Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

My dog knows how to relax. If only I could learn from him; maybe I could stop reading all the self-help books and say "screw it, I'm just going lie in the doorway today". He has perfected a skill that so many life coaches are trying so hard to teach to so many clients: how to just say "no". Despite the prong collar, training sessions with South Jersey's famous "Devil Dog Trainer", and yes, I admit it, even bribery with a Philly cheese steak, if the dog doesn't want to walk, he isn't going to walk.

Perhaps his former family were Zen practitioners- he's clearly well-schooled in the concept of "just being".

My husband has never been a dog person, or actually an animal person of any kind. (Don't let him near your cat-if it weren't for his high school job at Burger King, who knows, he may have become one of those people who start out torturing animals and end up as fodder for the newest Law & Order spin-off.) It took me ten years to talk him into this dog. And I had to sign a pretty comprehensive (and somewhat raunchy) contract to boot.

Although Phil's the one who said the dog would never be allowed upstairs or on the furniture, he was the first to teach Augie how to jump on the couch. He swore he'd never clean up poop, yet when I was gone all day picking up from camp, he cleaned up poop more times than he's changed diapers (and we have 5 kids)! Tough guy also stipulated that he'd never pay a red cent for medical attention, but just this week signed us up for Pet's Best pet insurance( check them out-they really are the best!)
and generally loves the dog just as much as the rest of us.

When my fifteen year old and I first met Augie, he was in a kennel at the Dumb Friends League along with 2 female dogs. He had just been neutered, and while most guys curl up with a bag of frozen peas after that indignity, not our boy. Named Dilbert for some unknown reason by the folks at the shelter, he was lying on his back, legs spread while the gals licked those stitches. Hoo boy. Now, I knew my husband would admire this kind of audacity in a dog, and he was pathetically sympathetic when
Augie had his comeuppance the next day (as more boys should), when the stitches got infected and he had to wear this cone.

Sure, the pup has a little problem with possession aggression, so if you see him with a ball or bone, don't think he's going to share. (Just ask my ten year-old about his stitches...)

But besides that, he is quite a wonderful addition to our household-and it's hard to resist when he rolls over for yet another tummy rub.


  1. I laughed out loud when I read the part about the female dogs licking his wounds...that's hilarious!!! Thanks for the horse laugh...or the Augie laugh!!!

  2. He's a handsome fella. Men always seem to be the biggest softies when it comes to animals and have perfected the art of pretending they aren't.