So, I know some of you have seen my dog on my Instagram. Or Snapchat. Honestly, I understand that I bombard you with pictures of him.

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Although that may be a terrible picture, LOOK AT THAT TONGUE! My boy smilin’.

Raja’s a purebred blue-nose pitbullas speculated by two separate veterinarians. As a pitbull, Raja is muscularly built and has plenty of energy. He LOVES tug-of-war, and brings his toys up to you so that he can showcase his strength. Occasionally, he’ll pull something away from you and sprint away, so that you have to chase him. If you pull the toy away and raise it above him, you can witness Raja’s ridiculously high verticals. I’m talkin’ Raja jumping up to your eye level and his teeth biting down on the toy (and maybe your fingertips if you’re not paying attention). I’ve tried repeatedly to teach him fetch, but the damn dog only wants to show his muscles off. (Maybe a little like his shallow owner?) Pitbulls, however, grow extremely close to their owners and develop separation anxiety easily. This is a really serious, and prevalent issue among the breed. Some pitbulls hurt themselves, devastated that their owners are leaving them. They end up chewing objects around the house or whining.

In order to alleviate some of his anxiety because of his recent past, I’ve been doing my best to temporarily leave Raja alone for small amounts of time in my room. I preoccupy him with treats inside of his favorite Kong toy, sealing it with peanut butter, and then freezing it over. After doing so, I can leave him alone for about 15 minutes without worry while he chews his Kong for treats. When I return, I reward him with more treats so that he looks forward to my return.

Recently, after tiring Raja out at the dog park and my friend, Matt, taking Raja out on a run afterwards, one of my four roommates, Jemis, and I decided to leave Raja outside of his crate while we went to get gelato. So on Saturday, April 14th, we left Raja outside of his crate for 1 hour and roughly 30 minutes.

And then Jemis and I returned back.

The apartment was almost spotless. Except the living room, where Raja had dragged some of the trash. So the only bad thing that he was getting into the trash. Not a huge worry. Some of the rooms were unlocked, and he didn’t touch anything in the rooms.

And then Sunday was normal. Raja lounged around. He didn’t touch anything. He didn’t seem concerned with much, and mostly slept. In the evening, I took him on his usual walk, and his poop was a bit runny. It didn’t phase me however, so I went to bed early after leaving him in his crate. I had an Army Physical Fitness Test on Monday morning, and I hadn’t been feeling well due to bronchitis. I figured the best thing to do was get some decent sleep.

5:20 A.M Monday, my other roommate, Sagar, and I sprinted out of the apartment because we were worried about being late. After our fitness test, naturally, I felt hungry and we went to Rise Biscuits in Raleigh, N.C. (I promise you that if you get the Huevos Rancheros with jalapeños, you won’t regret it and you’ll thank me.) We returned to the apartment around 7:35 A.M, and I remarked about an odd smell. Sagar, exhausted from the physical fitness test, went into his room. But, curious, I traced the smell to Raja’s crate.

He. Shit. Everywhere. 

HE EXPLODED.

I WAS HORRIFIED.

Please put yourself in my shoes (Adidas Ultraboost, the red ones). You return from a trip to Barcelona to find out your dog is about to re-enter your life. You start taking care of the dog. Then, as soon as you’re about to enjoy a nice peaceful breakfast, you discover that your dog has shit all over his crate. The $50 comfortable mattress cannot be saved. The sides of the crate need Lysol alcoholic wipes. The bottom pan, well there’s really no cleaning it without a powerful garden house and using a clothing pin to shut your nose.

I cleaned it all. And I couldn’t even be mad at Raja, because it’s like a child with an upset stomach. Even if you’re mad, what does it solve.

Raja couldn’t voice his pains, like a child normally would. He only sat helplessly in his shit covered crate until I realized what happened. I moved him over to the porch, quickly threw away the mattress, a dog toy, and his crate pan all out. I clung to patience, realizing that he must have ate something from the trash when we left him alone. I bathed him, and then had to keep him on the porch for the remainder of the day to monitor what was wrong with his stomach, and let it phase out. This likely didn’t help his separation anxiety as much as I tried because he whined all day, even waking up Sagar.

Eventually, after purchasing new toys, a bitter-taste repelling spray (that I accidentally tasted), and a new mattress, Raja came back in. Thankfully, his diarrhea situation has passed.

The thing is, while the shit was frustrating, I wasn’t really mad. Dogs love you unconditionally. To them, you’re the alpha. No matter how upset I am, or how tired, Raja gets excited to see me everyday. He curls up under my legs, and flips himself over so that I have to scratch his stomach until his tail starts wagging. And that puts a smile on my face.

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