Diaries of a Bitch in Heat

This is a photo of Hester the dog. She is lying on a grassy bank nearby a river or a lake. Her shadow is cast over the grass and she’s looking at the water intently.
Photo of Hester by Louise Trueheart

Audio transcription:

October 22nd, 2020

Apparently it could happen any day now. I’m not sure what to feel. Excitement? Sure, but for what? For the one heat I will ever have, which probably will not result in sex? It doesn’t sound exciting. For the end of Puppydom, and the beginning of Bitch-hood? I suppose, but again what are the advantages of that? Being an adult is about behaving in a more mature way, which I simply cannot see myself doing, heat or no heat. Around me are raised eyebrows and sneaky smiles. As if something is coming, and I don’t know about it. God. 

October 23rd, 2020

Today on my morning walk I met someone who had an opinion about whether or not I should be neutered. My plan was to have this first heat, get a taste for my hormones and know they flow to the right glands, and then go in for the cut. But I dunno, she was really nice, she had lived in Wedding for 15 years and had a 5 year old Dachshund named Emile, as in Emile Zola or Emile the detective of German fame. She made fair points. What if I don’t notice much of a difference? Can I handle the uncut dogs who will stop at nothing to get their dicks wet? Whose sexual advances look like violent attack? MAYBE. 

But mostly she wanted to talk to me about her cancer. About 7 years ago a doctor told her that she had too much testosterone and that she should take birth control. She didn’t really want to but she said “hey, when a doctor tells you to do something, you do it.” And so she did it, and then she got breast and lymph cancer. She said, “you can’t go in and tell a doctor that you know why you had cancer, but I knew it was because of the birth control.” We walked on. We met a couple of very sweet dogs wearing muzzles, who apparently work in the mountains all winter rescuing stranded humans. When we left, our new friend said, about getting neutered, “just read about it. Whatever decision you choose is the right one.” 

For me it had always been clear that come a certain age, when I am old enough to bear puppies of my own, that I would have surgery in which they will slice open my belly and leave me with a lifetime of sterility. It just seemed normal. I thought that’s what everyone did! I guess I hadn’t considered that there were alternatives. The lady was right – just because they say you should do something doesn’t mean they know better. I guess I’ll google it.  

Photo by Louise Trueheart

October 28th, 2020

Can’t stop licking myself. Is this normal? I think it’s normal. Is it though? Has my pussy changed color? It looks a little orange… 

November 1st, 2020

Today was stressful. There was lots of movement in the house, and very little was directed towards me or giving me attention. Also – I was pretty sure I had just gone into heat. I thought I saw some blood. Like, there was definitely a bit of blood. It was as if my genitals were surrounded by a pinkish reddish brownish halo. That’s definitely blood, right?? I am still frequently licking myself. I’ve heard it’s a symptom. But how do i know if I am licking myself a normal amount or an excessive amount? Is there even such a thing as excessive genital licking? There shouldn’t be…  

So, later, after the vacuum cleaner happened to me, we were out at the park and speaking with someone from Ireland about getting neutered. Apparently, it’s much easier to neuter “male” dogs, and it doesn’t affect their life much. You just cut the connection between the balls and the dick. But for bitches like me, apparently you have to remove the entire reproductive organ. Again, apparently, because I still haven’t done any research on this myself. 

Anyways a little while later this old guy said I wasn’t in heat because his super aggressive dog Charlie wasn’t that interested in me. And I was like – fuck Charlie. I’m not interested in Charlie either. Charlie is so two-dimensional, like he is either neutral or angry. Boring, non-complex, behaviorally stunted Charlie. 

November 2nd, 2020

Met a man at the dog park today who said being in heat was no big deal if you just buy these dog panties. That way when I am hanging out at home the blood doesn’t get all over the furniture. I was like bitch I am not even allowed on the furniture so don’t bring these weird perverted dog panties anywhere near me thank you. 

December 11th, 2020

Ok so a lot has happened since I last wrote, dearest Diary, and I’m sorry I’ve left you for so long. I write now because something urgent has been pressing on me and I don’t know why it feels so important yet is taking up this space. Get this: my new dog friend, who I haven’t even met yet – because she JUST got a human and the human is JUST visiting her parents so she’s not even really that human’s dog, but whatever – is in heat. 

This isn’t fair. 

I’ve been anticipating my first heat for MONTHS. We are basically the same age. She is like 13 months and I am like 10 months but it could have easily happened to me first. Statistics vary, age-wise. And she has been sending around these photos of her swollen genitals and bloody tail, legs, and even stomach apparently and honestly can you just keep it to yourself? Like social media, people!! It is brainwashing. Also, not that this is necessarily related or anything but she has PEDIGREE PRINCESS written all over her. 

Photos by Frances Breden

Meanwhile, I have had nothing but this crusty dark ring around my vulva for ages. It’s not even cute. It’s orange. Recently, a dark ring of dried blood has taken shape in the main fold that circles my vulva and like its nothing to be proud of… but I’m sick that it is the only thing I have to be proud of! When am I gonna fucking mature?? I just want to have one so I can get neutered and get over it. 

Not that neutering is awesome, or anything. People around me talk about how if I get neutered I’ll be a more ‘contained’ dog, and how if I don’t get neutered and never have puppies that I’ll be sad and pick up dolls and pretend they are my babies until I turn 11. And then I’ll die. What the fuck future is that? Granted, I have a sweet life and everything but are my only options to 1) have a heat during which I don’t get to actually have sex, and then have a surgery where my whole uterus is removed, and then be ‘containable’ or 2) not get neutered and be wild and sad and maladujsted? There has to be another way!

To be continued… 

Photo by Louise Trueheart

Words by Louise Trueheart

Photos by Louise Trueheart and Fran Breden

Louise Trueheart is a Berlin-based dancer and writer. She has been a part of COVEN BERLIN since 2014, devoting herself to the online mag and the newsletter. Louise and Hester have been a pod since August 2020, and enjoy long forest walks and discussing the ins and outs of the canine worldview.