Ever wonder why dogs roam around and around in circles and struggle to find just the right place to pop a squat?  Well, researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague think they have the answer. And you are not going to believe this!  There seems to be a scientific reason . . .

Now, I realize this is a sensitive subject for many.  I, for one, am extremely potty shy and I am very particular about where I do #1 and, particularly, #2.  I will perform #1 in public, but absolutely refuse to use a urinal.  I'm not Magic Mike and don't necessarily feel the urge to let my freak flag fly around a restroom.  And I don't really want to see anyone else's flying around for that matter either.  Using the restroom is just weird anyway.  A bizarre and cruel cosmic and biological joke.   And I just prefer to go it alone.  That's why I always use a stall.  I have my privacy and I can concentrate on the task at hand.  And if I have to . . hmmm . . . how do I put this . . . tap or shake dry a couple of extra times . . . there's no one there watching, getting judgmental and drawing conclusions.

Now, as for #2, I fully stand behind my assertion that this particular activity should only be performed on your own turf.  In your own bathroom.  In your own home.  My friends make fun of me, but I actually remember the last time my cheeks were on public porcelain.  It was 1996 at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, California.  Yes.  It was eighteen years ago and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I am very particular about where I go and that particular JCC was quiet and rather inviting.  It took a while to relax and commit to the cause, but I wasn't going to be home for three more days and I was about to explode.

And apparently I am not alone.  Dogs are really uptight about doing #2 as well.  I mean, I am a dog owner and I have noticed Dolly and Wilma walking around in circles like crazy people in the quad at an institution and taking their sweet time before popping a squat in the backyard.  And, yes, sometimes (like when it's -7 degrees outside with a wind chill of -30) it can be maddening!

Wilma dropping a doggie bomb in my neighbor Karen's yard!
Wilma dropping a doggie bomb in my neighbor Karen's yard!

But our Czech researchers think they have gotten to the bottom of it (sorry about the pun).  According to findings published in the journal Frontiers of Zoology, the research team embarked (sorry about that pun too) on a two-year experiment.  Over the course of those two years, they studied 2,000 defecations from 70 dogs.  I know you think I am making this up.  I'm not.  70 different dogs dropped 2,000 different deuces and the scientists were there to watch and take notes.

And what they found was interesting if not astonishing.  It seems the dogs were actually in tune with the Earth's magnetic field.  And, when that magnetic field was calm, the dogs actually aligned themselves along the North-South axis to do their business.  And to make sure there were not extraneous distractions, the researchers only observed the dogs' activity in vast open fields.  They didn't want them distracted by traffic, other people or anything that would pull their attention off dropping the kids off at the corn field.

Fascinating.  Completely random.  And very very weird.  But I can tell you this.  The next time Dolly and Wilma are walking around in circles in the backyard, I'm just gonna get a Magna Doodle and lay it in the grass.

As for me . . . I don't care what the Earth's axis is doing.  I am waiting until I get home to align myself.