We have dogs. Large dogs (please refer to NOSING AROUND for details). When you have large dogs, they need to be trained and have rules. Simple things like:
- You have to wait to be released before going outside. (UPS will not deliver to the house if you eat their delivery personnel.)
- You may not bowl the humans over when going outside. (You don’t pay the medical bills so we get to minimize our risks.)
- You may not eat the cat. (It doesn’t matter how hungry you are or that he put his head in your dish in another failed effort to supplement his meager rations.)
- You must wait until the food dish is on the floor before you suck up dinner in one gulp. (Followed by the first item in this list.)
People have commented that we have well behaved dogs. I think sometimes that’s a polite way of saying that we’re over controlling, but when you live with an animal which weighs as much as an adult human and has a mouth that can engulf half a man’s arm (or a whole cat), you need some guidelines. We see it more as a dynamic social contract which allows all of us to coexist. And the key word here is dynamic, at least from their point of view.
It turns out that humans are not the only ones who have rules. Dogs have rules too. Now, these rules make as little sense to us as ours probably do to the dogs. Never the less, here they are; at least according to Big dog.
- Dogs may not leave the bedroom until the last human has vacated. (My bed has lots of memory foam in it. Why do I want to rush off?)
- Little dog must always be awake, even at three in the morning when you get up to use the restroom. That way, if there’s a problem, she can tell me about it. (Translation: Don’t bother me, I’m sleeping.)
- Little dog is the official morning greeter. (She has no appreciation for memory foam.) If you want to pet a dog, pet her. She’ll bring my share to me on my bed.
- I’ll stand next to my bed looking forlorn until you tell me it’s okay to get on it. You think this is an extension of my compliance with your rules (re: first item, your list, this blog). Really, it’s a lampoon of your idiotic rules. Find your copy of A Modest Proposal and re-read it if you have any questions.
- I’ll go outside at night before your bedtime but I am not going up the hill into those weeds. When I go to do my business, they tickle my nethers and I don’t like that – at all.
- You can make Little dog do all the stupid dog tricks you want. I am a mastiff. We don’t do tricks. We are serious minded dogs. (Ignore the cute, puppyish rolling in the grass and trying to get Little dog to play.)
Little dog has her own rules but they are considerably more relaxed.
- When humans come home I must greet them with a stick, piece of bark, tree branch, or other appropriate gift.
- I must always take the shortest route to my humans, even if that means upending the table outside and spilling beer everywhere. (I like beer so this is not a problem. I’m a responsible dog and believe in cleaning up my beer and human food related messes. Other messes?? Well…)
- I must always be as close as possible to a human. Preferably I should be lying on their feet. (Only because they have some stupid rule about dogs not being on the furniture.) If I cannot be on their feet, then I must lay as close behind their rolling chair as possible. These rules exist to keep them from being without high quality dog help in all things.
- I must be awake at night when humans stir because they may need to play and it’s my job to be the play dog. Big dog does not play, no matter what she says.
- If a gnat burps, I must bark. (Hey, someone needs to know about this stuff and they won’t get me a Twitter account!)
Do your pets have arcane rules like these? We’re thinking of forming a “Human Victims of Pet Rules” support group. Until then, please tell us your pets’ odd rules via the comments section of this blog.