Why is it a dog’s life?

Why do people say “it’s a dog’s life”?   Do they think being a dog is all sleep, play and free square meals?  My dog’s days can be quite exhausting.

Today, because it’s trash day, a simple walk has been transformed into an olfactory journey.  Instead of trotting down the street to some of his favorite spots, it was slow going with laborious sniffing  out, determining what every neighbor has put out in the garbage, recycling and yard waste.  Another thing that is much more complicated for a dog is the exocrine cycle.  Unlike humans, he doesn’t have the luxury of relieving himself in a simple receptacle. Instead he has to carefully mark every leaf and grass blade that was previously marked by any mammal in the last week.  Often,  adding insult to injury, he suffers the indignity of one of his humans relieving themselves in his favorite porcelain water dish. 

He also can’t simply lie outside and rest.  He has to defend his territory from various people walking other canines.  He has to repeatedly assure said owners and canines, that he is the true owner of the street.   He also has to bark the garbage trucks away.  (He barks every time  they come and they do inevitably go away after he barks — just like the UPS man.)

Panting hard after hardly working.

Panting hard after hardly working.

Just a few minutes ago he was rudely awakened from a blissful slumber by one of the ultimate neighborhood evils — a Detroit Edison Energy meter reader.  The UPS and FedEx people go to the front porch, which is bad enough, but this guy went around TO THE BACK. The poor dog had to run around the house barking wildly, carefully digging  his recently trimmed toenails into my hardwood floors to make the narrow turns, then jumping up on sequential window sills, likewise digging his toenails into the wood, barking like Cujo, until the meter guy was forced to leave with heart pumping and legs all a tremble.

But on the other hand, maybe he feels like he’s accomplished a lot today.  I, on the other hand, am perpetually behind. 

(C) Laura Hedgecock 2009


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