Dogs love going for a walk with their human companions. Who is really walking who, though? We often delude ourselves into thinking we are in charge. It may be more a case of how dogs walk their humans than vice versa. No matter how well trained your dog is or how well they follow your lead, in the end they still get their way, whether by reward or the basic fact that they are on a walk with their human companion. The next time you head out for a walk, think about it from your dog’s point of view.
Say the word “walk” and chances are your dog has learned to associate that particular word with the very fun activity of going exploring outside. Their ears lift, their tail wags and they may jump around in anticipation, barely able to sit still long enough to get the leash put on. Their excitement inevitably makes you smile and be happy to go with them. See – they just rewarded you. Now who is training who, you say? “Very good!”
Are you more apt to notice a dog or cat walking along the street, but totally miss seeing a human standing on the sidewalk? Do you get all misty eyed as a brave firefighter scrambles down a tree clutching a frightened kitty close to his chest, or do you even see the firefighter because your focus is on the meowing cat? Does finding a human hair in your food gross you out, but you have no problem finding a dog or cat hair?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re a bona fide animal lover! Read on for more humorous examples of “You know you’re an animal lover if…”
*Your pet’s Facebook page has way more “friends” than your own page.
*You have so many pictures of your pet on your phone that photos of your human family members are relegated to a miscellaneous file. More embarrassing is discovering you don’t have a single photo of your human family on your phone.
*You wear animal themed jewelry, slippers or T-Shirts, and canine or feline paintings and knick-knacks are proudly displayed around the house. Your favorite coffee cup is an animal themed “treasure” you picked up while on vacation – with matching teapot.
*Vacations are planned around pet-friendly hotels, campsites or parks.
Every dog has their own unique personality, preferences and abilities. Not all “water dogs” enjoy swimming, and not all Border Collies can herd sheep. I was observing my dog, Shelby, recently while she intensely watched my cat, who was a little too close to her food bowl. Shelby isn’t aggressive with my cats, nor does she guard her bowl. It’s a game she enjoys playing and the cats play along by giving her their best defiant stare of superiority. It made me laugh which got Shelby’s attention, and as she pawed my leg I thought about human jobs she and my other dogs might be good at.
This Border Collie mix adores the spotlight and thinks the world revolves around her. She is as sharp as a howling north wind in January, quickly learns new commands, and can be bossy at times. During play, her eyes are bright as she leaps around with excited barks like a cheerleader leading a chant. Nothing gets past her – sounds, people walking by, other animals or the occasional appearance of something only she can see.
A good human job for Keikei would be a CIA agent, because she has her nose poked in everything going on around the neighborhood. However, it wouldn’t be long before her covert spying was uncovered because she would never be able to avoid detection. She just can’t resist using her voice, and would end up spilling all of the secrets she knew. Foiled in her first human job, she would definitely shine as a celebrity strutting along a red carpet lined with adoring fans snapping her picture.
My black Lab may be a water dog breed, but actually getting into water or exercising isn’t something Max has on his bucket list. He’s getting up there in age and prefers lounging around all day – and it’s obvious he hasn’t missed any of his CANIDAE meals.
Max makes up for his lack of ambition with an adorable willingness to get along, and has an “every day is a vacation” attitude. There’s no question his human job would be as a head of state. No real duties to attend to, except greeting dignitaries at state dinners.
My German Shepherd mix is a hand shaker and manipulator. She’s not a bit shy about flinging out her paw for attention. If I ignore her, she moves in closer and stares at me with pleading eyes. If that fails, her next move is to swipe her tongue up my leg or across my arm. Failure to achieve attention is not an option and her next move is to sit down right in front of me, paw my leg and whine quietly.
Shelby can pander as good as any politician looking for votes. Come to think about it, I can see her making a run for public office. She can work a crowd, and loves shaking hands and kissing strangers.
This Terrier mix investigates every inch of the dog pen every time he goes outside. If he finds a scent that draws his interest to a hole going underground, dirt begins to fly – which apparently causes him to lose his ability to hear.
Dozer would make a good archaeologist based on his dogged determination to dig out whatever is hiding beneath him. Although he has been known to dig at a chipmunk entrance and miss the critter climbing out of another hole behind him. He would still be good at pest control since he seems to be able to chase small critters out of the yard, one way or the other.
This Chihuahua/Terrier mix has a skeptical sideways glare she gives me when I laugh at her, which happens a lot. She’s the smallest canine in the house, but thinks she’s the biggest, and has no problem trying to intimidate her siblings – who all ignore her attempts to boss them around. I can see her sitting on the high bench in a court of law as a judge, barking to keep everyone in line. Come to think about it, she would also be the jury.
Another human job that would suit her would be an exercise guru. The one problem with that job, however, is she only has one move: rolling over on her back, kicking her back legs into the hair and then wiggling her butt back and forth while squealing with delight. I don’t know how well that move would work on molding a six-pack ab, but it certainly would bring a smile to anyone watching.
From a dog’s point of view, a human’s “job” is to provide endless personal services to the canine members of the household. We seem to think we have them trained, but with a dog in the house you quickly realize they are in charge and we are just the servants who love and care for them. Their needs are our commands. If we do not do our various jobs properly, they will let us know. No complaints from us are allowed. We live to serve our dogs and do it with a smile.
Humans have two hands with ten fingers. That means we have multiple digits created just for scratching a favorite spot behind a dog’s ears, or a good spot on their back or stomach. A full massage is always nice too. If those hands are occupied with some mundane unnecessary task, we must immediately set that aside and perform our assigned duty of petty and scratching. The exception is if our hands are busy getting them their CANIDAE meals or treats. Then the lack of required petting and scratching is temporarily forgiven. They consider themselves reasonable bosses, after all.
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying “A leopard can’t change his spots” that refers to humans who can’t change their nature. Well, the same is true for naughty house cats. Once a bad kitty, always a bad kitty; I’m living proof of that. In fact, my Warden says “Bad Kitty!” to me so often that sometimes I forget my real name is Rocky. I’m not ashamed though. I wear my naughtiness like a badge.
I don’t really try to be a bad kitty, it’s just who I am. Most of the time when I do bad things, I don’t even think about it. For instance, if I see some tasty looking morsel of food, I just grab it. Who has time to meow nicely to ask for it? And what if the answer was no? If I take it without asking, I get what I want! You can’t argue with that end result.
The only downside to being a bad kitty is that not every human would put up with me. At least that’s what the Warden keeps saying. She’s still worried something will happen to her and no one will adopt me. I think she’s just trying to scare me into being good, but I can’t change my spots, now can I?
I’ve been keeping a diary confessional. I’m thinking, maybe if I record all of my many bad kitty accomplishments, someone will give me an award. You, perhaps? Take a look:
Dear Diary: Today was awesome. It was dairy day! First, I found a glass of unattended milk on the counter and lapped it right up. Then the Warden put whipped cream on her latte and turned toward the fridge. When she turned back around and saw me, she burst out laughing. I was like, “What?” Apparently, a cat with a whipped cream mustache is funny.
Dear Diary: Today I was lounging on the Warden’s lap when I heard footsteps on the deck. I hightailed it for my safe spot and in the process, my nails left a long, deep gash on her leg. Oops. She was not amused. That will heal, right? Darn that UPS man!
If I’d told someone ten years ago that cat authors would soon be all the rage, they’d have laughed me out of town. Back in those “dark ages,” felines just didn’t write books. I don’t think it was because cats didn’t have anything to say, though. I think the primary reason cats didn’t write books until recently was that they hadn’t realized they could command a human to do their transcribing!
Once felines got over the hurdle of not having opposable thumbs, cat books began popping up everywhere, and many have become bestsellers. The Dalai Lama’s cat covered a very important feline topic in The Art of Purring. Sparkle the Designer Cat offered sage advice for a feline’s most pressing problems in her two books. Felines explored the world of poetry in I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats. Psychokitty Max Thompson is a prolific feline author, with five books to date including The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats.
So you see, cats writing books is nothing new. However, I don’t think cats have even scratched the surface of all of the topics they’re qualified to write about. Here are just a few.
1. How to Fit Into Practically Anything
The postal service slogan “If it fits, it ships” inspired a hilarious cat version “If I fits, I sits” which the clever meme-makers had a field day with. So I thought since cats know a thing or two about fitting into the most unlikely places – including itty bitty fish bowls and boxes five times too small – they could write this informative guidebook in the style of the classic How to Clean Practically Anything.
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