Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Those who give their hearts to a pet dog should be aware of the perils of ownership and the peculiarities of canine behavior, most of it diabolically aimed at driving their owners insane. I have collected a few of these peculiar antics and present them as proof of what I am saying.

If a dog has a diarrhea, it never leaves its gooey pile in the kitchen or bathroom, or anywhere where there is a linoleum or tile on the floor, making it easy to clean up. Dogs prefer to have this mishap in the center of a carpeted living room. Carpeting seems to be a must for this malady and, if it is white carpeting, all the better. In fact, pet lovers can be identified by the brown stains on light carpeting. In my experience, which consists of a great deal of spraying and scrubbing, there is no substance known to man that will remove all of it.

Dogs love water, but generally hate baths. Usually, water must be placed in a lake or stream for a dog to enjoy it. They are especially fond of mud mixed with water, and can manage to look like Creatures from the Black Lagoon in a matter of minutes. This results in muddy footprints, which dogs totally ignore, no matter who is yelling at them. They love leaving a muddy trail behind them.

Despite their love of lakes and streams, dogs usually hate water in a bathtub. They have been known to disappear completely and not be seen for several days at the mention of the word “Bath”. In fact, they make this event so traumatic, many of us would rather fork over fifty bucks to let someone else do the chore.

Then we come to the part called Splash. Getting Fido out of the tub is not difficult. He jumps out with great delight, puddling all over the floor. What follows is the Mighty Shake, which leaves you looking as though you are the one that took a bath.

This over, toweled and sweet-smelling for a change, Fido inevitably decides he wants to go outside. Under no circumstances must you allow this. If you do, he will find a pile of some smelly substance and roll in it. He feels more comfortable with what he considers a nice, healthy stench.

Dogs have eating problems, too. Some dogs refuse to eat, nibbling their food as though it is poison. Others gobble down anything. All of them would rather have your dinner than their own. Always remember this if you go out of the room for a few minutes, leaving your dinner on your TV tray.

Dogs love riding in the car and will beg to accompany you wherever you go. Once in a car, they like to throw as much hair around as possible, spread muddy footprints across the upholstery, and splash wet noseprints over the windows.

Once you have a dog, you can never leave home again without "the crying scene". This involves you explaining to Fido that you have to leave, that you will come back, advising him to be a good dog and not pee on the carpet, throw up on the bedspread or scatter the garbage around. The look in his eyes will ruin any good time you have planned. It is a heartrending look intended to change your mind and keep you home with him where he feels you belong.

Don’t be fooled when your dog feigns guilt. A hangdog look, a tail tucked in, a pleading gaze mean nothing. He will do the same thing over again that he has made you think he feels guilty about. The guilt is just a ploy, aimed at making YOU feel guilty. Works like a charm.

Dogs are a lot of trouble, what with hairs flying everywhere, fleas, vet visits, and all of
the other problems. Heaven knows why we bother, but we do. And there are times when we wonder just who is the boss. The truth is, you do not own a dog. When he runs to greet you, frantic with delight, leaping and jumping, and you realize he is the only creature on earth who is so openly overjoyed at the sight of you, you realize that he owns you, body and soul.