I asked a friend recently, "Do you like dogs?" She said, "Oh yes." I said, "I do too. How do you fix them? I really like the foot-long type in a bun with yellow mustard." She said, "I thought you meant as pets." We both chuckled.
There is an ad on TV where a well-bred, well dressed, lady obviously upper class chortles, "We love our dogs. They are part of our families. We want only the best for them." Each time I see the ad I can't help myself. Through clenched teeth I launch a polemic saying, "I don't enthrone any animal that high. They are pets. Nothing more. They are not members of my family. Maybe yours, not mine."
There has been a spate of TV shows in recent years about Dog Psychologists, Dog Whisperers, Pet Psychologists and animal behaviorists. They are off the air now. On the Internet last week a pet behaviorist said if your dog, Sniffy Upendo, looks at you with a lifted eye brow he is trying to tell you he has several unresolved psychological problems from a troubled past. And if your dog, Biscuit Eater, is lying asleep on its back with all feet in the air it is fighting the glass ceiling of "dogdom" and it is frustrated. Dumb me I just thought the dog found a comfortable place to scratch an itch and fell asleep.
I was inspired to write this column on interpreting dog behavior. If you are brushing Snaggle Tooth's teeth, and let it be known that is an unnatural act in my opinion, and he tries to escape or bites the brush into several pieces he is saying, "I hate that liver flavored paste." Let's say that you are in the yard or the park wanting to play fetch with Tongue Dripper. The first time TD gets the stick and brings it back and the second time then lies down in the shade and ignores your plea. He is saying, "Get it yourself. If you think that is so much fun let me throw the stick and you go get it. I am not that dumb."
We used to have a dog we named Pharaoh because he built little pyramids in the yard. If you dog is doing that in the house on the new carpet he is saying, "I had to go really bad and I notice that you do not go outside in the rain or snow so why do I? That is equal protection under the law of Dog Patch."
The scene: Sir Barks A Lot is out in the yard. Strangely this is at least a part-time outside dog. Blasphemy in the city and burbs. And he is munching on a delicious repast of road kill. The putrefying possum smells like a vulture's breath after it has been feasting on a decomposing hyena carcass for two weeks in the African sun. Of course, you want him to stop and take a shower in tomato juice. When you approach he growls, ears back, head down with teeth glaring because he is saying, "One more step and I will tear your leg off and hand it to you. If you make me go inside I will burp on the furniture. This is way better than Kibbles and Bits. Here, try a bite."
At least he is generous. A good quality.
Go to my website Larryvandeventer.com. Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.