anthropomorphization

Note: I don’t have or like cats, so I’m not going to address the specific form of insanity that their owners display. Cat owners’ flavors of nuttiness overlaps that of dog owners but there are some differences.

Whenever someone asks me what a dog is thinking, I usually suggest “arf”.

A lot of people, especially those who have dogs, tend to give dogs a lot more credit/blame than the dogs deserve.

I’ve heard dog owners argue and try to reason with their dogs. “Why did you do that?” “You don’t want to get sick, do you?”

I’ve been guilty of some of this myself. Cooper was on the couch and Pam was working on getting him off the couch. When commands didn’t work Pam tried pulling him off by his collar. Cooper’s forelegs were straight out, resisting Pam’s efforts. His face seemed to reflect confusion. It was easy to imagine Cooper thinking “You’re serious about this, aren’t you?”

Cooper often takes his time when I call him to come back. I’ve heard myself say “Don’t worry. Take your time.” even though Cooper barely know 6 or 7 English words, much less sarcasm.

I know of one person who had trouble with her dog tearing apart stuffed toys. “Not to worry,” she said, “I explained to him that we don’t do that in this house.” There is no word on the dog’s progress – neither from the woman nor the dog.

Pam and I were talking one night and heard Cooper barking from the room where his water dish is kept. Given the timing, we knew that he wanted fresher water than what he had. I had just freshened his water and was about to tell him so. I remembered what I’d written and stopped myself. Cooper continued barking for fresh water. To shut him up, I shouted “Arf!”

It worked.

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