Friday, January 23, 2009
My dog is a smart alec.
No, I haven't officially gone insane courtesy of Sesame Street songs. And I’ll bet a majority of pet owners know just what I’m talking about: You hold running conversations with your dog.
Most of my remarks are what we journalists call closed-ended questions, as in, “Would you like to go for a walk?” “Is it time for some food?” “Let’s go outside and do your business.” Which isn’t a question, of course, but I’m dealing with an animal, not an English teacher.
Those of us blessed with an imagination naturally take the conversation one step further and translate the dog’s body language into English. Out loud. Otherwise, it isn’t a conversation — it’s just me talking to my dog.
Most of the time, Dribbler — yes, that’s what we named our four-legged friend, after the basketball move — responds to the routine questions about his day with, “Ohh tay” or “Hoe de doh” as he heads in that direction. Occasionally, I get the “You’re kidding me, right?” backtalk.
But where he really shows off his sarcastic side is when I ask for an opinion. “Dribbler, do you think I should scrapbook or read a book tonight?” and his trusty response is “I dunno. I’m a dog. What’s reading?” His response to my plea for help in deciding between vacationing in Fairbanks, Alaska, or the Caribbean: "Make sure someone comes over here to feed me every day. I love to play the pitiful abandoned dog and snooker more food out of them."
A few days ago, I asked him when the temperatures would warm up so he could stay outside and play with that stick he seems so fond of. “Do I look like a meteorologist?” he shot back. When I asked what he found after a prolonged sniffing episode near our heat vent, he cocked his head, thought about it for a second and said, “Uh, something in the wall.”
So this morning, I asked his permission to post about him on my blog. He doesn’t mind, of course, since I hold the dog food bag, but he couldn’t resist the obvious wisecrack: “They’re all gonna think you’re crazy doing a ventriloquist act with a dog.”