Marc went to move the area rug a few days ago and Crispie immediately laid down on it. Marc posed the question, “How do they know to do what you don’t want them to do?” I had no answer for him, and let me assure you that if you haven’t figured it out by now, that never happens to me! All I could think about was that he was right (I actually admitted that, another rare occurrence), that’s what they do. They somehow know. It’s like they have a superpower for messing with us. Sometimes they aren’t even in the area of whatever you’re about to do but they suddenly appear as if teleported! It’s like they’re just waiting; watching and waiting for their next opportunity. Weird right? Yet true. As I sat thinking about situations where I swear they intentionally interfere just to get a reaction or that they are carrying out whatever plan they’ve concocted, I easily came up with several. I also started to feel a little foolish because I haven’t figured this out sooner. How is it possible that I’ve not realized this in all the years we’ve had dogs? Those sweet and loving faces that just want to be pet and loved and who love you back no matter what are actually plotting 24/7. Laying, waiting, and watching; and I can only assume they’re laughing during all of that too. And why not? Some of the stuff they do is pretty damn funny. Well, that truly depends on my mood but usually it’s funny. Mostly it’s just funny when they do it to Marc. I’ll give you some for instances.
Floor stuff. When you’re vacuuming, moping, moving their beds, basically doing anything that has to do with moving “floor” stuff…they jump right on it! Every single time. As you get to the rug to vacuum, they lay down on it. As you mop they stay away because they don’t want to get wet but as you move from area to area they absolutely know the next area you’re going to and they lay down. As we pick up their beds so we can vacuum and mop under them, they decide it’s time to take a nap on that particular bed. It doesn’t matter that there’s literally six other beds in the house for them. Nope they have to be on that bed. Moving their blankets is a whole other experience and the ultimate test of my patience. Here’s why: They think its play time when you move their blankets. They’re like little kids who want to swing in a sheet. That sounds bad. I mean when two people hold a sheet and the toddler lays in it while you swing them back and forth. Wow, this is getting worse instead of better. Let me try again, as you pull their blanket they immediately get on it. They may stand or just plop down on it but then they just hang out there staring at you and looking pretty dang happy with themselves. They want you to drag them around on that blanket. While this goes on I’m thinking, “Uhh trying to clean here.” They’re thinking, “Sweet! Mom’s giving me a ride.” Their thinking is much happier than mine is.
Moving furniture. When we need to move things in the house, the dogs plan their own movements wisely and strategically. Try moving furniture when our gang is in the same room. It’s so not fun, for me that is. Crispie is a pro at jumping on the furniture when you’re moving it and then she acts like it’s her turn for a ride. I swear she looks indignant. As I tell her to get down, she looks away like she didn’t hear me or that I can’t possibly be talking to her. It’s like being in a public place and letting out a fart that you were sure would be silent, but in fact turned out to be horrifically loud so you look behind you acting as if it wasn’t you. Yea that’s what she does. Then she must shoot a sign to everyone else because at least one more of them will join her. They too believe this is a carnival kind of ride that I’m operating for them. Then there’s the kitchen table. Our table has a fold-in leaf and six chairs so when we have family over we open it to the larger size. Simple right? Not so much. No exaggeration here, when we move the chairs that must be the signal to get up and block the area around the table because it never fails. The innocent act of moving the chairs is some sort of weird gesture that means all dogs should lay exactly where we need to stand to pull the table open. Now I know, this seems like no big deal, just tell them you need them to move right? Yea that’s laughable, trust me. Again, they become deaf animals. So I move away from the table, call them to me and then head back to the table as quickly as possible to help Marc open it. It’s like a mini obstacle course.
Open space. Marc and I catch up on our TV shows on the weekend. We always sit on the sofa and we are definitely considerate of the dogs that are and want to be on it with us. You’ve seen the pictures. We do have to have limitations though or both of us would be on the floor. Generally, the dogs don’t offer the same amount of consideration to us. In fact they plot against us, I’m sure of it. Once they know it’s time to watch our shows, they jump on the sofa. Fine, no big deal. However, as we get to the sofa and ask them to move, no one hears us, no one looks at us, no one cares. I believe they think that if they are comfortable then we should be able to get comfortable too. Now sometimes they will move which we always appreciate and thank them for doing, but there’s a guarantee that it won’t last. Therefore, you have to be aware of the openings you’re leaving them. Picture this, you’re sitting on the sofa and you lean forward say to eat at the coffee table, type your blog, or just to change positions and bam, the empty space you just freed up is gone quicker than a bowl of ice cream in my hands and that’s no easy feat. Yes, you’ve just been space jacked. Their sensors have gone off, telling them there’s a little bit of real estate available on the sofa and by any means necessary, they’re going to get to it; and they do. You now have a large and very stubborn dog laying behind you and that dog doesn’t see anything wrong with the situation. I’m confident they think they’ve done us a favor because they’ve clearly just solved a lack of space problem.
The same is true of our bed. When it’s time to sleep, everyone has their own spot in our room. Ryder’s place is on the bed. At some point during the day the bed gets made (usually) and obviously the sheets and blankets get washed often. They know this, I know they know this because when it’s time to make the bed they will literally walk in front of you as you’re heading to the bedroom and then they jump on the bed. Coincidence? I think not. They know when it’s time to go to bed so no one can convince me that maybe they simply think its bedtime. No way; not buying it; nope. What they know is that the bed is getting made or the bedding is getting washed and that means, game on. Up on the bed they go. I can tell you that no amount of bribing works because they’re deaf, again. K-9 selective hearing is a thing, a very real thing. So I have to do the same trick as when we’re opening the kitchen table-walk out of the room so they follow me. Thankfully we have a dog gate that I can then shut to keep them out of our room and when I close it they stare at me like I’m the biggest jerk in the world. Tradeoffs I suppose.
The following, “how do they know things,” all revolve around clothing. Odd I know but you’ll see. We’ve definitely come to realize that the dogs have a sixth, seventh, and eighth sense (at least) when it comes to clothes. They know, and share with the others, when we have “going out” clothes on (thankfully I’m dull so this doesn’t happen to me much or ever). When in those nice clothes, it is at that exact time that they decide they need to commit a drive-by rubbing. You know, that’s where they come up from behind and rub along your leg like a cat does. Yea, try not to freak out about that when you’re wearing black pants and the dog who is blowing her coat (which Zoey tends to do year round) has just rubbed along your leg. Adding to the situation is that this happens to be the day that you ran your lint roller out! They know these things but how? I do try to learn from my mistakes and I now buy lint rollers in bulk. No joke; I have twelve in the closet right now that we got at Costco! The dogs also know when its laundry day and you’re wearing your last pair of clean jeans. It never fails that on this day, they slime you and I mean slime you good. It’s not a little spit, no, it is slime. Now if you don’t know this, slime and spit are totally different. Spit is watery, light, and easy to wipe off without leaving any marks. Slime? Not so much. Slime is thick. Slime is gooey. Slime really doesn’t wipe. Rather, it smears. It’s quite similar to that nasty nose snot that most everyone gets when they have a head cold. Yea, it’s that stuff. So as you carefully wipe it off, it streaks so now the two-inch slime has become a five-inch slime and it’s still on your pants. It is also now deeper into the material and making this task twice as difficult. The logical thing to do here is to use a damp cloth to wipe the spot. Not going to work. When you do that, it may help some but you’ve actually made it worse because now you’ve got a 6” X 6” area of wet on your pants and you still have a slime spot when it dries. Remember you’re actually dealing with a snot type substance that latches onto the surface it has landed on. You truly cannot win in this situation, it’s impossible. The dog has won and you my friend just came in second. And we all know what second place is right? Second place is first loser! Wow, aren’t I just a big ray of sunshine sprinkled with glitter and chocolate (rhetorical)?
Here’s a few more head scratchers for you: Why do they poop immediately after you’ve cleaned up the last poop in the yard? How do they know? I mean, this literally makes me ask, “Why?” but it also impresses me a bit. We (and by that I mean Marc) may take an hour cleaning up poop, no not because there’s so much but because we might get sidetracked to other things. Stuff like the twenty feet hose that suddenly appears to be only an eight feet hose now or the fact that there’s a new giant sized ditch in the grass. Yet no matter what, as you’re finally done with the poop and walking away to empty the poop bucket one of them assumes the arch position and poops. Usually it’s Crispie and with her I am certain it’s a kind of rebellious move. I mean, I don’t think she lays awake thinking, “Ok, tomorrow is dog poop day. I’m not gonna go today; I have to hold off until they’re done. My sphincter can handle it. Then, once they’re done, I’m gonna open up on them. That’ll be funny.” I do however believe that she thinks it’s comical when her poop timing is perfect.
Why do they lay right behind you when you’re working at the sink and stove or basically anywhere that you’re only route out is backwards? Are they trying to trip you? Do they whisper to one another, “Hey watch this.” I don’t get it. I mean I realize they want to be close to their humans and that’s really sweet and I love when they show this, and blah, blah, blah but not at the expense of say a broken hip. You know, Marc’s getting old; it could happen. Marc and I are literally on “trip watch” constantly. I cannot tell you how many times each day that one of us says, “There’s a large dog behind you,” or “Don’t step back.” Obviously it’s not just about tripping over them, we don’t want to step on them either. I don’t exactly have a Victoria Secret model type body and weight. So if I step on a foot, the possibility of dismemberment is quite high! There’s a likelihood of them being left with a pancake for a paw or them losing their tail in a manner similar to a lizard. It’s just not a good situation for anyone involved and the prospect of blood is high, yet they just keep doing it.
Here’s one for you, how is it that I can go into the laundry room twelve times per day and they don’t move but that one time that I accidentally graze the treat bag they know exactly what the noise was? It’s not like that’s the one and only bag in our house that makes that sound. It’s also not the only area in the house that the sound comes from but they know! Then once they hear it, there’s no escaping them. They’ll trap you right in the laundry room and let me assure you, they do this with zero shame. Maybe you’re saying, “They’re just dogs, deal with it.” Hah! I’ve learned long ago that when I’m in this situation and the ratio is six to one they can likely take me. So rather than push my way through, I give them a treat and move on (yes of course I know that’s why they do it but still). Unfortunately, in this situation I’m once again in the position where I’m first loser and I just hate that.
And another one. How do they know that I have new toys in a bag or that its bath time when we’ve been so careful with our planning of these situations? I can easily admit that when they see new toys they know what they are. Like when we buy them from Costco they aren’t in a bag so they see them as soon as we get inside. Yet when we buy them from a pet store and they’re in a white bag, not a clear bag a white bag, they instantly know what they are. As in, they will start nosing the dang bags. Are these toys beef flavored? Do they have a special doggy radar within them? I just don’t understand how they know! But they also know about baths. We can be the ultimate of stealth when getting ready to bathe them. The shampoo and towels are already in the bathroom. The tub water is off, literally nothing gets touched until they’re in the bathroom but as soon as you stand and call them, they know. Now let me say that our bathroom is off the hallway. You cannot see the bathroom from the kitchen and living room so it’s not as if they see that you’re standing near the bathroom. What they see is you standing in the archway that goes into the hallway; nothing more. So how the hell do they know why you’re calling them? Also, aren’t baths supposed to be relaxing and stuff? I don’t know because I don’t take bath. I mean I do wash. I just do it in the shower instead. I’ve tried to explain to them that I’ve heard baths can be great. They don’t believe me. Honestly, I think they believe that statement to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever said to them which in turn means, they ignore me. What really befuddles me is this, how is calling them to the hallway any different than when I call them to go outside with me; which they love to do by the way?
Riddle me this: How is it that they know when I’m going to take a picture? It doesn’t happen when I pick up my phone to take the picture. Nope. If that were the case I’d assume they’re simply camera shy; now that I would totally relate to. It’s not what happens though. They wait until I’m about to snap the picture. They can be sound asleep, snoring even but their sensor goes off and they move. I can be covert, I’m talking basically invisible but when I grab my phone and get to the camera, they move like I just shocked them! They can be in the yard playing and again, as soon as I get the camera ready on my phone, they move. It drives me crazy; very, very crazy. How-is-this-possible? I’m starting to think that camera detection is a special Spidey sense that they ALL have!
I absolutely love a smart dog and of course mine are extremely intelligent but sometimes I so wish they weren’t. I wish they didn’t know how to plot and plan. They do so do that, I see it, I live it. I don’t like being outsmarted. I especially don’t like it when it’s done by a four-legged animal. I mean, that’s pretty humiliating. I have to admit that I sometimes find their behaviors unnerving because I just don’t understand how they accomplish some things. They figure stuff out before I can even try to. They tease us in their own special ways. They play subtle jokes on us. Sure it’s all fun and games until Marc breaks a hip. The thing that drives me the craziest is that they win at these things way more often than I do and I so don’t like being first loser.