Your Dog Does Not Understand You

Since my previous post generated some good controversy, I'd thought I'd try to win people back over by ripping on dogs.

Not dogs, really, dog owners. I like dogs. I like cats better, which I know is a very endearing quality. I like cats better because they seem pretty pissed off most of the time, which probably has something to do with the fact they've gone from being worshiped in ancient Egypt to having to pee in a sandbox next to the water heater.

Dogs are great, too. Loyal, earnest, playful, all that stuff. But dog owners baffle me, because no matter how much evidence they're presented with that their beloved pet does not understand anything they're saying beyond simple commands, they continue to talk to Fito like a human being.

My ornery neighbor when I was a kid, Estel Brockus, had a small yippy canine named Judd, who would bark at the air and scare the crud out of school kids walking down the alley. "Judd, stop that! Judd! JUDD!!" Didn't work.

I know people who have dogs that are clearly out of control... jumping on people when they walk in the door, trying to steal their food, barking over conversation. They talk to the dog in a rational way, and nothing changes. I sit there and think, "Why don't you simply remove the dog from the situation?"

Two hours later, they finally do. "Okay, Barkley, you're going outside!" (Brilliant idea!)

And the thing is, the longer people have had their dogs, the more likely they are to do this, and I guess this is the part that really does baffle me. The more you know someone, the more you should know about who they are, what they respond to and how they behave. Not with dogs.

Cats are different. Oh, they understand what you're saying. They just don't care. But at least we have an understanding.


The Wordman said…
you went from "talking to God" to "talking to Dog" --you *are* a glutton for punishment.

who's that knockin' at the door?
could it be.... an army of sanctimonious snarling blog trolls?!!

(btw, cats rule, dogs drool -- quite literally)
Aunt Christy said…
I feel the same way when I hear some mother rationalizing with her two-year-old who is pulling stuff off the grocery shelves. Simple commands would work better here.

One of my favorite local news stories at the moment involves the bloody battle between dog owners and parents of small children over the redesign of a small park in the West Village. The mommies don't want a dog run. The dog owners say they're pets ARE their kids. The childless, dog-less gays want both groups to go to hell.
Scott said…
Well that's it. You've just nailed it. People think of their dogs as their children. Some people also think of their cats as their children, albeit slightly less obedient children. Pets are like children in some ways though. They don't understand you, they can't be reasoned with and they annoy the shit out of everyone else.
Scott said…
Oh and by the way, you Conked me on this blog topic.
Marc Conklin said…
I knew it! (That's the first thing that's made me truly feel good in about three weeks.) My next post: "Bite Me, Ukraine!"
cookielady said…
how dare you place Nimbo above Bailey!

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