Thursday, February 06, 2014

Dog Tantrums

My two dogs are fairly well-behaved and obedient but sometimes even they have rebellious moments when I want them to do something that they don't want to do. Typically this involves something like accompanying me into the bathroom at dog bath time (How do they know?) or going out onto the front deck when I wish to have them out of the house for a while. And while I always win in the end, for to let the dog win even once is to cede your authority over them forever, sometimes they make me work for it, each in their own way.

Murphy is the most straight-out defiant. He'll stop and face me, ears back as if ready for a fight and eyes downcast but always watching me. He'll be standing just out of arm's reach of his collar, crouched and ready to spring, and for every step that I take towards him, he'll back up two. If I lunge for him, he'll dart away like a rocket and I'll have to chase him down and hopefully corner him somewhere. And we've been through this enough that he's good at not getting cornered.

Belle, on the other hand, seems to have taken her instruction from those loony left-wing protesters that we often see on the news. She'll also stand and face me, ears down and avoiding eye contact but making no effort to flee or obey my commands to go where she doesn't want to go. However as soon as I touch her collar, her legs fold up and she goes limp on the floor. Now she's dead weight and difficult to move, and don't tell Murphy but it's actually more effective than his games because at least with him, once I get hold of his collar, he comes along peaceably. Belle, on the other hand, now has to be lifted up or dragged and she's heavy.

Of course there's always Plan B. This involves me simply walking out onto the deck by myself and closing the door, at which point both of them throw themselves against it and beg to be allowed out as well. I usually give them a few moments then open the door, and when they rush out, I go back in, close the door, and go about my business. I'm not looking forward to the day when they quit falling for that one though, so I try not to use it too many times.

But there's none of that today. Both are all sweetness and light as Belle snoozes by the living room window and Murphy's asleep at my feet. Now if I could just get them to make and fetch me a cup of coffee that didn't have dog hair in it...


  1. Hey, getting them to bring the coffee at all is a major accomplishment. The hair removal comes later. :)

  2. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Ah yes, bath-time. My old Aussie firmly believed hiding on the couch would save him. Flashing his teeth when you went to drag him off the couch was his back-up plan. But once your hand was on the collar the game was over and he knew it.
    Belle sounds like she took lessons from a cat.

  3. You might have to worry that they spit in the hairy coffee. Let sleeping dogs lie. Or cuddle. Belle's a beauty!

  4. In our house we call Belle's stunt "Boneless Dog". It's like trying to move a hippie protester.

  5. Of course Belle's more effective...she's a woman. (so says, Erin)