Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Dog: An Owner's Manual


Cresting the informational waves that crash into the shore of my homepage, I saw a link to an article that addressed things that might cause your dog to bite you. Not too many surprises on that list; it included things like possessiveness, maternal instinct and feeling threatened.

It got me thinking. Nothing about the list even remotely touched on the personality quirks of my dog. There are reason that she might be inclined to bite a person, but none of them are even in the orbit of normal. Coco the Wonder Dog is as picky as a dog could ever be. You can challenge my claim, if you dare, but it will only make me write more dog blogs. After sharing my humble abode with this nutty dog, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of crazy.

Coco might not ever bite, but she gets so ticked off that you'll wish she'd just bite and get it over with, once and for all. You might ask yourself: What did I do wrong?

Reasons My Dog Might be Ticked Off at YOU:

1. You don't have a defined purpose that includes a dog. Even worse, you don't realize that your purpose should always include a dog...specifically, Coco.

How dare you come into her home and act like you know one of the humans? The only rational reason to ever come to our house is to see Coco. Consequently, she doesn't bark or carry on when she sees strangers; she just runs to her toy box and grabs a ball...because no one would even think to come to visit with any other intent than playing ball.


But, let's say that you do come...and it has nothing to do with the dog... Oh, brother, you're going to get two big, brown evil eyes. Realizing you don't know your place, Coco will assume her seat on the throne (recliner), place her feet on the armrest, and watch you like a hawk. You may wish her potential ill will. Why else would you chose people over pooch?

Coco likes everyone, basically; she just doesn't trust everyone. Once she knows and trusts you, a guaranteed spot on the "poodle approved list" is waiting for you. Until then, you get the eyes of death.

The girl is almost ready to be "fetch-worthy."

2. You expected her to sleep on a chair without a blanket. Specifically, one of her blankets. What are you - a barbarian?

This one irritates me. She sleeps on the chair without a blanket during the day. Once she decides it's time to hit the sack, er...chair...you need to make her bed for the evening. RIGHT NOW.

3. You don't understand the schedule.

My husband will go to bed hours before I will; I'm a bit of a night owl naturally and now that Gonzo has hit that wildly popular teenage pursuit of somnolence, he sleeps in. Perfect time to gradually slide into night owl mode again (I don't have to get up early and I'm a flipster...I do what I want).

Coco is a canine clock; she will tell you when it's time for medicine within five minutes. Naturally, she knows when Hubzam should be going to bed and she doesn't care how funny Jimmy Fallon's monologue might be or that the movie hasn't ended. She will stare down Hubzam; I've known him to get up just to end the constant stink eye from Coco. Woe to those who can't read the Cococlock.

4. You didn't put grated Parmesan on her food. 

When you read that, it just reeks of being farcical. The thing is - it's true.

Just like every other stubborn habit Coco has, it is a Herculean task to get her to change food. And she has allergies that affect her skin...yada, yada, yada...they put her on $32-a-bag dog food. She would gladly starve herself rather than give in to the demands of the carpet walkers. In an effort to entice her to eat the new (and necessary) food, I tried adding a little Parmesan. She'd knock you over for cheese. Eventually, it worked. That was three years ago. She won't give it up.

Oh, you're so smart...I can read your mind. You're saying, "Don't give her food...she won't starve herself." Yes; she will. There's a reason we say if Coco was a comic book super hero, she'd be called Annoya and be blessed with the ability to annoy the stew out of you.  


5. You want her to come inside.

Oh, this one is easy. She's ticked that you want her to come inside, but she is going to find a comfy spot on the sidewalk and plant her rump. She'll keep her eye on you, though.

Coco comes inside on Coco-time. Think you might have broken that habit? Naw. She was just willing to come inside.

6. You want to give her a bath. 

Spoiler alert: Coco has allergies and special shampoo, so she has had baths every 2 or 3 days for the past six years. Odds are, on any given day, it's more likely than not that a bath is imminent.

"Yes...it's bath time...again..."            "Mercy, brother..."
By now, you realize that I could go on and on. 

But who am I kidding? I've already sat at the desk long enough to make Coco pout, and you know we can't have that. Mad dog in the living room! Step away!


26 comments:

  1. Such a fun post and great photos, Coco is delightful.

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  2. Such a fun post and great photos, Coco is delightful.

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    1. She will be arriving at your home for a vacation. Please make sure you have parmesan cheese...the good stuff, not the store brand.

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  3. She must be smart--she has her humans well-trained!!

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    1. Can I get an amen, brothers and sisters?

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  4. Hi, dear Cherdo! None of these Coco traits surprise me because they also describe my Cocker Spaniel Toto's behavior. For the last half of her life Toto suffered with skin rashes and needed to be bathed and shampooed twice a week. She didn't like baths and she didn't like the lingering stink of the medicated shampoo. The first thing she would do if we had allowed her would be to run around the yard rolling in the dung of other dogs. She also enjoyed rolling on dead lizards (murder victims of JJ, no doubt) and getting that sweet scent on her coat. Toto demanded your attention every waking moment and loved to growl at you as a playful form of expression, not because she was actually angry.

    I'll tell you this. If I visited your house I would instantly become Coco's NBF because I love to lavish love, affection and constant attention on dogs. I am not ashamed to admit that I prefer the company of dogs to that of humans and I'd spend so much time playing ball with Coco and petting her that she'd throw a fit when it was time for me to leave. I've expressed this before. Your dog's habits might annoy you now but there will be a terrible void left when she is gone and you'll wish you could start her life with you all over again.

    Happy Tuesday, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Actually, I love her to death, annoying habits and all. She is so personable and smart; ridiculously smart. When I think of her, I automatically put her in the same category as kids.

      My previous dog was Cleo; her distinction was that she had to be the sweetest dog on the planet and totally devoted to me. I was never more than a foot from her at all times. She followed me everywhere. When I had to go out of town, Hubzam said she would lay on the floor at look at the door, stop eating, etc. She passed at the ripe old terrier age of 18 1/2 years, and it was way too soon. I still miss her.

      Because Coco is such a character, I'm sure this is not the last post. We love her, annoyances and all.

      Have a good day, Shady! (Hey, I need a dinosaur post again...it's been a while).

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    2. It's true: I don't limit my lizard killing to my house. I travel the world in a murderous rage. Watch out for Shady. If he visits you and Coco isn't available for nubbin, he will lavish you with love and affection. He won't mind that you aren't a dog.

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  5. In my family, if the dog wants to starve, it'll starve. I disagree with this attitude.

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    1. Yeah, I'm her slave. If she is not eating, I'll be down on the floor trying to entice her... hence, the Parmesan... I'm a critter sucker.

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  6. Your post about Coco is so true of our very spoiled canines. My daughter keeps reminding me that my dogs are just that...dogs! But really? They are not.

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    1. I'm with you - I haven't had a dog in my whole adult life. I have, however, enlarged my family with furry kids.

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  7. My dog is insane in a much less refined way. He is the barbarian of which Coco speaks. And he's mad at me this morning and boycotting hanging out with me after I wrenched the chicken bones from the garbage from his mouth. He really thought he had a treasure and the evil witch he lives with pried his mouth open and took it. He will love me again when I start prepping lunch.

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    1. Dropping food is Coco's dream. Every now and then, I drop a non-food item on the floor and she is so disappointed...I'm glad she can't curse.

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  8. It sounds like Coco is at the head of the pack!

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  9. It sounds like Coco is at the head of the pack!

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    1. BINGO. I don't like to admit it, but it's true.

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  10. LOL/. LOVED this Cherdo! I had a Yorkie with very similar COCO powers! I guess the Napoleonic complex is sired in EVERY TOY DOG....

    ENJOY your time with COCO... you will truly miss her when she goes. I know I miss my little TERRior....

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    1. My sister and my parents had Yorkies, and I think you're absolutely right about the mindset of the toy dogs. My Airedale was a wimp!

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  11. Oh Coco is a cutie and who wouldn't want to play with just her. My Katie felt the same way and she would sit her 75lb body on top of you when you sat and just lean on you. I miss my Katie so much. They bring so much to ones' life. She is a keeper because she is such a personality

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    1. Coco loves everyone. She rarely barks. I think we had her four years before she barked the first time. Usually, she will only make a sound if someone is coming that she knows AND likes...and their visit was cleared with her first.

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  12. Coco looks so tiny and pitiful in the bathtub. Poor Coco. I understand the misery of skin problems, but no one will give me a bath. Franklin insists on a little sumpin on his dinner. It can be a piece of cheese or a little warm chicken broth poured on top. He's not quite as particular as Coco, but he will not eat unless something special is added to his food. Never give up the fight, Coco. You must remain in charge. The humans don't have the necessary intelligence.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. "Never give up the fight, Coco." Ha ha ha ha. You need to be on my side, I'm already outgunned.

      I wish I had a bar chart to show how much time I have spent catering to my love-pup. That is one spoiled dog. You couldn't be that spoiled without an enabler and superior dog intelligence.

      Everybody loves that dog. She has her own following; more fans than Hairy Joe.

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  13. >You didn't put grated Parmesan on her food

    Ha, your dog and my daughter would get along great! Ever since I put parmesean cheese on her spaghetti one time, she likes to ask me to put it on everything she eats. I don't, obviously, but that doesn't stop her from asking!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo