Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend - By Bill Rosen

A humorous look at how our dogs might like us to behave

Bill Rosen standing in front of Stephen King's house
"Equal," that's all any dog wants to be. They don't want to be placed on a pedestal and treated like royalty, nor do they want to be treated like a beast. "A dog is only a perfect human," (says Stephen King) and I think he is on the right track. They just want to be one of the gang and hang out, tag along, and yuck it up with the rest of us. Below are some do's and dont's you may find useful and that will make your dog proud of you and brag about you to the other dogs when you aren't around.

First and foremost, allow your dog to love you. More often than not this will come in the form of a kiss--a great big "Grandmom kiss" that is not unlike a drive-through car wash and quite possibly rivals the Atlantic Ocean. Dogs are blessedly ignorant of germs so when they offer you a kiss, not only are they extending love, but they believe they're actually grooming you, cleaning you, and making you presentable to the general public, while remarking to themselves how cute you look. It's one of the highest compliments any being can bestow upon another. Accept this graciously and go wash your face later. They say a dog's mouth is cleaner than our own mouth, but do "they" know where that tongue has been? You can't believe everything you hear.

Another thing, never underestimate a dog's I.Q. They will, however, floss when pigs fly. People are smart, people are dumb, and dog intelligence works the same way, so look at this realistically; there's "overlappage." Although the consensus among the two-legged, upright being is that people are smarter than dogs, dogs may or may not agree with this. Some dogs are smarter than some people, although they will never flaunt, taunt, shame, or brag about this. They accept us as the inferior beings that we are. They are incapable of judging others, which make them rather unique. They simply love all people regardless of their station in life.

Some dogs actually enter the realm of genius and are capable of thinking "outside the bowl" but still see us as an "equal." Ever watch "The Dog Whisperer"? Who is the trainer really training, the dogs or their owners? Watch the dog try to conceal a smile when Caesar reprimands the owners. I've seen Basenjis actually wink into the camera when this occurs.

Play games with your dog and let him win sometimes. Be a sport. Let the stick slip out of your hand on purpose and play it up a little. Act disappointed. Dogs see this and react the same way you and I do. Act as if you don't see their rook about to capture your queen.

To really make a dog's day, chase him. If you're playing with a small dog, feign being uncoordinated when you go to grab them and let them slip through your fingers. If you have a fast dog and there's no way on God's earth you could even touch the tail, chase after him anyway. Scream and make noises too. Dogs love this and it makes them feel important. Fake a fall and when they double back to make sure you're okay, then jump up and run after them. Everything's fair in love and tag.

Avoid the word "stay." Okay, I admit it's a necessary ingredient in life, but to a dog it's a four-letter word meaning "You can't come with me. I don't want your company." There are times when this is unavoidable, but do your best to not say the "S word." If you must part trails, always bring back a reward: a biscuit, a piece of chicken... one of those beef or hog byproducts creatively shaped into a little slipper and such.

Last but not least, take your friend with you. For a dog, one of the greatest thrills in life is hanging his head out the window at 60 MPH, and no dog should be denied this. Running after a ball or a stick or a Frisbee is fun, but the freeway is "Heaven on wheels!" Meeting another dog is high on the list, and exploring the other dog's scent from end to end (literally) is exciting, but nothing beats rush hour experienced through a partially rolled down window.

Note: This attractive dog is Yoko the barkless Basenji.

Author and dog lover Bill Rosen is a freelance web content writer from Marietta, GA. Some of his allegorical poetry and fiction writing can be found on the Internet at Associated Content.

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Anonymous said...

How wonderful! It's clear that you really understand the doggy mind! I would only disagree on one point, in that while dogs do love hanging out windows, they would be safest if wearing goggles at 60 mph! A happy alternative is going a trifle slower and treating them to a trip on back roads in an active farming community. Dairy and horse farm areas might be their VERY favorites! Great article - more please!

Nick Adler said...

How is a dog kiss like the Atlantic Ocean? Not sure I get the reference...

BTW, Stephen King is peeking out the window behind you and he can see your plumber's crack!