Monday, April 14, 2008

Going Dumpster Diving

To the untrained eye, my dog Chuy is a dumb dog. He doesn’t understand the concept of fetch – at first he will go after the ball, put in his mouth, and proceed have a fight with it. When you take the ball away from him to throw it again, he has this expression on his face that says now why did you do that? I just got that ball – THANKS for making me get it AGAIN. After five minutes he gets tired of the game and is exasperated: why do you keep making him go after the ball only to take it back and make him chase it again? To him it just doesn’t make sense.

Chuy does not have any concept of the term “heel.” He begs and whines for his daily walk, and as soon as you hit the pavement he has no idea who you are and why you have a leash attached to his collar. It’s like he’s possessed: he lurches forward and drags you along as if it’s his last walk ever. He acts like you work for the city pound and practically runs to avoid you. Thankfully he’s gotten better on his walks and he no longer drags me halfway down the street. However, his walks have a developed a new dimension and he now stops for long periods so that he can lick other dogs’ pee from the grass, or the mailbox, or the tree. Great, my dog has a taste for golden showers. That’s real classy.

Despite my initial assessment of his stupidity, this dog is actually quite smart. So smart, in fact, that he plays mind games by showing you how dumb he is only to perform tricky and clever acts, acts you’d never suspect were master-minded by the dumb dog. He probably rubs his paws together and laughs at how clever he is when we’re not around.

I first discovered this “I’m such a dumb dog” act last year. Rene and I used to avoid using the word “walk” around my dog Princess (who passed away almost a year ago) because she would get so excited when she heard it. She knew exactly what it meant – that we were going to put on her leash and take her around the block. Playing the dumb dog, Chuy never let on that he knew what the word meant, until one night he showcased his skills as the clever dog, which I wrote about here. Not only did he know what “walk” meant but he also knew how to let us know he wanted to go for a walk. Before she died Princess was his boss, and she was the one who let us know when she needed to go outside (and Chuy came by proxy). She wasn’t nearly as bossy as this red ball of fur that whines and begs for his walk every day. As if bucking like a bronco every time we approached the area where his leash is kept isn’t enough of a hint.

Today my mom and brother came home for lunch and found the contents of the trash can all over the kitchen floor. The trash was sorted in a meaningful way; in the middle of the floor sat my almost-empty boba container with the end crushed, as if someone was trying to squeeze all the leftover boba out. So where was Chuy when this discovery was made? He was lying in the hallway, acting innocent. He was all like dang someone threw all your trash on the kitchen floor. My mom tried to scold him, but he stayed put and wouldn’t look her in the eye. He was so busted.

He’s had priors – this is the second time Chuy’s knocked over the garbage can and eaten the contents. My mom just couldn’t bring herself to punish him because he was being so funny. At first he gave her the puppy dog eyes and wagged his tail at her, and when that didn’t work he looked away and avoided eye contact like he was pleading the fifth. He managed to push his way through my room’s closed door and he stayed there until she left the house.

Chuy is such a punk; for the rest of the week he will have the most horrible diarrhea. He eats garbage like fine cuisine and his stomach pays for it. He just got a bath yesterday, and now I will be spending the rest of the week wiping his butt and making sure he doesn’t have any sort of poop stains on his fur. Thanks a lot Chuy.

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