A question on the floor today, open for discussion: Do animals have a sense of humor? Are they, in fact, emotionally manipulative? Or am I projecting?
Years of beating my head against a wall with various horses taught me that I really didn’t have the gift for animal training — I’m far too prone to anthropomorphizing the beasts. Of course, a glance at my badly trained, overindulged dog would have told me the same thing without spending the thousands upon thousands of dollars the horses cost, but oh well.
Still, though — I’m convinced, most days, that my dog is messing with my head.
We ran out of dog food yesterday. Given Spriggy’s feelings about it — oh, that stuff — this is no biggie. We feed him like a cat — in the morning, I throw a scoop into his bowl, which he ignores. Throughout the day, he may or may not nibble at it, and generally has his meal at the end of the day, after we’ve eaten and he’s convinced that no more chicken skin or steak gristle will be falling out of the sky.
But last night was different. He finished his kibble, then licked the bowl, something he never does. He looked up and gave the the Big Dog Eyes: More, please? I’m so hungry, so terribly terribly hungry!
“Sorry, buddy, we’ll replenish supplies tomorrow.”
This morning, more Big Eyes, more pitiful nosing of the empty bowl. Around noon, Kate and I ran some errands and got more Eukanuba. The first thing I did when we got home was rattle a little kibble into the bowl for my poor, starving pup. This time I got the Bored Eyes and a dismissive sniff. He didn’t actually deign to take a bite for several hours.
Messing with my head, I say.
Oy, sorry about the light posting around here today. This cold seems to have come with a special black-dog component. Or maybe it’s the decongestants. All I know is, I have to go “camping” — meaning, sleeping in a heated lodge — with 17 Brownies this weekend, and I’m not looking forward to it. Red wine around the fireplace would help, but all alcohol is strictly prohibited at Girl Scout camps. So Nyquil it’ll be, I fear.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the weather would just break.
All right then, on to the bloggage:
And the dialogue was polished by a bunch of people on the net — the evolution of “Snakes on a Plane,” a movie you’ll hear about…eventually.
Let that be a lesson to all of you.
Let’s try this again after my weekend of S’moring.
Deb said on March 24, 2006 at 6:54 am
Do dogs mess with your head…almost all the time.
But, they don’t hold a candle to 15 brownies on a weekend retreat.
Mindy said on March 24, 2006 at 6:57 am
A friend of mine who had owned a Siberian Husky, Sasha, for several years decided to adopt a second one that she named Leo. For weeks after Leo’s arrival there were power struggles over who was top dog. Leo kept a close eye on Sasha and whenever she would pee he would run to that spot in order to mask her scent with his. Talk about a pissing contest, this was one literally. One day I was visiting and watched as Leo saw Sasha assume the position and raced over to the spot where she had been. He sniffed frantically in increasingly larger circles around the area and started to panic because there was no scent. She hadn’t left one. But she sat smiling near a tree enjoying her prank. I nearly fell over laughing. My friend said that his was Sasha’s new thing and that she was enjoying it frequently.
Dorothy said on March 24, 2006 at 7:27 am
Peace will prevail at our house this morning when the granddog returns to Virginia and our Augustus finally gets some rest! But it sure is fun to watch the antics between them. Gracie is scrappy, and Augie is tolerant, and I don’t care if those are human qualities, the truth is the truth.
Nancy your quarter arrived day before yesterday. Aleksey sends his thanks, and so do I!
John said on March 24, 2006 at 8:02 am
In case you missed this one from the Alabama’s governor’s race:
Libertarian activist Loretta “No Panties�? Nall, a key player in state, national, and international drug war and prison reform issues. Recently in the news because of her boobs and lack of undergarments, Nall is trying to overcome the public perception of being a single issue candidate (she isn’t) and knock down the barrier of egregious ballot access laws.
nancy said on March 24, 2006 at 8:05 am
Obviously a member of my tribe.
brian stouder said on March 24, 2006 at 8:15 am
But only if Loretta ‘No Panties’ Nall wears sensible shoes
John said on March 24, 2006 at 8:43 am
Technically, this Nall married into the fold, but with a nickname like that, I would be proud to claim her as kin!
velevet goldmine said on March 24, 2006 at 10:18 am
I had a cat (named, punnily, Kaboodle, as in, “kitten kaboodle,” so ya get what ya deserve) who seemed hell-bent on stealing our seats whenever we got up. We’d get back from a quick jaunt into the kitchen or the washroom, and there’d he be, curled up in the chair as if he’d been sleeping there for hours. I’m just sure it was a game to him and that he got a big kick out of it.
Most animals like to play, and in games and play there is intrinsic humor, I’d think — so my vote is that they do have senses of humor.
V.G. (formerly “first time caller” — sorry, trying to consolidate my Net identities.)
Connie said on March 24, 2006 at 10:45 am
Well my dog has never figured out he is a dog. Never chased a stick or played with a squeaky toy. Living with a Shih-Tzu is more like living with a cat.
Have fun with those girl scouts. Where as I and 9,000 other public librarians are having a fine time in Boston, eating seafood, getting free autographed books and going to programs. At our employer’s expense of course.
mary said on March 24, 2006 at 3:38 pm
My lab distracts the less intelligent great dane mix from his food or chew bone or whatever by pretending to be looking at something and barking at it. There’s nothing there, but the dane has to go look, and when he does, the lab nabs the food. The dane is getting a little bit hip to this, and he doesn’t fall for it immediately, but the lab will act more and more excited until the dane can’t resist and walks away from his dish.