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.

Hey! It's a sensible precaution when you live with a golden retriever.

Hey! It’s a sensible precaution when you live with a golden retriever.

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!)

    Why don't people take me seriously?

    Why don’t people take me seriously?

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.



  1. My Black Dog and Short Dog also have rules:
    Black Dog-
    1. It is absolutely, positively NOT ok to be in the front seat when we pull into a parking lot (I will cry if I’m not in the back).
    2. I must meld with my Mom when she comes home.
    3. There is to be no playing while my Mom is gone.
    4. No one is allowed to touch my butt (except Mom) or front paws.

    Short Dog-
    1. There is no playing without my prior approval. This approval can be revoked if I think you’re being stupid.
    2. If I think you’re mad at me I will come over to paw at you. Even if you tell me to go lie down.

  2. Oh yes. Our dogs have rules like:

    Brown Dog:
    1 – White dog is not allowed to receive more attention than me at any given moment. He may receive equal or lesser amounts of attention only.
    2 – The human Aaron must retrieve my lost tennis balls from under furniture. Other humans will suffice only in the event that Aaron’s back or knees are hurting and will not facilitate getting down onto the floor. Failure to comply will be dealt with via extreme whining and barking.
    3 – All humans who do not live in the house must be barked at upon entering it, even if they were just here two minutes ago and I have seen them a thousand times before.

    White Dog:
    1 – Any soft object that I can reach is my bed, including but not limited to: pillows, blankets, jackets, piles of folded laundry waiting to be put away, piles of dirty laundry waiting to be washed, rugs, and human hair (provided said hair is still attached to a human and the human is currently asleep).
    2 – Anyone on the opposite side of the fence or door from me is a dangerous intruder.
    3 – A sample of my hair must be on the couch at all times. To assure compliance I must be on the couch while it is being vacuumed, no exceptions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s