Saturday, September 06, 2008

"I thought you said your dog did not bite!"

If you want to avoid being bitten by your dog, do not grab his collar when he was only trying to steal the treats you're using to lure your auxiliary dog out of the weeds because you're late for work and your auxiliary dog has learned a new delay tactic. You probably know your primary dog, having come from the shelter about two months ago, has a mysterious past and hates having his collar grabbed in already-tense situations. Further, when he shows his teeth, do not give in to your urge to grab his snout in a misguided attempt to exert dominance. Your dog will only point out your stupidity by biting your hand and then running off to hide outside for twenty minutes, leaving you to curse like a sailor, wash and bandage your hand, and hunt for the giant bottle of generic painkillers you know is around somewhere. Do go back outside to retrieve your dog, who will be standing nervously in the middle of the sidewalk somewhere in your condo complex. Call him nicely, and don't argue with him when he slinks right into his crate upon returning home. Briefly consider selling primary dog to gypsies. Be sure to show injury to co-worker later for entertainment value. After all, she did just show you her child's ringworm and it would be rude to withhold a perfectly good disgusting injury.


If you wonder why the house smells like poop when you come home from work, check the primary dog's crate. It's possible that he's pooped and then stepped all over it. (If you come home and smell poop and you don't have a dog, you may have bigger problems than I can address here.) If you're lucky, you may have had the foresight to have left the antibacterial wipes next to the crate after the last poop occurrence. If you're even luckier, your dog will obediently stay in the crate (on the poop-free side) while you wipe every one of his paws, instead of shooting out and running toward the door. He may even avoid looking at you while you do this, because he knows pooping in the crate is a no-no. If you're really, really lucky, your freshly wiped dog will then good-naturedly trot upstairs and voluntarily hop into the bathtub so you can give him a Silkwood scrubdown with lots of doggie shampoo. Remember to clean the poop out of the crate right away and put the crate outside to be hosed down and bleached in the morning. Do not stop at your computer to check your email for even a second (thirty minutes), lest you be unpleasantly surprised by a familiar odor when you return downstairs. Think about selling dog to gypsies, and idly wonder if he would fit into your crockpot. Later, look up "pooping in crate" on the Internet, learn about preventing dogs from "taking a potty stance" in their crates, and start pricing smaller crates and/or crate dividers.


If you decide to watch TV and fall asleep on the couch, be sure to close the bedroom doors beforehand, lest you awaken in the wee hours and wander off to the bathroom, only to discover that your dog apparently thinks the king-size bed upstairs is his. Lock (bleary) eyes with dog, who shows no sign of vacating king-size bed. Briefly wonder why you're not asleep in king-size bed. Consider removing dog from king-size bed, but decide you're too tired to deal with another training issue at 4:00 a.m. Continue to bathroom. Try to ignore dog, who now watches you intently as you accomplish your original goal. Wash hands, first stepping around dog, who thinks the sound of a toilet flushing means it's time to go somewhere and who is excitedly running circles around your feet. Tell him there's no way in hell you're going outside when most reasonable people are asleep. It is important to throw in a few curse words to let dog know you are serious. When dog continues to leap around and assume play stance, wonder if gypsies read Craigslist, make mental note to price family-size crockpots online, and try to convince yourself that your son wouldn't notice primary dog's absence if you loaded him (son) up with enough chocolate. Realize there's not that much chocolate in the world. Retreat to computer to wait for sunrise while playing FreeCell. Lots and lots of FreeCell.