What do you suppose goes on in a dog’s mind?
My brother’s 4-month-old pup trots around my place and his thought process and reasoning are totally absurd. Let me start by explaining the dog gets it. He’s a purebred lab with champ bloodlines. He picks up on tricks quickly. He was housetrained within one week. Obviously he has a brain in that rapidly growing head of his.
But then you see him vigorously chasing his own tail, gnawing on it on the days he’s agile enough to catch it.
“Buddy” has toys – balls, sticks, bones, and once-stuffed animals that are now torn to shreds – lying around the house for his chewing pleasure. He knows these toys are for him and he knows what’s off-limits.
He has learned everything else – how to come, sit, lie down, stay, where to go to the bathroom. But it appears as though someone also trained him how to irritate the hell out of me. The funny thing is, he doesn’t prey on his master’s stuff. He wants to steal my stuff. And frankly, I’m tired of feeling like my bedroom is a Stop-N-Go.
Yet, no matter how many times I hit him on the head and tell him “no,” he has a perfect record for sneaking into my room and fetching a slipper.
Yes, I’m a princess.
So I hide my slippers. Take THAT, you little rascal!
He runs back into my room and proudly comes out with a mitten.
Does he think I’m going to change my mind?
Ripping my mitten out of his mouth, I yell at him, tap him on the nose and try to distract him with a toy. It’s not long before I become distracted and he escapes to my bedroom closet again, returning with a pair of socks, his head hanging as low as his neck will allow. He knows it’s wrong, and I think he thinks keeping a low profile makes him invisible.
“How about this time…?”
Just brave enough to look at me out of the corner of his eye, he reminds me of a man walking into an AA meeting with a beer in his hand.
“Sorry guys. I just couldn’t resist it any longer.”
So I make sure to shut my sock drawer completely every day, three times per day.
I have sweaty feet.
Then he comes out with unmentionables from my laundry basket. Let me just say, it’s not at all awkward to have my brother hand me my own underwear, used and slightly chewed.
Yeah, that’s gross.
And somehow I’m the one who ends up apologizing for the regular occurrence.
“Sorry your dog stole my stuff, brought it downstairs and chewed it up and now it’s covered with puppy teeth indents and drool.”
The little guy is relentless. How could he learn everything else so quickly, but continue to pick on me in what seems like an intentional way? The only reasonable conclusion is that the pup has it out for me.
Yes. He spends several hours locked in his kennel during the day to prevent my home from looking and smelling like a garbage truck. Then, when the workday ends, I let the pup out of the kennel. I’m the first one he sees and therefore I’m not the good guy, I’m the bad guy who didn’t come home three hours earlier to let little mister out to do his business and sniff his old businesses.
And so, I’ve concluded he devises an agenda each day which includes an experiment of what makes me angriest.
“Is it chewing the corner of her nice, white bathroom rug or knocking over that stupid plant stand in the corner? What does she do if I nibble on her computer cord? Her knitting project? How will she react when I steal a roll of her toilet paper, unravel it and chew it into itty bitty teeny weeny pieces, spread it all over the stairs and get stuck in my teeth and the back of my throat so I can spend the next three days coughing it up and pooping it out?”
It has become very apparent that the name “Buddy” may not be appropriate.
I swear… I’m one step away from pouring Tabasco sauce over everything I own.
Then again, if he willingly eats curtains and cell phones, he’ll probably be partial to hot sauce.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.