The Psychology of Keeping Body and Soul In Harmony,

by Dr. Noble Schpealing, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, The Five Lakes Institute for Avoiding Institutes


    When your dog is sleeping with your wife, it can put a strain on the bonds of even the strongest marriage and lead to the kind of discord and misunderstanding that make angry words and threatening displays of incisors almost unavoidable consequences.

    Fortunately, proper counseling is readily available, and a course of reason and empathy will lay a path to cooperation and compromise, so no matter what the outcome, all parties will feel a sense of harmony and genuine self worth.

    The process begins, as it always does, with honest and direct communication, and in this particular situation, experts say, it is the husband who must take the initiative. 

    The best first step, before attempting any meaningful dialog, “is to convince the dog to remove his penis from your wife’s vagina,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Emily Overbender of the Center for Marriage Zeitgeist.

    “It will be hard to forge any sense of genuine wirkmitdoggenubershlongen while your pet is panting like a locomotive and staring wantonly into space,” Dr. Overbender instructs, “and most women don’t really consider themselves to be part of a discussion if they’re on their hands and knees and feel saliva dripping onto their backs, even if that saliva is from a certain cuddly fella with the big wet nose.”

    Although a simple “dismount” can work with a canine who is used to following his master’s voice, a less well-trained animal may require a more convincing display.

    “I keep a ping-pong paddle at the ready,” says veterinarian-marriage counselor Dr. Bill Tilden, “and a short, not too hard slap at the dog’s testicles will usually produce the desired result without inflicting any real pain. 

    “You may have to wait a minute or two afterward for the dog to catch his breath before expecting him to pay rapt attention and understand that you expect his best behavior for the duration of the discussion.  But if it means he’ll be focused, it’s worth the wait.”

    Once the dog has gathered himself and your wife has recovered her panties, the next step is to address the cause of the problem.

    Here, some honest introspection is key.

    “It’s always easy to place blame at another’s paws,” notes respected relationship author and family practitioner Dr. Edgar Beagle, “or to accuse one’s spouse of being no more than a moderately selective gutter tramp, but there is no substitute for soul-searching self-honesty when a family’s future is on the line.  Take a good look in the mirror, resist scratching the side of your head with your foot, and ask the questions that must be asked.”

    Some of those questions, Dr. Beagle suggests, would include:

    Am I sending my dog the wrong signal when I make encouraging jokes every time I see him sniffing my wife’s vagina when we’re getting dressed in the morning?

    When I see my dog humping the big oak leg on the dining room table, do I scold him out of habit, or do I take the time to consider that he might have an unfulfilled need?

    Should I have asked my wife why she massages the dog’s balls whenever she scratches his stomach?  Was that a cry for help that I ignored?

    Have I given my wife the opportunity to make love in a position other than doggy-style within the past three years?

    Should I find some better phrases to use during sex than, “Oh yeah, baby, you my bitch” and “I want to hear you wail like a hound when you come”?

    “If you’ve truly been honest with yourself and feel in your heart of hearts that you’re not the one who should be rolling onto his back and offering apologies,” Dr. Beagle advises, “it’s time for the real dialog to begin.”

    Experts are divided as to whether you should first address the dog or your wife, but there seems to be a consensus that although the dog is likely to be more honest in dealing with the most compelling motivating factors, your wife is likely to be the more articulate when it comes to expressing deep-seated emotions, and is likely best able to do so without absentmindedly and loudly cleaning her genitals with her tongue at the same time.

    An open-ended question is the best way to start.  “Try something direct and simple,” Dr. Overbender counsels, such as, “Honey, I didn’t mean to interrupt while you were in the middle of something, but is there anything about our sex life you’d like to discuss?” or “Now that Rover and you have reached a new understanding, should we be discussing new responsibilities in the household?” or “Would sex be better for you if I had my penis shortened or clipped my nails less often?”

    Dr. Overbender reminds husbands that, “Your wife probably feels worse than you do, because she’ll blame herself for having gotten the dog into hot water, even if the reality may be that it’s your lack of attention and/or performance that’s really the root cause.  So give her a chance to recapture her emotional equilibrium before you start pressuring her about whether or not you and the dog are still equals.”

    Dr. Tilden counsels that accusations and self-possessing statements aren’t likely to engender a constructive response from either your wife or the dog.

    Openings such as, “The dog?!?  You’re f*cking the dog?!?” and “You get on your hands and knees with an animal who spends his days with his nose pressed into other dogs’ assholes!?!” not only demean your wife’s judgment, they constitute an attack on the dog’s heritage and very sense of identity.

    “Remember that your wife has just finished making love with ‘that other guy,’” Dr. Beagle cautions, “and you’re probably not in the best position to win her emotions right then and there, so pejorative references at the dog’s expense are more likely to engender a growl than win a treat.”

    As you continue this process, keep an eye on the dog to be sure he isn’t quietly positioning himself for another go at your wife.  Rover may seem to be innocently staring at his paws, but dogs consider themselves to be capable of stealth, and he may take a charge at your spouse without notice, not as a direct challenge to your authority, but as the one way he can express support for your wife’s standing as a woman.  This can be disastrous if it happens at the wrong moment, as the subsequent necessary scolding is likely to engender bad feelings that won’t be easily healed by an extra Begging Strip or the five hundred dollar long stemmed bouquet from 1-800-IGOOFED.

    Perhaps the prickliest dilemma (no pun intended) occurs if your wife, sometimes merely as a defensive response, not because she necessarily means it completely, states openly, with the dog still in earshot, that she finds the dog to be a better lover than you are.

    “By all means, resist the temptation to respond by trying to cast your own sexual paraphernalia as superior to the dog’s, or by whining about the dog’s easy lifestyle,” warns Rev. Armand Beastley, a priest who specializes in assisting couples when one partner has strayed.  “Statements such as, ‘You prefer his three inches to my six?!’ or, ‘Well, sure, he’s more attentive, what the hell else does he have to worry about?’ may appear pathetic to a woman who finds a canine’s undemanding style and understated confidence to be the model of genuine masculinity.” 

Rev. Beastley reminds husbands that “most women find a good sense of humor and an accepting nature to be the traits they admire most in a man, and if you’ve not

been exposing that side of your makeup, perhaps that’s why she’s been exposing hers.”

    Once communication has been established, professional counseling is the best way to effectively deal with the complex behaviors and emotions in play, but if you can’t afford it, or if counseling would be too slow to help lessen any immediate pressures, there are short cuts that can be considered.

    “In a pinch,” Dr. Tilden offers, “if you can possibly reach some kind of meaningful accommodation with your wife, I would suggest that you consider exchanging the ping pong paddle for a scalpel and having the dog’s balls cut off altogether.”

    Dr. Beagle finds that approach to be a bit extreme, although he doesn’t entirely disagree.

    “You may lessen one suitor’s impact by following Dr. Tilden’s advice,” Beagle allows, “but a woman who has learned that sexual satisfaction can be had any time she controls the kibble bowl isn’t likely to stop looking around the neighborhood just because the most available male has started to take naps more often and become slow to arouse.  Until you stop the itch, she’ll keep scratching.”

    Dr. Overbender suggests that graciously accepting change may be the best course of action if extended counseling is to be avoided, i.e., instead of altering the dog to solve the problem, the better path may be an adjustment of one’s own expectations. 

   To wit: “If your wife and the dog have found happiness, perhaps you should be thankful she still lets you into the marital bed without making you go outside to pee first.”


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