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Can dogs be gay?

Well, maybe. Fezco, a four-year old black and tan mutt, is definitely a dog but hasn’t actually officially come out. Though that didn’t stop his former owners from abandoning him. It might be the most nonsensical story you’ll hear in quite awhile, but sadly, it’s also very real.

It all began when Fezco’s owner caught the dog “sexually dominating” another dog, or “humping” as is the more familiar term to most dog owners. After witnessing the canine Casanova mounting another male dog, Fezco’s now former owner surrendered him to Stanly County Animal Shelter in North Carolina stating they didn’t want a “gay” dog.  

In the shelter’s experience, Fezco is a gregarious and energetic dog. According to the staff, the 50lb amorous Fezco adores other people and (obviously) other animals and is an extremely good boy. But gay? Maybe, maybe not.

can dogs be gay?
Fezco just being his natural self: Stanly County Animal Shelter)

Can Dogs Be Gay?

Same-sex relationships have been observed in many animal species, 1500 and counting, including dogs. In general, animals will engage in “liberal” pairings for a multitude of reasons from raising young (male penguins have famously paired up to hatch abandoned eggs) to just, you know, get down (in the animal kingdom, “free love” didn’t stop in the 60’s). However, specifically for dogs, the act of humping has more meanings to dogs outside of sex.

High levels of testosterone for sure can drive a dog to breed, whether the object of affection is another dog or the edge of a couch. But, according to veterinarian Tahl Rozycki, sex is not the only goal in dog humping. 

See also  Do Dogs Know When You're Pregnant?

“It could just be he’s trying to assert dominance over the other dog,” said Rozycki speaking to USA Today. It’s not unusual, in fact common, for dog’s to have a “pecking order” or pack mentality in an environment with multiple dogs. And thus… indeterminate “sexual domination”, or “humping”, between dogs regardless of assumed sexual orientation.

But even if the dog actually is gay, then so what? Is there no end to homophobia? Is society truly at the point where a dog needs to consider appearances before doing what a dog naturally does?

Well at least not with everybody. The sexually fluid Fezco was quickly adopted by Steve Nichols and his partner John, from Charlotte NC, a same-sex couple that have been together for more than 30 years. And, when they heard the story of a rejected gay dog, there was no way they weren’t going to step in.

“We’ve been subject to that kind of bigotry and ignorance throughout our lives together, and we couldn’t always do anything about it.” Nichols He told WCCB. “We looked at each other and said, ‘We can do something about this.’”

And do something they did. ‘Fezco’ has been renamed ‘Oscar’ for the renowned Irish poet, playwright, and gay man; Oscar Wilde.

As Oscar Wilde may have advised Oscar the dog, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

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