Things My Dog Taught Me

[This morning didn’t exactly go According to Plan ™, so I didn’t get a chance to write. Time to make up for it…]

My dog Jake is a decidedly dumb mutt. However, there are a number of things he’s taught me in the 7 years since we got him. I thought I’d share a few of these things.

  1. The stairs are a race. If you do not get to the top first, you lose. (Note: I always lose.)
  2. [corrolary to 1] Going down the steps needn’t be a race, provided (a) you won the race to the top (see 1) and (b) you obstruct the path of the guy who’s just trying to get to the first floor without killing himself.
  3. [corrolary to 2] In general, being underfoot is the God-given duty of any dog.
  4. Sleep close to your human. I mean, really close. The best way to go about this: wait until he’s settled, then flop down half-on/half-off his outside thigh so that you kind of slide down it. Maximum closeness: achieved.
  5. Loiter in the kitchen when food is being prepared. You might get lucky and end up with a little something extra to eat.*
  6. Ogden Nash put it best: “A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.” Nuff said.
  7. Figure out the cues that signal when your humans are going to leave the house. Work, mom’s house, around the corner to grab some ice cream – whatever. Once you know the signs, flip right the fuck out when any of them are even hinted at. Seriously. If you hear the word “Go” and “Bye” in the same sentence – regardless of context – raise a proper ruckus.
  8. Peeing and pooping are properly done in two separate trips to the back yard. Doing both at once would be just…barbaric. (I mean what are you, some kind of animal?) Best to do #1, wait until your human gets good and comfortable, then let him know it’s time for #2.
  9. It is perfectly okay to wake up from a long night’s sleep, mozy on over to a different locale, and lay down for a long morning/afternoon’s nap.
  10. On getting in the car: You must be in the car first, as soon as any door is opened.
  11. On riding in the car: Attempt to stand for as long as possible. Yes, you’re going to get tossed onto the floor at the first red light. Totally worth it. After crashing to the floor at least once, you have the option of laying down. Whining and/or sticking your head out the window also optional.
  12. On getting out of the car: You must be out of the car first, as soon as any door is opened.

Okay, I’m sure there is more, but I’ve covered a lot of bases and 12 seems like a nice, round number. What has your dog taught you?

* – In all fairness, I do this, too.