Good morning, gentle souls; I am Daniel J. Daniels, Dog Extraordinaire. Most of you will know me by my nom de plume, Danny the Dog. As another great writer (but not as good as me) once said, “A rose by any other name . . .”
Today I have a smorgasbord of tales to tell. So sit back and relax. Put your feet up, light your favorite pipe, have a glass of wine, or dig into that box of chocolates that has been calling to you—for you are in for a rare treat. Today I am going to confess a few (just a few) of my sins. At least Andrew, my human, refers to them as sins. I say they are only idiosyncrasies. But I’ll let you kind, empathetic, thoughtful, and intelligent folks be the judge.
I think I’ll start off with the longest-running complaint Andrew has about me. He calls it the second most aggravating thing about me. I’ll tell you what he thinks is the most aggravating thing about me a little lower down the page.
When Andrew calls me, I don’t move one paw in his direction. I just stand there and look at him and say, “Yeah, right!” I’ve done that since I’ve known the guy. Nowadays, he only calls me when he’s trying to impress another human with how well I obey. He’ll call me to him a few times and I won’t move. Then he says, “Stay!” and turns to the human, triumphantly announcing he has me so well trained that I stay when commanded. He’s pitiful.
I don’t trust anyone—least of all Andrew. When I’m given a treat, not a regular treat that I get every day, like turkey slices but something new, I first must sniff it as any sane dog would. Andrew is used to my ways, so that doesn’t bother him too much. But he has this friend, Juan, who lives with a big, old Rottweiler by the name of Max. I like Max. He’s one of the few dogs that I can tolerate. Well, when Juan gives Max a treat, it vanishes right before your eyes. And if Juan is not quick enough, so will his hand. Me, on the other hand (pun intended), must first give it a perusal with the old sniffer. That drives Juan crazy. He always turns to Andrew to complain that I am not appreciative enough. Then to add insult to injury, once I have deigned to accept said treat, I do not gulp it down. No, I do not. I take it gingerly between my teeth and place it on the ground. Then I look up at Juan and imply, more than say, “You don’t expect me to eat it while you’re here, do you? I’ll eat it when I’m damn good and ready.” Of course, the minute Juan turns his back, I wolf it down. It drives him crazy. He’s more used to a dog that supplicates.
On that same note, when Andrew holds out a treat for me, I won’t go to him. I want to, but I feel it’s my duty to make him work for it. So there we stand, Andrew with an outstretched hand, holding something that I dearly want, and me, looking at him with a look that conveys, You’ve got to bring it to me, big boy. Most of the time he does, but every once in a while he’ll say “FU!” and drop the treat on the floor. It’s then that I know I’ve played it to a bust, and meekly I go to get my treat like the good doggie that I am. In an effort at full disclosure, I do the same thing with my daily dinner. Andrew puts the bowl on the floor and I will not make a move towards it until he has gone about his business. Every once and a while, he’ll try to outwait me. But he never does.
This next thing, I would call being intelligent more than being sinful. But I reckon it depends on one’s perspective. When it’s pill-taking time, Andrew always tries to fool me. You all know how much I love turkey slices, and Andrew knows that too. So he wraps the pill in a turkey slice. I wasn’t born yesterday and neither was my sniffer. Together, we can smell a pill a mile away. I take the turkey slice, but do not swallow it whole as I normally would. I carefully eat around the pill and then spit it out onto the floor. Then Andrew goes to plan B. He takes out some hamburger meat and hides the pill within. Does he think I’m blind? I saw him do it! Same thing: The pill ends up on the floor. I won’t tell you how many treats I end up getting from the old guy before the pill is finally inside of me. Let’s just say that it’s a lot.
Now for the crux of the matter:
Does anyone know what crux means? If so, please email me. While I await your emails, I’ll tell you about my biggest sin of all. Yes, even I will have to admit it’s a sin. Maybe even a mortal sin. Andrew says it’s the most aggravating thing about me, but I love doing it!
On boats, we don’t sleep on regular mattresses. We use nice thick pieces of foam rubber—thick and expensive. Andrew is on his third mattress in as many years, thanks to me. It should have been four, but Andrew puts up with a lot. And he is an indolent sort. Going out to buy a new mattress every time I destroy one involves him having to move about.
I love to paw at, and rub my snoot on, bare foam rubber. Who amongst us does not? When I was younger, I would also take a bite out of it on occasion.
Before Andrew learned about fitted sheets, I would paw at the sheets until I exposed some foam, then I’d go to work. I only worked on one half of the bed at a time. We have a double mattress so Andrew did not mind. He always told me that I was destroying my half of the bed and as long as I left his half alone, he was cool with my shenanigans. Then, when I encroached on his half and demolished most of it, he would turn the mattress over. Meaning I could start all over again. But then, after I fully destroyed a second mattress, he got smart and finally bought fitted sheets. I can’t pull them up as easily as the regular ones. So that slowed me down a bit—but not by much.
Nowadays, I have to wait until Andrew takes the sheets off and does his laundry. Then that whole piece of glorious foam is exposed the entire time that he’s gone. Heaven, pure heaven!
He came home from the laundry the other day and accused me of doing my usual. “Who, me?” I innocently inquired. “Yes, you!” he shot back. “The evidence is all over your face!” I hate to admit it, but he was right. He even took a picture of me so he could rat me out to you kind and very understanding folks. Sure, if you look closely, you can see little nodules of foam all over my face. And sure, the foam was all torn up on the bed. But that is only circumstantial evidence. Not enough to convict me beyond a reasonable doubt. It could have been aliens from out of space, or foam fairies, or any of the myriad other creatures who love foam as much as I do. Hey, I was sleeping and didn’t see who or what ripped up the bed. I’m not paid to be a guard dog!
I’ve confessed all this because I wanted to start the New Year with a clean slate. So now that I am right with the universe, I’ll have to bid you all adieu. Andrew is out doing laundry and I have a pressing prior commitment.
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