And The Oscar for Best Performance in a Dickens Tragedy Goes To…My Dog

sallyasolivertwist

 

Dogs are man’s best friends and devoted companions.  And if they had fingers, most of us would be wrapped around their littlest one.

Our dog, Sally, is a master manipulator.  Here’s a typical evening at home.

We live out in the country and Sally, a frisky, 3-year-old black lab, has been (pretty much) trained via electronic collar to stay within 90 feet of the house. When she wants to go outside we open the door and out she dashes.  No matter what doggy business she’s engaged in out there, however, her 6th sense alerts her if a family member heads toward the kitchen. She’s back on the deck in a flash and she wants in.  Now.

Her “let me in” routine starts with a little whimper.  It quickly escalates to DEFCON 1, a high-pitched whiny cry so pathetic a 1-year-old child would think such babyish tactics beneath him.  Anyone hearing Sally would assume we are inhumane monsters who have driven this poor animal out to freeze in a snow bank.  Never mind that it’s a balmy 75 degrees, and a mere 10 minutes earlier she was doing her, “How can keep me cruelly trapped  in this dungeon?” bit to get outside.  We go through this cycle approximately 579 times each evening.

Once back in the house, she investigates to see if, indeed, there is food to be had.  Woe to the person who is carrying.

Sally generally interprets even simple commands like “sit” and “come” as having an “if you feel like it” rider.  But let one of her humans be in possession of food and she is eager to show how well she can do “sit”, thereby earning a treat.  She does her furry statue imitation, sitting ramrod straight, right next to the knee of the person with the food.  She gets as close as caninely possible to the snack and keeps her gaze fastened with single-minded purpose on her quarry.

If sharing of said food does not begin immediately, Sally goes into her Oliver Twist routine. Her anxious, pathetic expression and tiny, snuffling whimpers say with an eloquence worthy of an Oscar, “Please sir, I want some more.”   You can practically hear the tiny violins playing!   Anyone watching would be considering calling the Humane Society right about then, because it’s obvious we do not feed the poor creature.

The starving, obedient orphan act lasts as long as the food does, and then it’s playtime. Sally retrieves one of the many bones and toys that form the minefield otherwise known as our living room floor and dumps them, one at a time, in my lap. Her favorite toy is her corduroy Kitty. She wants me to throw it, but as I frequently remind her, I do NOT approve of throwing toys in the house.

I hand Kitty to my hubby to toss.

After a few moments of this game, she plops down on her bed, head on paws and lets out a heartfelt sigh, the living picture of a bored teenager. If she could talk, she would be saying, “There’s NOTHING to DO around here. I HATE my life!”

Then a sound comes from outside.  It could be crickets chirping, the hoot of an owl or the wind in the trees.  Whatever the source, it must be investigated – she heads briskly for the door.  If we don’t immediately follow to open it (damn this lack of opposable thumbs!) she trots back to where we sit.  Then back to the door.   Back and forth she goes, pacing and panting, until one of us, driven nearly mad by the pacing, gets up and lets her out.  To clarify; I am the one who is driven mad, and Bill is the one who gets up to let her out.  He’s doggy-whipped.

Sally stays outside until the menace has been driven off or she thinks one of us might possibly be heading in the general direction of the kitchen, and then the cycle begins anew.

I’m typing this on our screen porch right now, and Sally is whining to come out here.  As soon as I open the door, she will lick my hand to say hello, walk around in a circle, and then beg to go either back in the house or outside.  We’ve gone through this routine 263 times already this evening.

Only 316 more to go.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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71 Responses to And The Oscar for Best Performance in a Dickens Tragedy Goes To…My Dog

  1. Lynn says:

    My friend used to say to her dog, “you are always on the wrong side of the door” as she played this routine over & over. Good thing we love them so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elyse says:

    They are far more constant than other family members. Constantly yanking our chains, that is.

    I need to cut tis short; Duncan is bugging me to go out ….

    Like

  3. dorannrule says:

    Understanding dog language is a talent only reserved for special people. You are obviously among them and this post is hilarious because you have made me see Sally and understand her concentrated dedication to driving you crazy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. susielindau says:

    I thought Roxy wa the worst, but your dog sounds like a much bigger pest. Roxy has a doggie door which is good and bad. A huge coyote was in the yard last week and she howled from my upstairs office. I shut her door. Then the fall nut lovin squirrels arrived and I shut it again. As soon as we sit down to eat dinner, she bugs us to play and beg for food. I think I just about broke her of that habit with a spray bottle full of water. Jury is still out. Gotta love them!

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    • pegoleg says:

      I like the spray bottle idea – is it working for you? The big yiping, pacing-to-go-out tantrum is something I need to break her of.

      Like

      • susielindau says:

        Yep. It works. All I have to do now is get the spray bottle. She cowers and sulks in the other room. I’m not sure where she ever got the idea begging would get her food. Dogs.
        I use the hose when she is barking at squirrels. She’s too fast to get really wet, but that works too. I hate barking dogs. I’m sure my neighbors do too. Good luck!

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  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    “Woe to the person who is carrying.”—Ha!

    Guess we know who rules your household. Then again, gotta give her props for her dramatic communicating. To do all that without words is quite an impressive feat!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      It is pretty impressive to communicate without words. Wish I could do as well as she does when I’m trying to communicate to her, KNOCK IT OFF FOR PETE’S SAKE, YOU’RE DRIVING ME BONKERS!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I know who’s wearing the pants in that house. Sadly, the score remains:
    Canine-1
    Human-0.

    Electronic collars work pretty great on children, too. Don’t ask me how I know so much about that. Just take my word for it.

    This is good stuff. I just kicked someone out of my feeder and added you. That’s my rule. I’m at capacity so if I add someone, I’ve got to kick someone out. Good luck falling asleep tonight with that on your conscience.

    Like

  7. franhunne4u says:

    And now imagine doing that with a cat – they do not only beg to let out, when you open the door, come rain, come shine, they sit Bastet-statue like on the doorstep and contemplate going out, zen-like.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dana says:

    What if you put a doggie flap in your door?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I don’t trust those things. I’m afraid they will let in:
      1) Ice, snow and cold air
      2) Other critters like racoons or one of our neighbor’s 5 dogs who like to visit
      3) Really, really motivated house-breakers

      Like

  9. Thank you for this very real reminder of what it’s like to have a dog. I’ve been reminiscing about having a dog every since our summer vacation trip, where we stayed in 2 different homes, both with dogs. And then I think about the amount of energy it takes to actually own a dog. And then I realize that my son uses it all up. No dog for us yet. That said, I absolutely love dog and do want to have one (again) one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. See now that’s the problem with the new batch of dog trainers. They all say use treats and a clicker for motivation.
    We have a phrase for Molly,:Will sit for food.” Out of treats? Whatever….wandering off….sitting under the treat jar…barking.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your Sally acts just like my Cody (or vice versa). It was hard enough when Cody discovered the bunnies in the back yard, but now there are BABY bunnies! And they love to torment her – instead of running to the nearest fence, they run around in circles in front of her. She whines like she’s being tortured (well, I guess in a way, she is). The only thing she loves more than bunnies is food. She’ll do absolutely anything for a piece of broiled chicken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Sally found a nest of baby bunnies last year. She very gently carried them around in her mouth – I don’t know if they were dead when she found them, or if she killed them, but it was sad.

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      • Aw. I’m not sure what Cody would do with a live rabbit – when she found a dead one a few months ago, she did the same as Sally – carried it around. Every once in awhile, she would set it down gentle and nudge it as if she expected it to get up and play, then she would pick it up and carry it around some more. Finally I was able to catch her and take the poor critter away.

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        • pegoleg says:

          That’s the same thing Sally did, except there were 3e of the poor things. We couldn’t figure out where she was getting them until I finally trailed her back to a nest under leaves at the base of a tree and by then it was empty.

          I’m assuming the mom was killed and the babies died naturally because Sally was so gentle with them, but she could have inadvertently killed them.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. How odd. I just got up for the 158th time to fetch food/drink from my kitchen and I don’t even have a dog. They say dogs are worse than kids so maybe I should wait to get one when my kids are finally moved out

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I know this routine very well indeed! When I’m getting Reggie’s food bowl ready in the mornings, he starts a whimper that sounds like he’s talking: rwoewe, rower, rower, um, um, woof! Translation: “Hurry up, human! What’s taking so long?” He repeats it getting louder and louder — clearly I’m not moving fast enough for his liking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So cute! I can just see it!

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  15. Matty is pretty quiet, doesn’t bark unless someone’s over and she wants their attention.
    Outside, waiting to come in, she whines. Doesn’t do it much to go out, but has gotten more clingy with us. And she won’t budge from the kitchen when anyone’s eating. She will be 8 in October. Still a pretty girl.

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  16. You could be describing my dog who is half black lab I might add!

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  17. Yeah, it’s hard to ignore your dog. Mine will scratch the door down if you don’t take her out.

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  18. My cat and Sally would get on well! He also manages to act like a martyr despite being the most pampered creature on the planet!! xx

    Like

  19. Lucy barks to get out or in throughout the day. If no one is home, she doesn’t bother, or at least that’s what we believe. We’ve started just leaving the back door open during the day so she can come and go freely, but she uses the opportunity to bark at the front door instead.

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  20. As a kid my mom was constantly trying to get us to go outside, and as soon as we were outside we wanted to come back inside. We never wanted to go outside. We were only able to muster half of Sally’s enthusiasm. The outside is hot and full of spiders. Mom could never understand why she couldn’t sell us on the outdoors but I think she had us confused with the family cat.

    Like

  21. The Cutter says:

    So dogs ARE like children. At least in terms of whininess.

    Like

  22. Peg, you forgot to mention Phase I – when we had a shopkeeper’s bell installed next to the door. Sally nearly drove YOU insane with the bell ringing night after night until she wore the darn thing out and it finally broke. Now it’s Phase II – the incessant “Pacing.”

    Like

  23. Sandy Sue says:

    I love my friends’ dogs. One is a wild hair, the other a proper gent. No whining, but his stink-eye is without equal.

    Like

  24. Ha ha, so much of this is very familiar to me 🙂

    Like

  25. Al says:

    I’ve notified the Humane Society. Their attorneys will be contacting your attorneys.

    Like

  26. Sally sounds wonderful to me. You’ll miss her when she’s gone, so soak all of her Oliver Twistyness up now! 😉

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That’s a great reminder, Lorna, because I tend to get pretty impatient.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did, too, with Scrappy every once in a while. But by the time I had him, I pretty much remembered how precious little time a dog’s life is compared to the yawning life span we seem to have. So I was kinder to him than any of my previous pup pals and I’m glad for it. That little guy knew he was loved. And he gave back more than he got… 🙂

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