Tuesday, March 9, 2010
the cult of personality
Tonight I have a golden lab named "Moose" that I am scheduled to take care of.
I have to give him his dinner, take him for a long walk to tire him out and to make sure he poops. I've been taking care of this particular dog since he was an eight week old puppy.
He was such a delicious little ball of fur. He looked just like the puppy on the "cottonelle" toilet paper commercial. His owner is a petite, well-dressed, meticulous young lady. I would've guessed her for having a cute little yorkie dog rather a huge active dog. The owner promptly took him to doggie school for training as well as doggie daycare to learn socialization skills. She would leave instructions for me in order to reinforce his training skills whenever I had a "date' with the dog.
I appreciated this. This makes for a very conscientious dog owner to make sure the dog doesn't get away with any naughty behavior.
Well, as you dog owners know: a dog is a dog. They will definitely 'test" you to see if they can pull any of their shenanigans. Just think of when you were in grade school and you had a substitute teacher.
Yup, out come the spit balls and straws.
"Moose" is no longer a little puppy. His name fits him aptly. He is a BIG dog. I soon discovered one of his little 'see-if-can-get-away-with-this-one" tricks. He would leap up at you and shove his tongue in your mouth to greet you.
Oh my God, gross!
I wouldn't even want Mel Gibson to do that me never mind a dog that licks his own balls and eats rabbit turds! Nasty!
Since I now know Moose will try this little trick on me I've learned to keep my arm up to prevent him for gunning for my face. I can not imagine his owner tolerating this sort of thing since she is so particular about when he eats, when he goes for a walk and leaves a detailed list of good behavior reinforcements.
Then I think, hmmmm, could guests or family members that like to "rough house" with the dog when they come to visit let him get away with this naughty behavior?. I am not saying or even suggesting that this is the case in this situation. Moose could be "just being a dog".
However, I've seen other situations where the lady of the house is the organized multitasker disciplinarian and the gentleman of the house is a more of a laid back "anything goes" kind of guy. Dogs end up getting mixed messages of what is acceptable behaviors.
But what I find really interesting is why people pick certain breeds of dogs over others.
When I first meet a potential customer I try to guess what kind of dog they have by the way they look and present themselves.
I am generally way off base in regards to linking certain dog types with owners.
I've had an interview with one potential customer who was a petite size lady with a disability who had these two gigantic monster-like dogs with absolutely no manners or discipline. When I first saw these dogs peeking out of sliding glass door I first thought had ponies living with her. Needless to say I ended up not taking on this client. I've would've guessed from talking to her she would've had a well behaved midsized mutt that could fetch her the paper and carry her shoes over to her. There was something that obviously attracted this lady to these monster dogs.
I used to go to these tropical fish hobbyist conventions. I could tell right off the bat by just looking at certain people and they way they carried themselves of what kid of fish they had.
The snotty professional types (usually from New York city) always had expensive cichlids.
The overweight (often sloppy) types had goldfish. The punkish goth types had oddball fish.
The normal middle American types generally had community tanks of various species.
After attending parrot conventions, I am finding certain bird species fall into character stereotyping as well.
AaaaaH! I wonder what that says about me having a house full of birds or having had two large iguanas!?!?