The Hurl Principle

The scientific community has countless laws, theories, and principles:

The law of gravity, The big bang theory, the law of thermodynamics, Hubble’s law of cosmic expansion, Kepler’s three laws of planetary expansion, Archimedes’ buoyancy principle, and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, to name but a few.

Clearly, one of the most common principles has never been recognized, let alone named. Yet it’s evidenced in thousands of households across the globe — daily. And I’m here to lay claim to fame by pointing it out and naming it — The Hurl Principle.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury (readers), based on evidence I submit below, and with substantiation from your very own households, you can attest to whether or not this principle does, indeed, exist:

Exhibit A
With the exception of two small rugs, our home — like many of yours — has smooth, hard surface floors throughout.

Exhibit B
Be it K9 or feline, a book can not be judged by it’s cover (don’t be sucked in by her regal, yet innocent expression)…

When said K9‘s and/or felines feel like they’re going to toss their cookies, vomit their vittles, or hork their hash — they immediately evacuate all smooth surfaces and without fail, lose their lunch on the closest rug or carpeted surface they can find.

With hundreds of easy-to-clean square feet at their beck and call, they rush to a rug — evan a postage-stamp sized rug will suffice — and belch in braille, chortle their chunks, hork their hooey!

Do you have a companion animal who supports this scientific principle?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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96 thoughts on “The Hurl Principle

  1. Your scientific framework and apt alliteration works–I was caught off guard. Very clever! But I would add one more principle to your list: Murphy’s Law.

    I’m sure you will get lots of pet anecdotes with this post, but alas our dog Me-Too died when our kids were teenagers and she was irreplaceable.

    • Marian – Oh my gosh, you’re right — Murphy’s Law! And I absolutely love the name “Me-Too.” Early on in our marriage we had a dog named “Timber!” Imagine what the neighbors thought every time we called him! 🙂

  2. Laurie, well, for a start, no, thank God, I don’t. Having a very weak retch threshold, I don’t keep in my house what I can’t handle. I feel that I have great compassion but could have never been a nurse, it was all I could do to raise my children to the stage where they could follow directions and become house-broken. My Chicken Ladies do their living outside in a very large fenced yard and as far as I know, they have only one way in, and one way out in their systems. Poor Lexi, I hope she is feeling better now. On the plus side, at least the rug can be thrown into the washer!

    • Sandi – Ohhhhhh, I remember the days as a young mother of hurling, myself, as I cleaned up Eoghan’s barf when he was sick. Thankfully those days are in the distance rearview mirror.

      The Chicken Ladies make the perfect companions! And with them it’s really a two-way street — they at least reward you for your efforts with beautiful eggs 🙂

  3. Here is a related law of the universe: buttered toast will defy the laws of 50/50 statistics to land face down, time and again.

  4. I am laughing so hard, some times I think it is only my dog that does this little action! The soft surface must either offer some comfort, or it seems more like the grass. Thanks for the smile.

  5. Oh hell’s bells you have hit the nail right on the head . We have a beautiful King Charles Spaniel called Oscar ( I think I have introduced you to him in previous posts ) and once a beautiful rug by our hearth , bright ruby red ( when we bought it its actual title was Poppy Fields ) it is now a dumping ground for beautiful King Charles Spaniels called Oscar and friends …
    You just have to laugh how can you be angry with them .
    Cherry x

  6. This is the story of my life. Remember, I’m the author of a recent blog post entitled “Call me the Shit Whisperer,” which illustrates this principle–only from the opposite end. Yikes!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  7. So true, so true! I’ve always had pets, usually two or three at a time and if they didn’t decide to wretch on the carpet it was most definitely on my jacket, or shoes, or anything else that was not a hard surface! Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it this morning! 🙂

  8. Yes, indeed I do.
    And an amendment to the principle is my daughter’s Border Terrier who must leave a deposit under the rocking chair on the charcoal wool rug (one of the few rugs in the house but not so washable) just moments after he arrives at our house.
    Zip prefers a bath mat which is quite washable and I appreciate that , Lorax has also chewed up the front door rug and all the bath mats at how own house.

    • Patricia – Well bless Lorax’s stinky little heart! We’ll imagine he thinks his “deposit” is a lovely contribution to the environment. And Mr. Zip, so courteous to spew on the very washable bath mat 🙂

  9. Okay – I have 3 terriers and can absolutely confirm the Hurl Principle. However, in our house we still have many rugs and the Hurl Principle has evolved into the Moving Hurl Principle. You can witness it when you see a human grabbing some kitchen towel and frantically trying to keep up with fast moving hurling terrier as she heads towards best rug in the house.
    We also have a poop variation of the principle which was established by very old sweet and loving spaniel …. but I won’t go there. Kathy I hear you!! Val x

    • Val – Three Terriers?! We had ONE Westie (Claire) who lived to be 14 and she was like trying to keep up with greased lightning! My hat is off to YOU for keeping up with (quite literally with the MOVING Hurl Principle) three of them! 🙂

  10. No pets in our house Laurie but… It is one of the reasons I have no desire to have one either. I have a quinsy stomach. If there is any hurling going on my stomach feels obliged to join in.

  11. sooOO funny! reading–not cleaning…;) My Himmy Kitties are apt to hurl now and again, and since we are carpeted, I R-U-S-H to grab a newspaper to hurriedly (yet unalarmingly) shove under their retching lil faces, and they are just as quick to turn away from this easier-for-me alternative…

    what is that about…do they think the carpet will absorb the scent (primal thing) and thereby protect them from enemy?

    • Charron – Himalayan cats are gorgeous, and you’ve got two. I bet they make great company for each other.

      I have no idea why cats and dogs prefer to hurl on carpeting or rugs. You’re quite possibly right about the “survival” instinct 🙂

  12. I love my deaf rescue terrier, but I have to say he is a lot of work! Include him in on your hurl principle. He proves it every time. Miles of hardwood floors and he will run to the closest rug. Thank you so much for this fun post today!

  13. Adorable photo of that poodle Laurie! Yes, this is by all means a sound principal, and I must say I have several that quality, namely two labs and a pub. One of these is a professional hurler I must say. This is primarily who we also adhere to the hard surface policy in our home too. Ha!

    Good news. The clocks are scheduled to be turned an hour ahead over the coming weekend.

  14. haha, here I race over expecting a highly scientific experiment… too funny! Believe it or not we do NOT adhere to the hurl principle in our home. Our black lab is quite polite in fact, and alerts us by racing to the door (she only does this when her stomach is upset) and sitting patiently for us to take her out, a rather desperate look on her face. The few times she has thrown up in the house, it’s always on the wood floors. I hate to be the outlier, but no hurl principle here! 🙂

  15. Of course we do! My Bumble, a rescue poodle, provides enough evidence at this house! He looks at me innocently as in asking who might have done THAT. And now I’m noting that he failed to mention this principle in his confessions that came out just recently 🙂

  16. Hi Laurie

    Huia certainly started out that way, but I was a fairly hard master on her, and planted her face in anything she left on the carpet, and then ejected her out the door.
    It didn’t take her long to learn that if she ran for the door, she was better off.

    She as a weak stomach, and a typical Labrador habit of raiding the neighbourhood compost bins at any opportunity, so vomit pools are a frequent occurrence.
    Now I usually hear the characteristic sounds of barely contained retching, and see her heading to the door, and get there in time to let out. And sometimes I get to the door to be greeted by some object of doggy desire swimming in a little green pool on the lino in front of the door.

    Every time I have to clean one of those up I scowl at Huia and she cowers and backs away with her head down in submission and apology.

    Carpet deposits are now a very rare event in our household.

    • Melissa – If I’m not mistaken, you have two gorgeous cats (who help you hold down your paperwork as you write), so I thought you might well be able to weigh in on this topic. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  17. We had a cat named Pronoun. Yes, that’s right. And she was a hurler extraordinaire. We had carpet throughout most of the house, so she inevitably threw up where we had to clean up. When I became a college president, Pronoun took up residence with another family. Too much travel in ours and too many guests with allergies. So we said good-bye to our favorite part of speech and said hello to cleaner carpet. Loved your post.

  18. Wow, this post might go viral, Laurie! 🙂 Don’t currently have pets, but three previous cats all confirmed Hurl Principle They especially liked our bed. Mostly under it, which was discovered months or years later when doing that once in ten years cleaning or replacing of carpets. Occasionally they decided we needed to immediately know they’d had a hairball or didn’t like their food and would barf on top of the bed. At least they usually missed the pillows.


  19. Oh my goodness yes, Lori. Pets and young children! We have hardwood floors throughout the house with the exception of two of the bedrooms. Guess where she gets sick? I wonder what that’s all about. Hmmmmm!

  20. Judging by the number of comments here, Laurie, you’ve really stuck a nerve! I have a medium sulfur-crested cockatoo who roams the house. She doesn’t get sick on the carpet, but she does eliminate wherever and whenever the mood strikes . . . and 9 times out of 10—you guessed it—I’m running for the carpet stain remover. I guess she’s hurling from the other end?

    • Candace – No small feathered friend, I think a sulfur-crested cockatoo was one of the stars on the TV show Baretta in years gone by. And if I’m not mistaken, they have a lengthy life expectancy (somewhat like my bonsai, Merry).

      You painted a wonderful work picture, I can practically SEE you in her wake, ever so humble, towel in hand 🙂

  21. Hilarious, especially if you ever owned a dog. My daughter’s dog is now verboten in my house for her uncontrollable instinct to spot on every rug in the universe.

    Regards and good will blogging

  22. I love this post! Well I adore all your posts but this one especially made me laugh out loud! Yes she may have a sweet and innocent expression, but I know she finds the tiny patches of carpet when ‘it’s time’! As I live with 3 felines and 1 K9 I well know ‘the hurl principle’ and my home also has wood and tiled floors. Tiny carpeted areas fall prey, but sofas and beds work well for cats too don’t they? LOL 😀 Thanks Laurie! Cheers, Gina

    • Michael – I’m laughing this morning at your response, and your term “ralph” — I was scraping the barrel coming up with an assortment of terms, and I completely overlooked that one 🙂

  23. So far our Zoë has not hurled anywhere in the house – the car is another story. Recently we saw comedian/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler, and she had us in stitches when she told us a story about her cat, who one day cried desperately at the door to be let in and then promptly vomited on the rug. 🙂

  24. Two dogs and three cats…worst place? In shoes, on blankets, and a space between the counters that you have no access to, had to use a chopstick to slide up and out:)

  25. No feline versions of The Hurl Principle, but my little dog, who is perfectly potty trained and an inside dog (and has been for more than seven years) still finds it necessary – at least a few times a year – to lift his leg in the only carpeted room in the house, against the only upholstered chair in the house. On such occasions, my hair suddenly goes wild in every direction, and my eyes bug out a bit, but in the end, out comes the carpet cleaner and scrub brushes and vinegar and bleach and peroxide, and then life goes on. Not once in seven years have I ever caught him in the act. Not once. Sneaky little *&%$#*&*. Every time, I threaten he will become an outside dog, but then, as always, I relent, and forgive, and start believing it won’t happen again. Until, of course, it does. As recently as last week. *growl*

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