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The Goop Stealer

Cricket, before her morning makeup

Cricket, before her morning makeup

Cricket. Oy.

Cricket. Oy.


I am the goop stealer. Goop is my highly technical term for doggy eye snot. My battle is to keep my dogs’ eyes open and seeing, but they do not like this at all.

Cricket’s goop is especially sticky and kind of like hardened rubber cement. I should be able to sit her on my lap, grab a tissue and wipe off the goop before it hardens into stalagmites in her hair, but Cricket hates being futzed with. If I go near her face with the tissue, she bites my fingers, and grabs the tissue, and jumps to the ground with her treasure. It’s sometimes possible to do a sneak attack and grab the goop with my bare hands, pinching it off like a tick, but if it’s stuck on, or I’m too slow, this can be very dangerous.

This is how she reacts to the toothbrush, just imagine if i tried to get closer

This is how she reacts to the toothbrush, just imagine if I tried to get closer

I’ve tried special eye cleaning pads on her, but she acts like the cleanser on the pad is burning her eye. The way she reacts, I can almost hear the sound of sizzling acid burning through her skin. She’s very convincing.

Cricket hiding on Grandma's lap

Cricket hiding on Grandma’s lap

The two methods that work are: a) Cut the goop off during a grooming session when she’s trapped in the bathtub and distracted with chicken treats; b) Scrub her with shampoo during a full out bath (because if her whole body is wet she’s a tiny bit more subdued.) At the very least, the soaking of the under eye area will loosen the schmutz a bit so it can be removed by hand.

Cricket’s goop embeds in the hair under her eyes and plasters itself to her skin so that I start worrying about infections and cooties crawling under her skin and chewing her up.

Butterfly’s eye goop is different. It doesn’t clump right under her eyes or in the corners. It catches on a group of longer hairs, lower down on her cheek. And since her hair is thicker and oilier, the goop is easier to pull off. She still doesn’t like the removal process, though. She dips her head like a baby avoiding a spoonful of peas. She doesn’t attack or bite or growl like Cricket, she just bobs and weaves.

Butterfly's rust stains

Butterfly’s rust stains

And a little eyeliner

And a little eyeliner


When we first adopted Cricket, and realized that a white haired dog was a whole new creature, with tear stains to worry about, we tried all kinds of things. There were wet wipes and special eye wipes for grooming around the eyes. Then we found a powder to add to her food that was supposed to at least limit the rust stains under her eyes. But nothing prevents the build up of goop.

I need another plan. I thought of putting Vaseline under her eyes every morning to keep the goop from sticking, but I think it would lead to Cricket rubbing her head so hard on every surface that eyes will pop out.

The fact is, Cricket doesn’t care if her butt is covered in poop or her feet are dirty, or her eyes are rimmed with goop. She resents being handled and gussied up. She hates being clean overall. But I want her to look her best. I don’t expect her to be poofed and sprayed and dressed in lace. I just want her to be clean and healthy and not smell like pee or poop or eye goop.

Is that so much to ask?