How to Appear Pathetic: Lessons From My Dog

That's My Shoe

I write and talk about my dogs a lot. Arguably I post more photos of my dogs online than of my midgets. I have a good reason for this: my dogs can’t be exploited?/endangered? as easily as my midgets. Everyone knows about the faceless numerous creeps online who get their jollies by looking at photos of kids. Usually I dismiss my fears because I want to share photos of my darlings, but generally I feel more confident about sharing photos of canines than I do of children. It’s a modern problem.

Another modern problem is getting noticed. My midgets are skilled at looking pathetic, but my dogs are pathetic all-stars. When I make plans to leave my house and I attempt to leave the hounds at home, they put on quite a display while barely making a sound. All I need to do is put on my shoes and the dogs react by swiftly walking to the front door and either prancing or sitting to block my way out. And oh, how their faces fall when I tell them No, you can’t come. Dogs aren’t people and so they don’t have the range of emotions that we do, but man are they good at imitating them. Unless I’m headed somewhere dogs aren’t allowed, or if the weather is especially cold or hot, which would make leaving the dogs in the car or outside unwise, I take them along.

My family had a mini poodle when I was growing up, and his act was sitting by the front door with 1 front paw raised, body shaking while whining at a low volume. He was very good. But, dogs aren’t allowed on a school bus or in an elementary school and so Pepper was left behind that time. I’m sure within 5 minutes of our departure he was on our couch, snoring. And I’m sure my dogs are on the couch or dog bed, having their 8-hour daily nap within 10. But if I can make them happy by giving them a walk or car ride, I’ll do so. Simple emotions, simple problems, simple solutions. This is why I, and many others, like having a dog around: we experience small victories every day.



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