IT’S A QUESTION OF COMPETENCY

Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, you pets seem to doubt your mental abilities? Well, I’m assuming that’s what it is because, there are times when the dogs seem to feel that I simply cannot function without high quality and constant canine supervision. Now, I’m not just talking about the ‘Quick! Follow him into the bathroom so he doesn’t use the secret trap door to get away!’ kind of canine supervision.

No; I’m talking about a whole other level of observation and concern.

My guardians. Notice the worried look. I think they still doubt my ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.

My guardians. Notice the worried look. I think they still doubt my ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.

It began this morning. I was roused by the very wet nose of a mastiff. Let me tell you, if you haven’t experienced this, don’t! They are huge, wet, and undeniable. There are tiny, bristly hairs that tickle your nose. And, as your eyes pop open to startled (yet bleary) wakefulness, there is a velvety smooth and unbelievably moist tongue to finish off any thoughts you might be harboring about rolling over and snoozing ‘just a few minutes longer’.

Detail view of the nose. If you expand to the full sized view, that's less than half live size. You see what I mean about undeniable?

Detail view of the nose. If you expand to the full sized view, that’s less than half live size. You see what I mean about undeniable?

The nose and tongue arousal was followed by the puppy dance of joy. This involves 150 pounds of dog muscle wiggling itself and tossing its head in two foot wide space. Somehow, this is cute. Maybe it’s the keening whine of excited greeting, I don’t know; but it is cute. This ebullient capering is accompanied by the golden retriever performing the horizontal running dance.

If you haven’t seen this one, it involves lying on one’s back or side and then extending both forelegs and rear legs out to full extension; drawing them rapidly (but still rigidly) inward and then repeating the motion; many, many times. Usually it is accompanied by a growling moan as if great exertion is being applied to an immovable object. The resultant silliness is enough to rouse anyone with laughter.

But, back to intense supervision. Once the human has been extracted from its bedding, then the real fun begins. The human cannot go anywhere without dogs. Now, I’m not talking about your, good natured, faithful companion kind of accompaniment. No sireeee! I’m talking about having a dog hermetically adhesed to you. You cannot go anywhere without a dog – right there – I mean RIGHT there. And the looks you get are priceless. They are constantly asking, “Are you alright?” and “Is everything okay?” It’s as if they have decided that, by sleeping in, you have gone from pack leader to gibbering idiot in one easy step.

Big Dog demonstrating the tag team method of supervision responsibility. Go get 'em Foofie!

Big Dog demonstrating the tag team method of supervision responsibility. Go get ’em Foofie!

When this happens, the real danger is trying to turn around or change course in any way.

Go ahead. I dare you.

They are so concerned with your wellbeing that they don’t move, even when you expect them to. Sometimes, they even surreptitiously stand on the back of your slipper so you can’t ‘make a break for it’ without them knowing. This form of dog supervision is so intensive that a quick turn will land you on your face. Granted, you shouldn’t be able to miss someone who stands almost three feet at the shoulder and weighs that much, but trust me, three feet isn’t all that tall; at least from an upright human perspective. When you make your half-awake move, it’s like hitting a pony wall. It’s not pretty. As you’re picking yourself up off the ground, you are getting even more questioning about your competence and welfare.

Hmmmm.

Maybe they do have a point after all.

I don’t know. All I do know is I now have to navigate the narrows off the Isles of Doggerham in order to get to the coffee pot.

Wish me luck.

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