As a new dog owner, I know that one of the things the “experts” warn against is humanizing your dog. I get it. Babka’s a dog. She barks, plays, “kills” a toy squirrel every chance she gets and loves treats. She also talks to me. Here are some of the highlights of the last three weeks:
We put her in her crate when we left the house. She said “I hate this thing.
You need to take me out. Pronto.” Naturally, we ignored her… until she broke out one afternoon and greeted me at the door while saying “I hate to say I told you so, but…”
Babka sometimes barks at men she doesn’t know. OK, sometimes it’s men she does know. One friend, having been barked at previously, brought her some pup-erroni one day. She liked him much better. “See, you are much less scary when you have treats. If only everyone got on that bandwagon.”
Babka likes most other dogs, but there are a few that she really likes. Henry, a terrier of roughly her same size, likes to play with her at the park on weekends. Henry runs after balls, chases things down and does tricks. When he does these things, Babka looks at me and says “Patience, lady. Patience, and treats. If you give me more goodies, I will learn to shake hands, too. Oh, and I am not a freakin’ retriever. Don’t expect me to fe
tch balls just because Henry does. I just like chasing him, and I don’t so much care about the balls.” She is very chatty when we go to the park.
I sometime take Babka with me to see clients (OK, only one client who is a dog lover). Babka snoozes in the office and we try to not let her bark at the door, thus giving herself away. After a couple of hours of work she says “Seriously? This is what you humans do? Sit at a computer all day? Bor-ring.”
We have started dog training classes at Petco in Fort Lauderdale. During the
first class, dogs were taught to sit on command. Babka, being a smart-ass, looked at the treat in the instructor’s hand and immediately sat, without waiting for the command. The teacher withheld the treat until she complied. She looked at me, rolled her eyes (I swear, she did) and said “Who is this idiot? I know that if I sit and behave, I get a treat. Why is she trying to trick me? Who made her in charge of the treats, anyway?”
I realize that my obsession with the dog may seem
a bit unhealthy, but we have only had her for three weeks and it is the first time I have been in charge of keeping anything alive (I had far less success with plants) and keeping my house poop-free. So far, so good.