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When I first heard L’il Sis talk about how The Pig likes to ‘make her own lunch’ so to speak, I couldn’t believe it. I’d seen other dogs eat poo before, seen them roll in it, but to not even let it touch the ground was slightly surprising to me.

I figured it must have been a one-off.

Until I saw her in action myself.

It was during the Polar Vortex that happened over the holidays. It was -42C with the wind chill and The Pig had not had a poo for nearly 48 hours. Given the sheer amount of food The Mom was feeding her I knew this was not going to end up anywhere good.

“That’s it,” I announced that morning, a propos of nothing. ” that dog is going to go out and take a shit.”

“Ha!” The Mom said. “Good luck. Your sister couldn’t even get her out the door for a fast pee.”

“Weak!” I declared. L’il Sis, obviously, has a soft spot for her dog. But for serious matters, you need a serious person. And though, when dressed in The Mom’s handmedown winter coat (as my flimsy one that passes for a winter coat in Britain was deemed to be wilfully flaunting death it was so thin) I do not look in any way serious, for me, good bathroom habits are serious business.

Remember, I have Crohn’s disease, and one of the strange things about that is that sometimes you get a bit backed up. Which is painful.

I also had visions of The Pig being unable to hold her bowels any longer and taking a big stinky dump on The Mom’s carpets. Which wouldn’t have really upset The Mom that day – she was too busy being upset about the weather – I felt that later on, it would come back to haunt The Pig.

I set about getting myself dressed and The Mom set about getting The Pig dressed. She wore two sweaters that day and The Mom wasn’t entirely convinced that going outside was an idea that should be acted upon.

But I have never let The Mom’s good sense get in the way of the execution of an excellent plan.

After ten minutes spent getting dressed, we were ready. Neither of us could walk quickly or well, but we were moving. I opened the door to the garage and The Pig looked outside and being of short stature, I’m fairly certain all she saw was snow. She tried to come back inside but I blocked her way.

“Nope,” I told her. “This is happening. You are going to take a poo.”

We walked to the top of the driveway. Nothing happened. We made it to the bottom of the driveway and the wind picked up and The Pig looked at me like I was Darth Vader.

“We’ve got ten minutes until frostbite sets in. Which means you’ve got nine and a half minutes to shit,” I told her.

She remained unmoved and looked longingly back to the house.

“No one is going to save you,” I said.

We walked along the sidewalk, we turned the corner. We walked as far as the mailbox – nearly 100 metres. And still nothing. But there were some bushes there that she quite liked and she forgot how cold she was momentarily, as she chased the bunnies she couldn’t see but that she sure could smell.

But nothing doing as far as a poo was concerned.

And I was getting cold.

“Piggie!” I implored. “Make poo!”

The dog looked at me and registered nothing. She was shivering, I couldn’t feel my hands even with two pairs of mittens.

“Fine!” I shouted at her. “Poo in the house! You will make Grandma Very Mad.”

The dog didn’t look as if she cared, either way. So we set off back through the tundra to the garage door. And just as we were rounding the corner, The Pig started to walk a bit funny. I looked and saw a trail of small round poos behind her.

“Good girl!” I shouted, jumping up and down and clapping my hands.

She must’ve misread me because she looked at me and then turned around and, I am not kidding, started shitting directly into her mouth. It is a feat on many levels, none of them good. And it’s nearly impossible to wrench the dog’s face away from her butt whilst she still remained standing on ice in -42C winds.

I let her eat it. I go nowhere near her front or back ends, so I felt that at the very least, I wouldn’t come into further contact with the poo.

When L’il Sis returned from work that evening, I said, “Your dog made herself a shit-wich for lunch today.”

“Happens. She’s a beagle,” she said, as though that were a valid excuse.