Farewell, Cocoa Balls

cocoa_cute_lying_on_backBreaking SAD news.

My dog Cocoa will be neutered on May 27th. He has slightly over a month in which to hump other dogs by utilizing his manliness balls to assert dominance. It’s sad, but it’s gotta be done. He’s way too aggressive for a puppy. I can’t imagine how much more aggressive he’ll get when he reaches his “puberty” so to speak.

Why did I wait? Well, he’s by far the most active, energetic, and playful of the three dogs that I have. I know this is stupid, but I somehow though that if I chopped off his testicles (without replacing them with neuticles), he would lose his spunk and that I would be left with three rather boring dogs.

But I know it has to be done. So I bit the bullet and called the Nut Chopper (i.e. animal shelter/control dept).

Here are some myths and facts that helped me mentally:

Many people, particularly men, have a hard time sterilizing their pets, imposing upon their dogs their own feelings on losing reproductive abilities. A dog will not feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized. It will not suffer an identity crisis or mourn the loss of its reproductive capability. Your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill.

A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.

Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.

Another myth is that spaying and neutering cause weight gain. Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.

Dogs do not mourn their lost capability to reproduce. They reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.

Bye bye, Cocoa balls. Farewell. It was nice knowing you. You were so cute and cuddly.


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