The picture to the left is a personal picture of my dog. He is in fact actually a real, living, breathing dog. I know by the picture it’s kinda tough to tell exactly what he is since he’s so small. His name is Toby and he weighs in at 3.4 pounds. If you talk to someone who owns a dog they will tell you that raising a dog is a lot like raising a child. I can’t confirm this 1st h , because I only have the one part pictured above, and not the other part, that is factored into the equation of the analogy. But I can tell you that as people who don’t have kids, who genuinely care for their dog we can assume that the process is similar. When raising anything, there will be things you will know, things you will never know, things you can at least try to figure out.
Things I do know about him:
His favorite pastimes are sleeping, eating, cuddling, and people watching.
He will wear clothes but only a vest when he’s cold, and nothing with sleeves or anything resembling pants.
If you do not let him put his head out the car window for at least a little bit, he will bark/scream for the whole ride
He will eat just about anything we do; this includes carrots, apples, and pickles but his favorite food, and my secret shut up snack to keep him from begging at the table, is peanut butter in a Kong
Here’s a list of some of the things I will never know:
Why he’ll bark at nothing
What is so appealing about the act of digging and burying a bone
Why he loves to grab the end of the toilet paper and take off running into the other room
Why he loves to tear apart shred paper, tissues, or plastic wrappers
Why he licks my toes when I get out of the shower or try to put on lotion.
Why he’s obsessed with my neighbors slippers
Why he will take a shower but not a bath, and how he can be terriffied of hair clippers but love blow drying his hair/fur.
Why he loves socks but has a preference on which socks he chews on. He won’t touch a clean pair of socks but he loves to chew on the dirty ones (Gross, I know) and move them around all over my house.
Things I figured out when I opened my eyes and thought about it a little:
That he loves everyone and gets sad if someone doesn’t like him
That he is territorial, overly protective, and very confrontational. He’s small but since we live on the second floor, in his mind he’s a Bull Mastiff.
I guess it makes sense that I would know things about him; we’re together a lot and I’m the human after all, but the scary part is how much he knows about us.
Things he knows about us:
Like he knows that we need to know and be altered if there is something he perceives as dangerous nearby.
He knows if he makes enough noise he’ll get what he wants. He barks if his food or water bowl is too low, if he wants new water, or if he wants something we’re eating. We compromise with him within reason, but try to keep him from getting sick. So no more Greek Food despite his wishes.
He knows when we leave with a lot of bags we’re going on vacation because when we get back home and then leave again later with a seemingly higher amount of bags than we usually take for a typical day he’ll fall to pieces.
He knows his natural instincts, hearing, and perceptions of people and danger are better than ours.
He knows how to tease us, challenge us, and publicly prove us wrong, and also knows quite a bit of English. We know this because if we’re talking with company that we have over and they ask if Toby can do something he normally does not do, or refuses to do he will then do it as soon as we publicly say he won’t then walk away prancing. Yes my dog prances, and he knows exactly what it means to walk around like that. He’s done this on more than one occasion and I would never and could never intentionally train him to do a trick that complex.
I’ll leave you with a thought for all of you dog owners out there: are you taking care of a dog or is your dog taking care of you?