Thursday 20 January 2011

Life As We Know It: My Dog Doesn't Love Me

After writing about the star signs last week and enjoying myself immensely, I have decided to write a weekly post on life in general. I will pick a different topic each week that may be a news article or an aspect of my life.  So keep an eye out for my new series entitled. 'Life As We Know It'. If it doesn't interest you, don't worry I will not be offended if you skip it.  I just like to chortle and snigger to myself. I may need therapy for it.

My dog The Dude and I are facing a trial separation. I have considered counselling sessions but he just shows no interest. When I talk to him, he just raises his eyebrow, doing his best Roger Moore impersonation, lowers his head and harrumphs.  I am not the one he loves and I have to come to terms with this.

This situation isn't a new one. It began many years ago.  When he was a young and boisterous puppy, I couldn't accompany him on his walks. It wasn't that I didn't want to, but I liked the idea of keeping both my arms and not having one permanently yanked out of its socket.  I couldn't cope with the other owners talking about me, as I hobbled behind him doing my best Quasimodo impression, positive that I could hear a ringing sound in my ears. Those damn bells!

As the years progressed, things got worse. He felt abandoned by my decision to work.  Then the children came along, pushing him aside for supremacy and he knew he was in the dog house.

My husband is his idol. He thinks nothing of grappling around on the floor with him, they torment each other and play the Hand of Doom (don't ask!).  I sit on the sidelines and feel like I am watching an episode of The Gladiators (old series with Ulrika, never got on with the new one).  My husband tries to make me think that this love is all one way, but his opinions now fall on deaf ears, after watching him countless times, rush past me to kiss the dog on his arrival home and asking me how he has been . Sod that I have the look of someone who has stuck her fingers in an electrical socket, make sure the dog who has taken over the sofa and slept their all day is OK. Why wouldn't he be OK, he has me to run around and cater to his every whim. Every time he wants a wee, he only has to bark incessantly at the back door until I stop what I am doing to open it.

Even the kids are more loved by the dog than I am. He will happily listen to their constant chatter and cuddle up to them when they are sad. They are even allowed to dress him up with scarves and  hats. But me, god forbid I plant a kiss on his head, that would cause a growl.

It hurts to feel abandoned like this, especially as I am the one who feeds him and walks him every day. Out in all weathers, committing fashion suicide by wearing my green wellies that do not match the rest of my attire. I suppose you couldn't really call it walking anymore. On a bad day, a walk is a wee at the nearest lamppost, on a good day he leads and I follow.  He decides where we will go and I follow as chief pooper scooper. If he doesn't want to go a certain way, you would think his feet had been cemented to the ground.
It is like trying to shove a Double Decker bus, through the Secret Garden gateway.  He just looks at me in utter disgust as I push, pull and try to coax him.

Personally I think he has got too big for his boots. He now walks without a lead. He thinks he is the big kahuna, looking down at all the other dogs strangling themselves on their leads. You can see him, laughing at them and saying under his breath,'Check me out!'

Visitors have stopped calling at our house now, as The Dude likes to make everyone feel uncomfortable.  His alias is 'silently but deadly'. Newcomers will sit and smile politely, whilst slowly going blue with lack of oxygen; those in the know flee for safety as he passes wind that could rival any toxic gas.  He assumes no ownership of his gift, just gets up, waves his tail in your direction and then leaves the scene of the crime like Raffles.

He has an obsession. Roast dinners. He will know 12 hours ahead what meal I am making and he will guard the meat through its stages from frozen to cooked.  Once the meat is ready to be carved, he will practically get under my feet to catch any falling debris. This doesn't sound too bad, until I mention that he is a Labrador and being stamped on by a Labrador with a weight problem is not funny.

Whilst we sit to eat our roast dinner, we know our meal is like a ticking time bomb. As half way through he will start barking furiously to remind you that the leftovers are his. Although now, I actually cook him up a separate plate of food, yet he still feels that he should have more.

He expects me to provide him with treats; he will follow me into the kitchen every time I go in. So I reach for the biscuit tin to get him a treat, thinking this time he will show his appreciation. What does he do? Looks at me disdainfully as I try to give him the biscuit and won't touch it until someone else in the house touches it first and hands it to him. Do my hands have poison on? Should I provide him with a chief taster?

I feel terrible now, I am only listing his bad points, he does have a few good traits. For instance, he is a tidy dog. He is the only dog I have ever seen pick up litter. He has spent weeks studying my neighbour who likes to spend her free time cleaning up the rubbish on the streets and now feels he should do his part to keep the environment clean too.  He is more than happy to pick up used bottles and cans and bring them home. We have a rather large collection of his finds now half buried in the garden. I have put a stop to his log felling schemes though. There are only so many dead branches I can accommodate.

He is also a good guard dog, not only does he position his toys in strategic places guaranteed to break an intruder's neck, he also barks quite ferociously at anyone passing by  the house on the other side of the road. How dare they pass our house without his authority. You can see people tentatively knocking upon the door when deliveries need to be made and taking a step back as the barking begins. Such a shame though when we open the door, the Dude rushes out to the visitor with a huge teddy in his mouth, wagging his tail, giving them more affection than he ever gives me.  Doesn't give off the right impression, does it?

As I sit typing away now, watching him snoring loudly next to his latest used bottle acquisition, I have to just sigh and except the situation. As much as my love is not reciprocated, I will always love that daft dog. 

You may think I am making this all up, but sadly it is very true. Sigh. (Tear gently rolling down face.)

Do your dogs love you? Are you treated the same way? I would love to know if I am a lone soul fighting this battle.


  1. My dog definitely loves my mom more. *SIGH*

  2. Cooper is the other way. There is such a thing as TOO much love. Y'get me? And he has an ear fetish. Not nice to be dozing in the chair only to be woken in a Jack Russels head lock with his tongue lodged down your ear. Follows me around, trips me up, even when I'm trying to bath he's trying to get in with me. I've tried gently and not so gently explaining to him that I am a CAT person and he is a DOG. Also that CRAIFG is my boyfriend who happens to be HUMAN. *sigh*

    Guffawing here at the roast dinner description - sounds familiar.

  3. Well, you obviously know your place in the pack. A great post Vivienne, I also had tears running down my face, tears of laughter. Our dog (Peg) was always a two person dog - mine when it came to 'grubsy' (our word for feeding time) and Husband dearest's when it came to walkies. Our cat (puck) was a one woman puss though. Hope you don't mind that this has inspired my own post.

  4. Viv, you are such a talented writer. I loved reading this post. It made me laugh and feel sad at the same time. kuddos on your talent! Your dog songs like a gentle-soul.

  5. Oh, this is wonderful!! I was hoping for a picture at the end...

  6. Alice - I feel your pain.

    Carmen - I would love some of that slobbering. I feel abandoned. Sigh.

    Petty Witter - thank you. Feel free to be inspired.

    Diane - thank you for kind words. The idea was to see if I could make people laugh. I hope it is working.

    JoAnn - Thank you so much. Will make sure I add a picture next time.

  7. fantastic post! I've always had animals & right now I have a 13 yr old cat..the other day I took him to the vets to have his nails clipped... he showed his disapproval when we came home and wouldn't come near me for half a day. *sigh*

  8. Our dog is 15 now and loves everyone, but the older she gets, the more loyal to me she becomes. She knows who butters her bread.

  9. Vivienne, this is great! If your goal was to amuse, it worked. I loved your post. We had a cat like that - would go right to my oldest daughter beofore anyone else. Who else would make the cat buttered toast with the crusts cut off?

  10. LOVED this post!! You have such a witty writing style - and I can't wait until the next installment of "Life as we know it" :)

    We have three yellow labs at our house. Labs are people dogs and they will welcome with open paws anyone who is willing to give them the time of day. That said, two of the three know that I am more likely to give treats, so they tend to gravitate towards my end of the couch, while the female in the group prefers my husband.

  11. OOh - I like the sound of this - both this week and last weerk's post made me chuckle :)

  12. Lol, great post Vivienne :)

    I do actually think one kitty loved me, once when I was ill she did not leave my bed. Not to do her business, or even to eat. She just stayed by me side cos I was really really ill.

    I miss her

  13. I love this post, Vivienne! It is real, it is personal, it is funny, it is you. The writer side of you emerges, and it wonderful! Do more of these posts, please.

    Your dog is definitely a character and a half. (My dog is close to perfect, so I'll say no more.)

  14. This is such a funny post. I seriously never knew that dogs would eat a roast dinner. I don't have pets myself, but I think your dog is totally taking you for granted!

  15. I like this post!
    It sounds like you need to consult the Dog Whisperer.
    My Diego does love me alot, he's still young though, so things might change when he gets older and more independent.

  16. Great post, you have a writer in you I see. Aren't dogs wonderful? Except when they're not of course.

  17. Viv, this is a terrific post! You are so creative and your storytelling talents shine. I hope you keep up this new addition to your blog!

  18. Thank you, Vivienne - you did make me laugh :D

  19. What a great post! And yes, very funny. It reminded me a little of Marley and Me (well, I've only seen the movie) :) It's always good to know your place with pets though! HA.

  20. Hahaha! Oh, Viv, I loved this post. I can not wait to see this series every week. :D Your writing is brilliant.

  21. While I love dogs, it sounds like this dog has little structure in his life. He runs the family. It's actually pretty sad. I know you say you love him, but this kind of life is not one that makes a happy and balanced dog. Find an obedience trainer, and do what you should have done years ago: give him work to do, put in the TIME and EFFORT it takes to have a dog, and teach him that YOU are the boss.


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