Most of the time our dogs are adorable but in case you haven’t noticed, sometimes they can be real A**holes.
Often the jerkitude comes from our very "human" standards; after all in Doggo world trying to bite the ankles of some dude on a skateboard can count as a real act of chivalry.
But like Brenden Frasier's character in George of the Jungle, there are some things we have to communicate to our dogs about this modern life.
My dog, Yogi, is adorable- like, objectively stinkin’ cute (check photos below or scroll through our Instagram if you need more evidence).
On the surface, he looks like the lovechild of the Snuggle Soft Bear and Juniper the Fox. On the inside, however, he has the personality of a 72-year-old war veteran who couldn’t use the word “cute” in a sentence to win a national spelling bee. In fact, I’m quite certain that he hates even being cute and would much rather look like the scraggly haired, one-eyed, three-legged, dog-pirate he is on the inside.
I’ve had him for 10 years, but he was 2ish when I adopted him and has adamantly maintained some .... "challenging"... qualities from his early mystery life.
- attempting to chew through any man-made barrier if left alone for more than 5 minutes
- being quite sexist and trying to eat men, even very very nice ones, who try to pet him without written consent
- terrorizing small woodland creatures, cats, and pigeons
- complete ambivalence to any and all two-leggers (other than myself)
I would love if he jumped gleefully into the arms of strangers, licked faces, brought joy and delight to all around him but that’s not this dog. This dog's hobbies include eating, sleeping, sniffing things that have been pee’d on, being objectively cute, and being less than 4 feet away from me at any given time… and thats mostly it.
Just like humans have their own garden varieties of "quirks", so do dogs. For some dogs its playing “catch me” at inappropriate times or urinating on baby strollers, maybe it's shredding toilet paper rolls, throwing up in any car rides, rubbing butt holes on expensive Moroccon rugs, humping strangers, humping shoes, humping strangers shoes, etc.
At age 7 I had my first existential crisis when someone told me that I couldn’t cuddle their adorable, floppy-eared, wet-nosed doggo because “he doesn't like kids.” And now I get to be the bearer of that sort of heartbreak city. It’s like taking a warm blanket out of the dryer and telling someone they can’t roll themselves up like a burrito in it. Whaaaaa??? Whyyyy tho?
I wish I could surmise some quick packaged plan on how to deal with all these awkward interspecies misunderstandings but there isn't. In my experience, it just takes patience, practice and a good sense of humor. Knowing your dog's boundaries and a heap of exercise go a long way too. I’ve also noticed that if I take 5 minutes a day to pay undivided, loving, praising attention to Yogi, he seems to be a little calmer, a little less A**holish (probably true of any of our relationships).
So I guess, in short, don’t be the dog- parent that lets their dog walk on the dinner table during Thanksgiving and exclaims “Oh how cute! He wants more Gravy!.” But when your dog does decide to embarrass you publicly; give yourself a break, laugh, practice patience. And do your best and keep your sense of awe that you are communicating with a different species at-all, a very cute, occasionally a**holey little fur creature called a dog.