It's a Dog Eat Pizza World...
DISCLAIMER: Almost all of the following may not be completely true though most likely very little is totally false. For the most part, it is all somewhere between casual embellishment and over-the-top exaggeration. It is all, however, essential information for successful interaction with your dog. Just ask him or her if you don't want to take my word for it.
Something tells me that my dog... Well actually, she is my friend's dog and I am her step-dad. Or maybe godfather is the more accurate term. But wouldn't that make her my god-dog? Anyway, something tells me that she is not fully familiar with the legal ramifications of contract law. Now I know it is not like she went to college of anything, but she is smart enough and has seen enough episodes of Law & Order and Judge Judy that she should have some idea of how things work.
I should mention (because I talk about her buster collar later without mentioning why she is wearing it) that doggie recently had surgery to have a toe removed that had a bone infection and at this point she was wearing a buster collar (also known as an Elizabethan collar or space collar) which is really a cone-shaped device attached to her collar that keeps her from licking the bandage on her foot. I am sure if you look around this article, I probably threw in an embarrassing photo of dog in one somewhere. Unless, of course, I forgot. If I remembered, please do not tell her as she is really self-conscious about being called a "conehead".
Anyway, during my latest visit with dog and her mommy when mommy was not feeling well, dog and I had the following interaction:
DOG: I want attention.
ME (whispering): Quieten down, girl. Let mommy sleep.
DOG: Daddy came to give dog attention. Attention now!
ME (still whispering): No. Daddy came to help mommy because dog had surgery and mommy does not feel well. Please be quiet, girl. Lay down. Sleep like mama!
DOG: Hee hee hee!
At this point, dog flops her ears loudly inside her buster collar, which amplifies the ear flopping. Dog then gets up, heading for the door, certain I will follow. I follow. At the back door, we make a deal...
ME: Okay, here's the deal... I let you out for awhile. You come in. I'll take off your conehea... er, buster collar and give you a neck rub. Maybe even some chin scratching and a piece of cheese. In exchange for all this, when you come back in, we put your cone... er, collar back on quietly and go back to the living room where you will lay down and take a nap while mommy gets some rest. Deal?
DOG: Absolutely. Sure. No problemo, Daddy-o! Can I have the cheese now? Got any bacon?
ME: Sorry. No bacon. Mmmm... Bacon...
After a moment of doggy and me daydreaming about bacon...
ME: We'll get some bacon later. Here is half the cheese now. You can have the other half when you get back in.
Dog gobbles down the cheese and heads out into the yard. I wait patiently while she does whatever dogs do when they pretend they need to go pee in the middle of the night but really are just making excuses to get attention. Then, not altogether surprisingly, dog comes back inside.
ME: Did you en...
DOG (interrupting): Cheese!
ME: Well, you could at least take minute to...
DOG (interrupting impatiently): CHEESE! We had a deal!
If you recall the deal we made (and if you do not, just scroll back, take a look and then take a moment to schedule a doctor's appointment to see if Alzheimer's is creeping up on you), you will remember there was no mention of the immediate availability of the cheese in question upon dog's return to the interior of the domicile. In fact, I am pretty sure the cheese was the last thing mentioned after removal of the coneh... I mean, collar, the rubbing of the neck and the scratching of the chin.
Perhaps my mistake was ever allowing this deviation from the plan. Maybe I should have insisted on taking the other steps first and thus may have established my position that the contract be honored as the dominant opinion. But there are two things about dog that I must tell you so that you might understand why I gave in and surrendered the cheese first.
- When dog speaks in all capital letters such as when she said "CHEESE!", most humans hear this as a very loud bark. With mommy trying to get some sleep, dog was fully aware I would want to keep her quiet. I am not saying she was intentionally trying to violate the terms of our contract... I'm just saying. You draw your own conclusions.
- Dog has magic eyes. She can use these to cast a spell on just about anyone, fully hypnotize the weak-minded, and levitate small animals like cats, squirrels and chihuahuas. Oh, and one thing about me... I am weak-minded.
So, I gave her the cheese. Took off her conehe..., um, collar. Gave her a neck rub and a vigorous chin scratching. Before I could slip the conehea... I mean collar... back on her, she trotted off to the living room with me chasing behind, plopped down and started sniffing her toe bandage while working up a healthy glob of saliva with which to better lick said bandage.
ME (whispering forcefully): Stop that!
DOG: Hang on a minute. There's something weird about my foot...
ME (whispering more sternly): Leave that alone. Here, put your conehead back on.
DOG: Grrrr! Don't call me a conehead! And I really think you need to look at this. I think that last pedicure went horribly wrong...
ME (putting conehe... um, collar back on): I didn't call you a conehead. I called your collar a conehead. Sorry. Anyway, we had a deal. Don't forget. And don't worry about your toe. It was for the best.
DOG: That's easy for you to say! You're not the one short a pinky toe. What kind of deal did we have? Do I get more cheese now? Is the bacon ready yet?
ME (still whispering of course): Shhhhh! No more cheese. It's time to lay down and sleep while mommy rests and daddy writes a hub.
DOG: Hee hee hee! I hope she farts! Maybe she will cut the cheese. That will be hilarious!
ME (softly): Mommy doesn't fart in her sleep. That's daddy.
DOG: Yeah, I know. That's really funny, too. Hey! If mommy does start farting are you going to videotape it and put it on YouTube like mommy does?
DOG: Uh... I may have said too much. I'm going to do that quiet thing now!
Dog then lays down and makes a lame attempt at pretending to snore.
ME (still quietly but slightly perturbed): Alright, faker! Are you saying mommy put video of me farting in my sleep on the internet?
DOG: How would I know? I'm just a dog. I have no computer skills.
ME (trying to not get too loud): Yeah, right. I see whose side you are on. Now lay down and really go to sleep.
I pick up my computer and get back to work. A minute later I look over to make sure dog is honoring our contract to find her sitting up, staring at mommy and breathing dog breath at her from inches away. She has mommy locked in those magic eyes of hers.
ME (as forcefully as a whisper can be): What are you doing? Lay down!
DOG: Trying to levitate mommy.
ME (irritably): Mommy's not a squirrel! Leave her alone.
DOG (sighing): Hey, let's play big green worm.
Dog trots over and tries to pick up her big green worm toy (don't ask) but cannot get to it because of the conehe.. um... oh what the heck.... the conehead and starts to get frustrated.
ME (sounding like I have laryngitis): Leave that alone! Lay down!
Dog and I both crack up. Sorry, but that one was funny. After we regain our composure, I try again to quieten dog down...
ME (gently): Okay girl, it's time to lay down. Remember we had a deal.
DOG: I'm only [age omitted because dog threatened to "bite my butt in the meatiest part" if revealed ] so I am too young to enter a contract.
ME (admittedly a little sarcastically): That's in human years. In dog years you're like 106 or something.
DOG (definitely sarcastically): Hardy hardy har har har! Very funny. Not.
ME: Settle down.
DOG: Yeah, yeah.
Dog lays down. I return to work. One minute later...
DOG: Weren't you supposed to be cooking some bacon?
ME (whispering yet again): No. I said we will get bacon later . Like after mommy wakes up. I'll get something from Hardee's or something.
DOG: Maybe mommy wants to wake up NOW!
ME: Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Stop that!
DOG: Mommy probably wants BACON!
DOG: I think that means "Get cookin' bacon, daddy!"
ME (trying to maintain order): No, it doesn't. It means "Let mommy sleep, dog"!
DOG: I don't think you speak mommy very fluently.
ME: Just lay down.
Needless to say, this is how things continued until mommy finally woke, not surprisingly had no desire for bacon, and, though she grumbled at first, was soon giving the dog chin scratches and doggy treats. Yes, those magic eyes were at work again.
Now I know what you are thinking. Maybe when this dog barks and I hear "CHEESE!", it is really just me putting words into her mouth. But I can prove the dog has a full understanding of the English language. This became apparent at a young age when she began to understand simple words.
After a few instances of "Does doggy want to go for a ride?" and "Can doggy go outside and potty?", dog had "go" down. Every time we mentioned having to "go" somewhere, dog was at the door waiting. We tried changing to spelling the word, but soon, "g-o" got the same response -- doggy at the door.
We quickly went through all the synonyms of "go" we could think of... cruise, depart, escape, exit, flee, leave, mosey, split, vamoose... It didn't matter. She learned them all. We even tried phrases... beat it, bug out, get away, get lost, hit the road, light out, make a break for it, pull out, push off, push on, run along, run away, set off, shove off, skip out, take a hike, take a powder, take off... the next day she was on to us.
I knew we were in trouble when I found her sneaking a peek in the dictionary at the D section after I had stated that morning that I was going to "disengage myself from the home environment" when it was time to leave for work. Things only got worse once she had access to the internet. I hope she didn't fool you with her earlier crack about having no computer skills. Who do you think keeps ordering pizza online? And who do you think added all those farting links up above? And, hey... who changed the buster cone picture?!?
ME: Dog! You've got some explaining to do!