Sunday, September 15, 2013

If I Could Speak Dog

When you stop and think about it, dogs are amazing. No other species has inserted itself so completely into the human world. It's easy to forget that dogs have their own thought processes, feelings, drives, motivations and priorities -- sometimes contrary to ours. Yet our dogs willingly go against their nature to please us. (Seriously, what dog wants to smell like pina colada shampoo?) Dogs don't speak human, yet they learn to understand that certain sounds mean sit, shake or get out of the trash dammit! I try to remember this when teaching Jedi to stack and heel. It's not going well and I often get frustrated. I tell myself that it's my fault, that I'm not communicating what I want clearly. I wish I could talk to Jedi in a language that he understood. If I could speak dog here are a few things I'd like to tell him:
  • The cat is not "playing" -- she really, really doesn't like you.
  • Thank you for greeting me at the door every night. Those few moments are often the best part of my day.
  • You don't need to bark at the doorbell on television.
  • I've loved you since before you were born. However, I'm trying really hard to let you be Jedi, and not compare you to the dog in my fantasies. Please forgive me when I fail.
  • The toilet is not a giant water bowl.
  • And the cat box is not a snack basket, so please stay out of the bathroom.
  • Just because it fits in your mouth doesn't mean it's edible. Quit chewing my stuff!
  • I know we should walk more. Keep asking.
  • The vacuum cleaner is not your enemy.
  • Sniffing my underwear is rude, especially if I'm still wearing them. Pulling them out of the hamper to sniff them later isn't any better.
  • Yes, I mean to close the bathroom door with you on the other side. I promise to let you know if I need help.
  • I know you hate having your ears cleaned. I'm going to do it anyway.
How about you? If you could speak dog, what would you say to your pets? -- K