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A Dog Is No Fool!



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Doggone Etiquette —

A Dog Is No Fool!

By Bardi McLennan

A Word to the Dog:           

People may play jokes on you today (or any day, for that matter), but keep your doggy wits about you. You can be fooled; for instance when you hear someone say “good dinner” but they’re talking about Cousin Mary’s party, not your dinner. It’s easy to get tripped up on something like that, but you’ll figure it out because you are no fool. You just need a couple of seconds to separate your take on what people say from what they actually mean. Stick to your interpretation of stuff like that and, as we people know all too well, you dogs will come out the winners!

A Word to the Dog’s Owner:

No dog is a fool. They are smart, clever, cunning, and adorable as needed to get along in their often confusing world. How else would millions of dogs live in warm friendly homes where they are fed, groomed, kept healthy – and need I add, treated like special members of the family? We were able to domesticate dogs in large part because they stood still for it and were smart enough to see from the get-go what was in it for them!              

The majority of dogs today have most of us dog owners right under their paws. Suckers that we are! Look at how we gladly spend millions of dollars every year on things like dog beds, toys, treats, coats, dog walkers, and dog sitters? That doesn’t even include the essentials such as food and vet care. Pretty darn smart, these canine creatures!                             

As frustrating as it sometimes is, we cannot help but admire a dog’s capability to play us for the idiots we sometimes can be! We’ve all been through that nonsense when our well-disciplined, perfectly behaved dog becomes totally, and oh-so-innocently, negative. You know what I mean. It’s that “I don’t hear you, I don’t see you, I don’t know what you’re annoyed about” routine that puts the dog in control and makes us look like the stupid mere mortals that we are. No doubt it gives the dog a good belly laugh when we’re the ones not paying attention!                        

There are lots of times, of course, when our wonderful woofers are just plain foolish, and to be honest, those are often the moments when the dogs are most endearing. Chasing a leaf pretending it’s a mouse, or unrolling the toilet paper possibly to see how fast they can do it, or trying with big shaggy paws to get a tiny toy out from under the sofa – you name it! We watch, saying to ourselves, “Oh look, isn’t that cute!” And then what do we do? We finish raking up the leaves, throw out the toilet paper, and crawl under the sofa to retrieve the toy! Now who’s foolish?              

Some dogs can be taught almost anything you want them to do, whether it’s putting their toys away in the toy box, or helping you carry your gardening tools. Others seem to turn up their noses at learning to do anything beyond what amounts to come, sit and heel, for which they expect suitable rewards. In that respect, they are perhaps more like human beings than we’d like them to be. There are do-ers and then there are those who’d rather have everything done for them. Both types (in dogs and people) are quite content with their choice.

Fooled occasionally and foolish maybe, but our dogs are no fools!      

Until next time – BE GOOD!

- Bardi

Bardi McLennan bred, trained and showed Welsh Terriers for 30 years, during which time she wrote a monthly column on canine behavior in Dog Fancy Magazine. In addition to contributing to numerous dog publications, she has written 15 books on dogs, the latest being Rescue Me!, which received the ASPCA Humane Issues Award in 2008.

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