his mouth while we were playing, but he would never bite down. He lives with my former roommate now. I get to dog-sit occasionally.

  14. Kristin

    When we got our second dog, the first one just could not stand it. 4 years later and she still just tolerates his presence. He wants to play; she aloofly ignores him. He wants to cuddle; she gets up and moves with her nose in the air.

    There is seriously a book called “the poodle who barked at the wind.” Which is our first dog, who seems to bark at EVERYTHING that does or does not exist. Which is total suckage because one of the things we told our older anxiety-ridden son was that dogs are protectors and will let us know if anyone ever tried to break in or was lurking. But since she barks at NOTHING, his anxiety never really receded.

  15. Pippa

    How do you use coconut oil on Duncan? I have been slathering all over my little girl (dog) and it certainly helps her skin condition, but it is greasy and she tries to lick most of it off. I also use it as a skin conditioner, but at least I can cover up until it absorbs in my skin. Just wondering if you give it internally or what?

    • Mir

      I’m giving him a teaspoon or two to eat every day, now that he’s pretty well healed up. Prior to that I did put it on his skin, and yeah, it’s greasy and he would lick it off. I’d just put it on and sit with him for a few minutes to cover the affected area so that it could soak in a little before he ate it.

  16. Janet

    Hi – we joke that we have a “lemon” of a dog…… less than one year old her back legs were giving her grief especially in the spring and fall when it is getting cool and damp up here in Canada. She is only about 15 lbs….similar in size to Duncan but short corgi legs. We use food additive on her dinner each day, its called Vibrant Pet. (I am not affiliated with them in any way!) It has given her such relief and we have very rarely see any limping any more.

    So glad to read he is doing better.


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