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So after Monty went home, Mum and Dad took me on a special adventure. I tried to be patient waiting for them to put all the camping stu...

Friday, August 10, 2007

All Work & No Play... is not the way we do things around here


I don’t know if everybody knows just how important I am. There’s the fact that I’m beautiful and glamorous, as you know if you’ve met me or read this blog. And smart.

What you may not realize is how big a job I do. It takes somebody with a good head on her shoulders to do it right. It’s up to me to see that the humans in my life get the training they need and are always properly protected and supervised. Without my support who knows what might become of them?

If you’re a dog you know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of you probably work even harder than I do. You definitely do if you’ve got duff people to care for. I’ve noticed a few like that in our neighborhood, and boy, are the dogs that keep them overworked. Most days my people seem worth the effort.

Humans, of course, can be very unpredictable! I’ve seen them do things no animal would ever do, only to be rescued from harm, embarrassment or food at the last possible moment by their dogs. Just when you think everything is under control and it’s safe to nod off for a bit, well, let’s just say humans have to be watched every minute.

Like the time my Dad left a roasted chicken in the car. That wasn’t smart, and he should have known better. It might have gotten away but for my quick thinking. While he was in the store getting more food I alertly climbed into the grocery bag and ate as much of the chicken as I could before it had a chance to make a break for it. That was a close call.

Incidents like that demonstrate that a Security Chief can’t relax even for a moment. I have to guard myself, my people, our territory, the cars, all our stuff, and most importantly, our food. When we have guests I have to guard them too. That takes a lot of patrolling, sniffing, strategic barking and all-around paying attention. I can’t do it all from my couch, I mean observation post, on the porch. Sometimes I have to patrol.

Proper security requires consistency. It’s just like raising one of those babies you see humans with. You can’t bark the rabbit out of the driveway one day and just let it pass or expect it not to come back the next. You’ve got to bark those rabbits away every time you see them. That’s the only way they learn. Same with birds. They just don’t get the message. I think it’s all that flying. It makes them lightheaded. They don’t realize what they’re saying half the time, and when they do it’s always insulting. They need a firm paw.

Now some intruders require the use of a special vocabulary. I’ve heard my people call it “trash talking.” But it’s got nothing to do with trash. You just have to tell a coyote or javelina exactly what you’re going to do when you get hold of it. And what you think of it. This kind of helpful lecture from behind my fence can sound quite animated. Sometimes my people need me to come inside right away and comfort them when I’m being stern with a coyote. I know it’s only because they’re scared.

Besides keeping everyone safe, I’ve got other stuff to do outside. I’m Director Of Backyard Operations, and sometimes that means Dad is using big pointy, choppy, sawing tools to make firewood while I’m digging important holes in the ground. He’s my responsibility while he’s cutting, swinging, pounding or whatever. I have to get very close to see what he’s doing. Sometimes he needs reminding that it’s time to chase me or give me a treat. This keeps him alert.

All the people I know require special attention from time to time. I can tell immediately when they need to be distracted from silly human worrying and that’s when I lean against them or sit on their foot or crawl into their lap. I make sure they rub me to relieve the tension. It’s best to put them to work right away petting me so they get reminded about what’s important.

Dogs, you know what I’m talking about here. It wouldn’t be right to leave them fretting or moping when they could be playing, laughing or telling me what a good girl I am.

By far the most serious job I do is cleanup. Imagine how messy our house would be if I wasn’t here to straighten up after the humans! Who would lick up the spills, gobble the dropped crumbs and generally show people how important it is to eat food rather than leave it lying around? The amount of yummies they just let go is amazing. They don’t even think to lick the floor or gobble the juniper berries. They leave perfectly good lotion on their arms and faces when it’s so easy to just swab it up with your tongue.

I tell you, it's a full-time job being a dog. No wonder I have to catch a nap any time I can.

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