Monday, June 25, 2012

What June 25th Means To Me: Dogsitting

Puppehs. For the next two weeks, I'm a dog owner again.  Can I get a baroo?

A couple of friends are vacationing in France for a fortnight, leaving me to tend to their two adorable, white pups.  I know what you're thinking; why would anyone leave me in charge of something that walks and breathes?  Well, I have owned a dog in the past, and am capable enough to both feed and keep them alive.  After only a few hours of dogsitting, I was quickly reminded of all the things I love about dogs. I'm always amazed by the little things they do.  Like when they throw the ball back at you during fetch. How cool is that?  And who doesn't love the enthusasitc "hello" when you walk through the door? I think we could all learn something from that kind of unconditional love. Or maybe I'm just insecure? Whatever.  It's nice having them around.  

But I was also re-introduced to the most frustrating part of dog ownership:  the gap in communication.  Like suddenly all language is emited in an indecipherable code. It's incredibly frustrating because you're only trying to convey the most basic of messages, and you trick yourself into believing that if you simplify it just enough, they might actually fully understand you.  But in reality, you can't reason with a dog, and, lets face it, most of their thoughts are probably something like...

Ya know, with circus music on a loop.

I was painfully reminded of this at five in the morning, when I was jolted awake by three or four urgent, sharp barks towards the hallway.  Of course, my first reaction was "oh shit, someone is here."  But, of course, no one was there, they were probably barking at an ant or shadow, and they quickly turned their heads in unison towards me, eager for me to tell them why they barked in the first place.  And I'm like, "how the fuck am I supposed to know? Shouldn't you be telling me why we are all awake right now?"

I know owners get used to their dog's sounds and looks, and can eventually decipher what they mean.  But I can't for the life of me understand why one of these pups sits and stares at me for minutes at a time with his adorable little underbite.  "Do you want to go out? (nothing). No? Ummm, are you hungry? (nothing.) How about a treat? Do you want a treat? (nothing)  OK, do you wanna know if the Dodgers won last night?  Cause I don't know. I can look.(nothing).  Would you like me to explain the economic crisis in Greece? OK, well it's complicated. No? Well, alright then, I don't know how magnets work either."  Then I wonder why I'm talking to myself, and spend the next few seconds feeling stupid about it, while scruffing his ears and telling him he's a sweet puppy, because what else am I really supposed to do?

Back when I was a dog owner, I often wished the universe would give me just thirty seconds of complete clarity with the dog. That's it. Thirty seconds. It seems like the key to a great relationship is simple, and if clear ground rules could be set between the two of you within this thirty seconds, it would lead to a pretty harmonious understanding.  I'd say, "It's simple really. Don't eat the furniture and don't shit in the house...."

...Then I guess I'd use the last twenty seconds to discuss politics or something.

Anyway, Happy Monday.


  1. Please do not mistreat those two rug rats. The way those two traveling gourmets talk about them and treat them, I have come to think of them after several years as my grandchildren!

    Jen's dad

    1. ha! I'm treating them like I would my own. It's been fun having dogs again, and they surely are a playful pair.

      Hope you're well!