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Dog sending subtle signs

Features Columnist

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure my dog thinks he’s better than me.

I’ve been feeling this way for a couple of months now, picking up subtle signs here and there that make me feel just a wee bit inferior when he’s in the room. I know, I know — no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt said that. But Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t know my dog.

It started not too terribly long ago. I was sitting in the den minding my own business

Then he walked in and just stood there, looking at me. Before I knew it, he had walked out and in a few seconds was making noise in the kitchen. Naturally, I got up to go see what was going on. When I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary I went back to the den and there he was, sitting in my chair. Looking at me. Gloating.

He had intentionally caused a diversion in the kitchen so I would have to get up and he could double back and take my seat. There were other perfectly good, perfectly available seats in the room. He wanted mine. He was proving a point.

He used to come into our room and sit by the bed, making eye contact until we gave him permission to jump on the bed. Sometimes we did... sometimes we didn’t. Now, he comes in and just jumps up there without so much as a pardon me. In fact, I find myself apologizing to him when I have to move and disturb his nap. He groans, shoots me a look that could melt ice, then repositions himself on the comforter and is snoring again within seconds. Unless, that is, he’s watching television.

Which is where I suspect some of this bad attitude is coming from...

Our son was maybe four the day he informed me that he would kick something’s butt. After I picked myself up off of the floor, I asked him where he heard something like that. We had used the word tush, bottom, maybe even an occasional hiney. But not butt. Especially not to kick. After careful research and interrogation (aka just plain asking him) I found out he had heard it from television — Spongebob.

So it could be highly likely that the dog is picking up this unusual behavior from television. I did walk into the bedroom the other night to find him on the bed watching American Idol, which is unusual because no one else in this house watches American Idol. Not this season, at least. Has he learned how to change the channels, too? Has Nicky Minaj rubbed off on him?

Should I be scared?

To be honest, I’m more concerned about his obsession with staring at me. He stares at me all the time. Not just when I’m eating. When I’m not eating. when I’m folding clothes, when I’m working, when I’m reading, when I’m doing... and not doing... anything.

My husband’s answer to my concern is simply, “He’s a dog. He’s hoping a sirloin is going to fall out of your ear at any given moment.” Only he doesn’t say ear, he says that thing that Spongebob said. I don’t buy it. I think he’s staring at me to make me uncomfortable, claim his dominance, freak me out.

The other morning on the news they had a story about the dogs that work with Special Forces teams — the ones that jump out of helicopters, run down criminals, work long hours to help protect communities. I woke the dog up and made him watch it, then told him that if he didn’t straighten up I was going to make him get a job.

He stared at me a minute, groaned, repositioned himself on the comforter then went back to sleep.

I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure my dog thinks he’s better than me.

I know, I know. But Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t know my dog.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.

Comments

FryarTuk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

What a great article. I am emailing to friends. You really are a good writer, Ms. F. I think you just got a special dawg. I really wish I could understand my dogs' thinking too.

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