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From My Window

Dog Logic

By Jane Thibodeau Martin


I love and respect animals, both wild and domestic, although I have a special place in my heart for cats and dogs above all the others. The reason is simple " I share my home with them, and few people get as attached to animals housed outdoors. It's hard, for example, to develop that deep trust and devotion that our dogs give us if the dog is chained up outside, a social animal condemned to solitary confinement and unable to interact with people he loves. A barn cat will not be able to share his fascinating quirks, requests for affection and entertaining behaviors if his humans spend most of their time in a separate building. These animals love to form strong bonds with people, since they have been bred for centuries to serve us domestically, and cats and dogs in particular are capable of forming deep attachments to people when allowed to.

There is a very amusing cat video on line called "Cat Logic." I love it so much I have seen it numerous times, and when I viewed it again before starting this column I had just taken a sip out of my mug, and laughed so hard I sprayed my computer screen with coffee. Apparently millions of others saw its charm as well, since the amateur who made it with his two sassy house cats now allows a major advertiser to use it on line. (Good for him, and those two cats are now more than earning their keep.)

So I started thinking about things I would put in a matching video called "Dog Logic." (Good chance someone has already done this, but here goes my thoughts anyway.)

Dog logic: Jumps into sewage lagoon with glee. Wades into every drainage ditch full of scummy water. Paddles happily around in a swampy quagmire of tangled vegetation and stinking muck.

Dog: Refuses to take a bath, must be skidded into the bathroom by his collar, whines and quakes while in the nice clean lukewarm water, trying to escape the tub the entire time.

Dog logic: Eats horse, cat, cow and unidentified poop every opportunity he gets. Loves to chew on carrion, the more rotten the better. Scoops up fast food hamburger wrappers alongside the road and swallows them. Eats earthworms lying drowned on the driveway after a rain, then dried like jerky in the sun.

Dog: Leaves brand-named dog food sit in his dish nearly all day; only eats it when he realizes no other options are forthcoming before bedtime.

Dog logic: Chews up cardboard tubes and hardcover books, shreds newspapers and packing material, destroys decorative gourds set out for fall, also chews decorative Indian corn. Attacks our mascot stuffed flamingo in the camper and decapitates it, gnaws the corner off of the pillow in the back seat of the truck, neatly scissors her leash in half with her teeth on the way to the park.

Dog: Does not care for several expensive dog "chew toys," shows disinterest the minute the package is opened, sniffs them and walks away.

Dog logic: Finds nasty stinking carp carcass at a boat landing, rolls in it and grinds the odor into her collar. Lies happily in the manure I put into the garden for fertilizer. Follows my husband with her nose up and only inches away when he has foul-smelling Limberger cheese.

Dog: Does not like the blanket I put on the couch for her to lie on; scorns her fancy large pet bed, creates a huge drama when she has to have a teaspoon of flea medication put on her neck, or if she has to be sprayed with flea spray. (Note: the dog bed does not go to waste, in a good demonstration of "cat logic" our cat Spanky loves to sprawl out on it, looking like a human baby in a king-sized bed.)

Dog Logic: During the walk, wants to stop every 20 feet to pee on something. Seems to have unlimited ability to pee numerous times, or pee the second he has an opportunity to do so.

Dog: In cold weather, or late at night, goes out to relieve himself and refuses to come back in for 20 minutes while my bare feet freeze.

Dog Logic: Is underfoot or within inches of me when we are 30 minutes from going for a walk, loading ourselves into the truck, pulling the camper out of the pole building, or going to a park or friend's house. Hovering dogs create obstacles to progress and are very irritating. If I am writing a column or answering e-mails big furry noses will be nudging my elbow, and anything I am trying to accomplish in the kitchen must be proceeded by dog evictions.

Dog: Sees a rabbit, a rat, a mouse, another dog, a squirrel, a person on a bike, a turtle crawling across the lawn or anything else of interest and if they are free to do so, takes off at a dead run and ignores my calls to return "until he is good and ready" to come back.

Those of you who are not pet people are probably rolling your eyes by now. But a lot of you will get exactly what I mean by "Dog Logic," and wouldn't want to live your life any other way than with a charming, amazingly smart and devoted friend like your household cat or dog. My life is much richer for all of them, those still sharing our lives and those who have gone on before us but are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. Other than people, nothing brings me more joy than my animal friends, and I'd surrender my TV and my computer before I'd give them up.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


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