My three legged Beagle and I have an interesting arrangement that works like this. I procrastinate putting a latch on the cabinet under the sink and he agrees to up-end and rifle through the garbage can under said sink whenever I have my back turned. It has gotten to the point that he has lost all pretense of shame or regret and will eagerly wait by the can tail wagging while I scrape the dinner plates clean. If I didn’t know better I would say that he was losing respect for my authority. Also when we go out in public he pulls me around with his leash while I follow behind with a plastic bag over my hand picking up his droppings. If on a walk we were to be suddenly confronted by an alien approaching us from his flying saucer requesting “Take me to your leader”, I am convinced that this alien would direct his question to the barking dog and regard me as anyone would someone standing silently behind at the end of a length of rope holding a bag of shit. Somehow the evolution of the man/dog relationship as it was originally intended has been turned inside-out.


6 responses to “Devolution

  1. Priceless.

    But lose the last three words.

  2. Another thing that helps to support this theory: I have noticed some dogs (medium to large in size) regard their owners (feminine in gender) with a level of authoritative respect I find interesting (low to non-existent).

    Mistress barks a command at the dog. Dog ignores the command. Mistress addresses the dog by the dog’s given name, in a more shrill tone. Dog ignores the command. Mistress loops the cycle, retreating to the step described two sentences ago…lather, rinse, repeat…

    With the result that the two-legged member of this gathering is the one that is doing the barking. I am sure this would further add to the confusion suffered by your theoretical visiting alien. “Forget everything we’ve recorded,” he’d say back on his home planet. “It’s the vertical ones that do the barking!”

    To be fair about it, there are a lot of males in our area who are in your situation, who encounter similar difficulty establishing the proper homosapiens/canine relationship. Except here, I think the issue is simple lack of effort on the part of the males. The canine is a fashion accessory here, one suited to the female ensemble. Our woman nurture a popular cultural viewpoint that a dog is just like a boyfriend, they both offer the same quantity of deference, both make the lady smile, but the four-legged one is lower maintenance.

    Nothing gets me to roll my eyeballs around in their sockets, Sarah-Palin-teacher style, quite like a little tiny woman being walked around by her oversized four-legged substitute boyfriend…while she does the barking.

  3. Have you been to my house when I wasn’t looking Morgan? I always get a kick out of our dogs when they greet my wife on waking up in the morning. They jump up on the bed (all eight of them) and start barking loudly and jumping on her. She as you say starts barking for them to knock it off which they of course interpret as “bark more and maybe throw in some growling and play fighting”. The more she yells the wilder it gets until she finally calls for me and with one sharp word they all immediately head for the door. I don’t know if it’s the male tone of voice or what but they will consistently ignore her pleas for order and snap to attention at mine. It really pisses her off!

  4. To say dogs are sexists, doesn’t quite capture the situation.

    They live out their entire lives around sexism. It’s the way they’re built. Their ears are attuned to a certain pitch.

    Certainly it’s possible to train them to have a female master, I think…with a whole lot of “if”s. If she happens to have a huskier, deeper voice…if she has benefited from the opportunity to raise the thing from puppy-hood, that helps a lot.

    But, generally, dogs are built by the Good Lord to toil away for a male master. Of course, don’t go pointing that out to a general audience. Then you’re the sexist. (Whoops, what’m I doin’ here…) But it’s true. Dogs are sexist. They’re built like that.

  5. My cat runs all over me and ignores me but I expect that from a cat. 🙂

    The leash/poop situation was well pointed out. Hadn’t thought about it in that light before.

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