Sex with the Family Dog
Nero is staring at me the way a teenage boy gapes at a woman on a topless beach. His eyes reflect light from my desk lamp, letting me know for certain that he is in need. Away from the light, his eyes and his coat blend like a mixture of caviar and coffee grounds. Sometimes he looks downright demonic.
I had never thought much about dogs and sex until one morning last year in Central Park. Nero stuck his nose into the rear of a mixed breed bitch whose oblivious owner was letting her roam free. He began strutting alongside her, breathing hard. He tried to hook his neck over hers, the way a stallion snags a mare before mating. I yanked him away. For him, this was natural behavior. The bitch was in heat, and he was a two-year-old show dog, which means he wasnít neutered.
We returned home and I tortured myself with questions. Should I have let him fuck the bitch? Did I harm his psyche by interfering? Do dogs get frustrated when they canít have sex? None of my reference books on canine activity addressed this issue, and I donít stay up late enough to use those doggy chat rooms that all start on Pacific time. I thought how lucky people are. They can relieve themselves or find a partner. Nero is not so fortunate. His future mate, if he gets one, must be genetically compatible, and that requires a time-consuming search of pedigrees. For the present, the only partner he can have is me.
I turn off the lamp and go into the living room. Nero follows me. We sit on the floor. He nudges me with his head, then positions himself near my hand. He pulls at it with his front paw, then pushes it toward his penis. I open my palm and he starts humping. He whimpers. Only a few seconds pass till my hand gets wet.
I feel both caring and perverted. I suspect this is a well-kept secret in the dog world. I am sure Iím not alone in bringing relief to a virile, young dog. Here and there, Iíve dropped questioning hints, but none of my dog show pals ever has picked up on the topic.
I am careful with my lay friends. Iíve already shocked them by telling them Nero is so clean they could eat off his weenie. But what I didnít tell them is this: sometimes I kiss it.
The first time, it just happened. One afternoon he was lying on the bed, revealing himself in his favorite way, lying on his back with his penis and testicles exposed. I stroked his belly. It was so soft and white beneath the fine black hairs. Then I lowered my nose and sniffed him. There was no doggy odor, only a fresh anti-odor that I can best describe as clean. I looked at the hole in the tip of his penis. It was moist, and I sniffed that, too. I expected to smell dog pee, but it, too, smelled clean. I kissed it, a quick touch of the lips to the target. Nero didnít budge. I figured that meant he liked it.
He had an erection. His penis was hard and larger than normal, but it was still inside its sheath. There were two little knots (the glans) at the base. I touched them. They were firm, warm and smooth as chestnuts. I traced my finger along the shaft. Thin hairs grew there like freshly sprouted grass. Neroís "lipstick" came out. Some dog breeder somewhere is probably still feeling smug for coining this phrase. Red at the tip, shiny with wetness and life, it emerged from its sheath, like its cosmetic namesake. Nero was watching me out of the corner of one eye. I could see a small sliver of white above his dark iris.
He stood. His penis grew longer. I stroked it. The fully extended organ was black, hard and hot to the touch. Nero tried to take a step but seemed paralyzed by this fifth leg protruding from his underside. I recalled reading that in a first-time mating of an inexperienced stud dog, the breeder often helps guide the penis into the bitch. At the time I thought this was weird, but now I understood. Clearly, Nero had no clue about this thing sticking out of him. I pulled him toward me and offered my hand.
When I was in my early 20s, teaching in a junior high school on Long Island, I had a colleague who was friends with a couple who bred Great Danes. I wasnít a dog person then, but I was eager to experience life. The Jasons (not their real name) also had a collection of adult 8-mm black and white movies, and in one of them, a woman was being fucked by a Great Dane. I can still picture those frames, the jerky movements, the insane speed of the film. It was meant to be titillating, to show something outrageous and perhaps even disgusting. I certainly thought it was all of these. The actress was probably a prostitute, a drug addict or both. Only a real sicko would consort with an animal.
But now, years later, my thinking has changed. In Clintonesque terms, though, Nero and I are not having sex. Weíre fooling around. I know he needs my help, but he is becoming more demanding by the day. I worry that heíll forget himself when we have company, or worse, when my mother is visiting. I speed up my research on breeding. In pure-bred dogs, itís not just a question of "You got a boy, I got a girl, so letís go." To do it right, to try to produce puppies with good health and good temperaments, requires lots of legwork, personal interviews and attendance at hundreds of dog shows. I know that owners of bitches can be very picky, and some downright insulting.
I look at Nero. If I had him fixed, he could be a normal pet and Iíd just be his human buddy. Thereíd be no more dog shows, since males must have both testicles to qualify as breeding stock. But then thereíd be no more of these lust-relief sessions, either.
I pick up the phone and call the veterinarian.
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