Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dog days

My dog has been driving me crazy lately because he has apparently developed separation anxiety.  It's so frustrating because this has come out of nowhere - one day he obediently goes in the kitchen when I leave like always, and the next he's growling and acting like I beat him and rob little old ladies.  I really don't get it.  I mean, I know I'm pretty amazing.  No - strike that . . . I'm FABULOUS.  But I still don't understand why he feels like he can't live without me while I run to the store.  Why he has to go crazy, bark, aaaaaaaand then pee on the kitchen floor.  I just don't get it.

So I have mopped the floor more in the last few months than I have in my entire life and it's driving me crazy.  Luckily for my dog, though, mopping is very therapeutic so it keeps me from strangling him.  As I'm mopping, I think about how I'll probably NEVER understand the way a dog's mind works. 

For instance . . .

We were out walking the other day and a lady who was walking toward us stopped me to tell me how cute he was.  As she was going on and on about his preciousness, he disinterestedly hiked his leg and took care of his business.  That's some major self-confidence.  I mean, when someone is going on and on about how cute I am (which, believe me, happens ALL  the time . . .), I smile my best smile and try to look the part so that nothing that I do will change their opinion.  Not my dog.  He looks at the lady, wags his tail, and says "You think I'm cute just STANDING here?  Check THIS out, toots . . ."

I kinda wish I were more like that. 

And then there's the way he greets people when they come over.  I mean, I think I'm a pretty good hostess, you know?  I make people feel welcome, I offer them a drink or something to eat, I make sure they're comfortable, and I pat myself on the back for being the hostess with the mostest.  Meanwhile, my dog is running laps around the dining table because he can't contain his excitement over their arrival.  He'll take a break just long enough to do a little dance on his hind two feet so that he can get his little head high enough for them to pet him and then he's off to the races again.  Now THAT'S how you make people feel important, right?

I wish I were more like that. 

And he's not easily offended.  He gets so excited to see me and tries to lick my face to show me affection and all I do is scrunch up my nose and tell him how bad his breath stinks.  And he never feels rejected by that. If someone responded to me that way, I'd first apologize for trying to lick their face . . . and THEN I'd feel so rejected. But my dog never is - he just comes right back and tries to give me more kisses, bad breath and all.  He just gets right up in my face and never stops trying to show me that he loves me.

Why can't I be more like that? 

But I think the most impressive thing about him is that he absolutely FLIPS out for milk bones.  Milk bones.  A treat whose most flavorful ingredients are wheat flour and flaxseed.  But when I open the cabinet where his treats are stored, he goes crazy.  I mean, you'd think that I had given him a piece of cheesecake.  The human equivalent of a milk bone is what?  Maybe melba toast?  Or rice cakes?  If you tried to reward me for something good I'd done by giving me a rice cake, I'd smack your face and tell you your breath stinks. 

So consider yourself warned.  Because I'm not my dog.

I won't lick you affectionately and, frankly, I don't love you enough to run circles around my dining room table for you.  I know that's a bummer.  BUT, on the bright side, if you were to leave me alone to go buy a piece of cheesecake for me, I would NOT bark my head off and then pee on the kitchen floor.

So . . . why can't my dog be more like THAT?