My dog does not speak English. I am not even sure he speaks Dog very well. He does, however, respond to Spanish a little, and so sentarse, perrito actually got a response out of him — though it may have been my high-pitched tone and not the words themselves.
He was a really cute puppy. (See below).
But he is now chubby, shaggy, looks more like a creature that is half-dog, half-mountain goat and he’s lacking a bit in the intelligence department. That said, he is going to be starting some obedience training at the end of next month, but before then, here is a list of phrases that I wish my dog knew in English:
1) Please Do Not Vomit on the White Shag Rug: I have a white shag rug. This is extremely impractical, I know. But when I bought it, I didn’t have a black dog. And I didn’t host that often. So now I have an off-white rug (I admit, it may even be a grey rug these days). (Embarassingly, my compulsively clean father asked during his visit, “What color is this rug supposed to be?” And that was when I knew I needed to send the rug out to be cleaned.)
And as a related matter — dog, please do not eat your vomit!
2) Paper Is Not For Shredding: I have a paper shredder. I do not need you to do that job for me.
3) Please stop parading around with my underwear in your mouth: Why? Why do you do this? Clean, dirty, you don’t seem to care.
4) No One Appreciates Your Flatulence: You have this bad habit of behaving like a normal dog all of the other days of the week, and then passing horrorshow gas on Winesdays or when I have people over for brunch. You are not normally a very stinky dog; you only stink when I have company. Then, of course, anyone who is not regular to the group looks around because he/she doesn’t want to be blamed for the stench — and the poor soul doesn’t want to be suspected of being that kind of person who passes gas and then blames it on the dog.
Dog, stop it, you are embarrassing the guests!
5) You Cannot Eat That Rotten Thing: Please stop eating crap off the street — discarded chicken bones; cast-offs from the middleschoolers who roam the neighborhood like a pack of wild hyenas; other people’s chewed gum. This only results in a situation where I need to invoke #1, supra.
6) You Cannot Eat My Dinner.
7) You Cannot Eat His/Her Dinner Either.
8 ) That Big Dog Does Not Want to Play With You: That is a Great Dane. You are approximately the size of its head/neck. It is sneering at you. It could crush you with its massive paw. Back away from the
9) I am The Boss of You: You are not the boss of me. You do not decide where we walk. I decide where we walk. I decide when we go out; when you eat; what you eat. You wear a “gentle leader” collar because I am the benevolent dictator on this walk, and “gentle leader” is a nicer way of saying that. And no, I will not make your dinner more “appetizing” by putting another sprinkle of cheese/fruit/treats on it. This is why you’re fat.
10) I Love You: I wish you could understand, Dog, how much I love you. Your leash hangs below a painting of my beloved pup, Lillybean, who I lost five years ago last month. You are quickly moving into that Lilly-shaped hole in my heart that I thought no thing, no experience, no dog would ever fill.
(Painting of Lilly, © Barbara Gassner)
So if any of you speak Dog, please let us know.