Memo to my Darling Doggie:
1) There’s no prize for beating me up or down the stairs. So you won — big deal. You also took a chance I’d step on you or cause us both to topple to the ground when you cut in front of me. In short: it wasn’t a race, okay?
2) I can use the bathroom by myself. Seriously. It’s unnecessary for you to follow me in there, to make sure I’m doing what I said I’d be doing. I’ve been doing things like this for years now, without your help, and while I appreciate your concern, it’s misplaced.
3) Lunchtime is for me, not you. As an “adult” dog, you’re supposed to get one meal per day. Because you’re so insistent, I’ve split that meal into two smaller servings, one at breakfast and the other at dinner. So when I eat at noon, I eat — not you. And stop that begging with your soulful eyes — you’re one tough customer to turn down!
4) The vacuum cleaner is not an assassin. Thank you for trying to protect me, but carpets need to be swept now and then. The “sweeper” isn’t attacking me just because it’s moving forth and back and making a roaring sound. And no, I won’t chase you all over the house with it!
5) There’s NO food in the backyard. I try to keep your “leavings” picked up, but I can’t prevent other animals (cats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.) from using the lawn as their bathroom. However, those leavings are not tasty morsels left outside for your dining pleasure. Besides, that’s just gross!
6) I don’t particularly like cutting your toenails and cleaning your ears. I do it because that’s one of the silent bargains I made when I took you into my home. Somebody would be responsible for doing for you what you couldn’t do for yourself. So be still and let me finish; this will go quicker and less painfully if you cooperate.
7) One bark is sufficient. When the doorbell rings, you really don’t have to bark a dozen times to let me know. I heard you the first time, and trust me, whoever’s there won’t simply go away! That goes for the annoying squirrel playing in our neighbor’s tree, too.
8) Suitcases don’t mean forever. I take you on trips when I can, but sometimes I can’t. Pulling out suitcases doesn’t mean I’m leaving forever, and it’s really not necessary for you to slink off into a corner and pout.