10 things my Dog, Shelagh has taught me. Written from her unique, canine perspective.
1. Every time I see You, I get this great big warm, fuzzy feeling inside me. I believe it’s called Love. When You tell me that You Love me, my body goes into a frenzy of ecstatic wags. You call it my “Full Body Wag”. It feels really good, doing this boogie woogie shimmy. I think You Humans have a word for when You do a similar move when dancing. I believe You call it “Twerking”? Only, I think I do it far better than any Human.
2. It’s Always a good time to play “Fetch” or “Tug”. The best time is when You’re watching the television. Let’s face it, it’s kind of hard to watch the screen when my face is right in front of it, beseeching You to throw that ball once again. Pretty Please? We only have to do it another 50 times. Or, until something breaks or falls off a shelf. And then, we can play “Hide From The Vacuum Cleaner”. I am also very adept at playing “Say Sorry” and “Did You Do That?” I have my grovelling honed to a fine art.
3. Food is always a good idea. I love trying out Your human food. Again, if it’s something particularly tasty, or if it smells irresistible, You will find it hard to resist my face right in front of Yours, trying to get between You and Your food. So, give us some already! Otherwise, I will turn on my most soulful look and melt Your heart with my puppy dog eyes, until You relent.
4. You don’t need a dishwasher. I’m your fully automatic Pre-Rinse dishlicker. When there are 2 of us, the older model is invariably less efficient and more likely to leave traces of food stuck to your dishes. The newer model is far more efficient and thorough. If you use us both, you’ll find you will cut right down on the need to scrub, and you will also use less dishwashing liquid. See, I can save you money too!
5. Why do you make me sleep on a teeny tiny couch/rug/cushion, when I could be sleeping on Your nice, big, comfortable bed? Move over! I might snuggle up to You, but more often than not, You might find it far easier to adjust Your body around where I’ve decided to crash out. If You’re very lucky, you can find a spot that’s almost straight in Your bed. If not, I am not to be held responsible for Your lack of judgement. Have you not heard of the saying “Let sleeping dogs lie”?
6. When You go out, I hope You realise that I have no concept of Time, and whether You’re gone 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days, when I see You, it will be the Happiest Time of my life all over again. So, maybe you should go away more frequently, but for less time, so I can get more thrills per day out of our repeated reunions? Wouldn’t that be fun? How about “Peek-a-boo”, every other minute, that’s a good game too.
7. I might not be able to use a watch or a clock, but my internal alarm is highly primed, especially for Swim Time in Summer. I always know when it’s Swim Time, even before You know it Yourself. My constant jumping up on you and whining to go outside and fetch my floating ball, is an indication that, regardless of whether it is 3pm, 4pm or 5pm Human Time, it is Swim Time. Let’s go!
8. Your job is to love me, look after me and feed me. My job is to love you, look after you and bring you delectable offerings in the form of mice I have caught, and other equally delightful tidbits. Please do not disrespect me by ignoring my presents, or worse, chucking them in the bin. Waste not, want not, right? I love it when you decide you’re not that hungry and share my offering with me.
9. I am sorry for tearing up Your lawn and turning Your garden into a sandy beach. That’s what happens from constant racing about catching those stray flying tennis balls that appear every so often from seemingly out of nowhere. It seems that no matter how many I find and return to their source, they always find a way of escaping. A retriever’s job is never done. You did say, however, that You liked living near the beach, didn’t You? Well, then.
10. You won’t have the privilege or honour of being with me all Your Life. You Humans far outlive Your usefulness, I don’t know why. It must be a design flaw. But, luckily, if we were brought together when I was a mere puppy, You will have the honour of loving me all My Life. And in return, I will provide You with endless entertainment, be Your Best Friend, keep you company, defend You with my very own life, listen to everything You tell me, do my very best for You, and Love You unconditionally with all my heart. You couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Except, maybe, a nice juicy bone.