Lessons From The Dogs
One of my two dogs, I will not name names, is quite the dullard. The sweetest creature on earth but a dum-dum. The first display of idiocy happens around 8 AM just about each morning. I’ll be typing some nonsense on my laptop or pretending to listen to some fool drone on about irrelevant crap, when I am rudely interrupted
“Glg! Glg! Glg! Glg! Glg! Blaaahhhhhh.”
The dog always starts its dramatic and highly vocal vomit routine on the hardwood floor and then, with its last remaining ounce of strength, stumbles toward the carpet to expel the obstruction. “Must… puke………on……………..carpet!”
The dog’s carpet-quest is quizzical and highly-irritating for sure, but not what makes her a moron. No. What makes her a moron is the fact that her stomach distress is caused by the same thing every-time: While pooping or peeing during her morning walk, she’ll swivel her head over to eat one of those rotting, orange palm tree berries that litter the ground this time of year. After this impressive and rapid contortion, she gives me a smug look that basically says: “In your face, sucker!”
How? I mean, HOW, after 40-50 tries, do you not make the connection between rotted berry that we tell you not to eat and the “I don’t feel so good” routine an hour later. The fucking berry is sitting there in its nasty, orange glory (prominent and proud against the backdrop of my formerly white rug) two inches from your bowed, nauseous head. It taunts you: “In YOUR face, sucker!”
The second tide of stupidity swells around noon. This dog doesn’t “eat” lunch, rather, it sucks up food like an industrial strength vacuum. In some respects, it’s a stunning display, like a doggie Houdini act. “I could have sworn there was food there a second ago.” My deep pondering about whether or not I fed the dog tends to be cut short by a familiar sound:
“Blaaaahhhhhh” ………. Somebody ate too fast and is now pouting at the loss of half their lunch. A mediocre meal never to be recovered and a chaperone whose patience is wearing really thin.
The other day though, I got to thinking. Here I am judging this dog for its repetitive, flagrant stupidity, but maybe I should take a look at myself through the dog’s lens. Is there something I do that has the dog thinking the same thing about me: “How can this guy be this stupid?”. The answer is sadly “yes”, and the evidence is ample:
Exhibit A: I sit in the same chair, in front of the same black box, clicking a plastic oval with my finger, doing things I don’t enjoy, EVERY goddamn day. Benefits: I get paid. Cons: My soul is dying. Verdict: Pending
Exhibit B: About a year ago I decided to incorporate some neck strengthening exercise into my workout routine. I was happy with my “gains” until the other day when I had to put on a shirt and tie for the first time in ages. Turns out, I can’t fit into any of my dress shirts anymore. My big, fat neck makes it impossible to button the top button. Benefits: Nebulous at best. Cons: Need to spend 1500 dollars to replace entire wardrobe of dress-shirts on account of oversized neck. Verdict: Moron.
Exhibit C: On the first Saturday of every month, I treat myself to a meat-lovers Calzone for dinner despite the fact that, without fail, I have to spend the next week doing cardio every day and chugging “Smooth Move” tea just to get back to my original, Pooh-Bear like physique. Benefits: Absolutely none: Cons: Moves that become too smooth. Verdict: Masochist
The truth is, I’m learning a ton from my dogs:
(1) Ace (my older dog) whines incessantly. He whines when he isn’t getting what he wants, he whines when he doesn’t know what he wants, he whines louder when ignored. Lesson for me: Demand Satisfaction – at ALL times.
(2) Ace also barks at and tries to attack virtually all other dogs. Yet, they can’t get enough of him. They’re endlessly intrigued by his anger and disdain for them. Lesson for me: Treat everyone like garbage, and for some reason they’ll still want to be your friend.
(3) The dogs only get in trouble when they make noise. Barking and/or whining earns a stiff rebuke. Silence, on the other hand, results in scratches and treats and affection. Lesson for me: Talk as little as possible and you’ll be beloved by everyone.
(4) Ace silently but shamelessly passes wind whenever and wherever he wants – a power move that instantly establishes dominance. Lesson for me: Enjoy a meat-lover’s calzone paired with “Smooth Move” tea prior to our next in-person leadership conference and demand an astronomical pay-raise midway through.
I’ll end on this note: If you ever wonder to yourself why you (a human) would model your behavior after a mere dog, just ask yourself the following question: Who is living a better life?