I talk to my dog all the time. She’s less than interested.

She's way too cool to listen to her human mom.

If I measure my ability to weave a fascinating tale by my dog’s attention span, I’d be forced to conclude that I’m no more interesting than a fallen pine needle……or that crud that lives at the bottom of the toaster. Actually, the detritus at the bottom of the toaster could be somewhat interesting if you were REALLY bored and wanted to sort the types of breads that you toast. Obviously, you’d have to be incredibly bored to resort to that kind of madness. But the pine needle is not getting any attention. Anyway, I refuse to let her disinterest deter me from regaling her with stories and anecdotes. I spend a great deal of time teaching her things, too. As she leaves the room in the middle of my ramblings, I just continue the story or lesson when she returns to the room. Sometimes she seems to be paying extra attention, so I talk fast to get as much content in as possible. It’s good to take advantage of her moments of clarity. And then she’ll leave again before I’m done. If I have an extended story or lesson, she does begin to get a little annoyed as it continues on over multiple visits. She’s busy after all and does get bored easily. But I’m not here to be her friend. I’m here to be her parent.

You know, every dog doesn’t behave exactly like all other dogs. And that’s ok.

Look at this dog. Just trying to get his/her chill on. (I can’t see below the water to get that pronoun right, and I feel that the search is a bit distasteful anyway.) Walking ever so slowly around the pool. Standing really. Walking only when absolutely necessary. Like when some dolt throws a ball too close. I suspect someone JUST had a grooming session and doesn’t want to muss the pretty, pretty job the groomer did. I can dig it. You can see the thinly-veiled disgust as he/she looks around at these other whatever-they-are animals! that keep making that unholy NOISE NOISE NOISE. I can hear his/her thoughts now. Sure, they look like me, and, yet, I don’t feel like I have anything at all in common with them. Why do they insist on paddling about like that. They look so hyper. Not graceful like me. And that horrendous sound they are making. GOD, shut up already! They disgust me.

I think I just need to look at Lexi’s activities in a more positive light. So far, I’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful.

She may be interested in renovating. It might be that she has a calling and is just trying to pursue her dream. I definitely think her second calling is to pursue a career in gardening, but that is a story for a different time.

But the renovating or the desire to change her environment to meet her needs seems to be a drive of Lexi’s. She’s done this on many a tail-tucking excursion in the house. She rearranges furniture and carpets. It may be a feng shui situation, or it may be that she feels that she’s correcting some problems with flow throughout the house. I’m not sure. I go behind her and correct her corrections. This seems to anger her, so she clearly feels strongly about her aesthetic. But her latest change to the rope swing outside, the kids and I feel, is going a bit too far. For one, I don’t think we can call it a rope swing any longer.
Witness:

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I think you can see that nice little red seat in this picture here. It makes for a comfy little ride.

 

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Do you see something missing in this picture to the left? I believe you’ll notice that the cozy seat has been removed. This is a feature and not a bug. I know because I quizzed Lexi at length. She stands by her work. The kids and I feel that the seat was a necessary addition to the rope swing as we are not jungle denizens. We are currently freezing her out because she didn’t even consult us before removing the seat.

Canines aren’t cut out for navigating, ok? Eating, pooping, napping? You betcha. Maybe chasing a squirrel or two.

I think it’s time to put the canines back in their place. They really shouldn’t be assigned driving duties. Really. Does anyone seriously think they are performing well in these roles? True story: I was stuck behind a car the other day. Wait, there’s more. The car hadn’t moved for long enough that the sun had shifted in the sky, so I thought it appropriate that I drive around it. As I attempted to drive around the left side of the car, a little teacup dog poked its head out of the driver’s side window and gave me a most disapproving glare. It was clearly quite put out by my maneuver. Since I don’t speak dog, I was unable to inquire as to its plans for moving the car in the near future, so I just proceeded along my way. But, I was shaken. I was desperately trying to draw the schema in my head that allowed that tiny dog to reach its legs down to the pedals. And, thankfully, at the time, it didn’t even occur to me that the car might not be an automatic. I can’t even imagine what that schema would look like. I guess I would have had to pull over and lie down for a nap.

I’ve been seeing a lot of dogs in the driver’s seat recently. I realize they are sharing driving duties with their owners, but I’m very uneasy with this arrangement. These vehicles seem to be operated very erratically, and I try to avoid them as much as possible. Look, dogs really aren’t great pilots, or even copilots. Their capacity for paying attention is pretty limited. If driving amounted to eating every morsel of a giant steak, then sure. A dog would rock at driving. But if you are expecting your dog to offer assistance operating your motor vehicle, you’re going to need someone to walk in front of your car with a very big steak. And you’re still going to have to do all the work because your dog is going to be pretty busy with the production of a very large puddle of saliva while gazing without blinking at that steak. So, you see, this is an experiment that is guaranteed to fail. I have tried it. I have given Lexi little copilot duties. The simplest of tasks. Hey Lexi, how about you watch for cars at the foot of the driveway. She can’t focus her attention for the 50 seconds of time it takes to move from the top of the driveway to the bottom. I’m really looking for a co-pilot that can perform to a higher standard than that. Cats might be a different story. I don’t have a cat, so I can’t perform this experiment. I’ll have to start checking my fellow travelers to see if there are any feline pilots or co-pilots. But, bottom line is that we should probably just steer away from the animal kingdom altogether when staffing our household vehicles.