13 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Dog (and that he could understand)

Originally published on Thought Catalog.

Sometimes I wish my dog could understand the things I talk to him about. Other times I think that’s a horrible idea.

I’ll be back in literally 30 seconds
I’m just taking the trash out. I’ve been doing it once per week since you were a puppy and you can watch me through the window the whole time. It’s not that deep.

Never, ever speak of this
Ever. You forget you saw that, I’ll forget you pooped on our favorite rug this morning.

Not all big dogs are scary
That’s prejudice. You shouldn’t be afraid of every dog that’s bigger than you just because a traumatic experience in the past. I wish I could explain to you how that was a one time occurrence and that it won’t happen again. Plus, Mommy and Daddy were there to protect you that time and we will be the next time too.

On the other hand, it’s good to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Also, it’s adorable when you put your tail down and approach with caution. I like that you’re a little timid.


I’m sorry I yelled at you
Come here little dude; have a seat. Look, you are the best little schmedium guard dog that we could ever want and I love that you take your job seriously. Here’s the thing, I’m just not that worried about leaves blowing in the wind, the flag flapping in the window, or the little kids across the street.

One more thing, I’m sorry that I get mad when you drop your toys by my feet and growl while I am working because you want to play. It’s awesome that you like to play so much and it would be even more awesome if I didn’t have to work and could just play all day.

We’re both REALLY lucky that I get to work from home sometimes and spend time with you but you have to chill and let me do my thing. Because if I get fired, it’s back to Cheerios and generic Peanut Butter, Kiddo.

Jumping is okay
Most people don’t like when you jump on them. The problem is that you weigh 24.3 lbs, so I don’t think it’s a big deal. That’s my fault. Also, I like when you jump on me when I come home (basically the best feeling ever). And it’s tough to train you not to jump when people come over, when people only come over every couple weeks, or so. Haters gonna hate.

You are going to be a big brother
Some people abandon their dogs when they have kids or buy a house. It’s disgusting and that will never happen. Ever. But we are going to need you to be a big boy and listen. You have to be gentle with the baby and patient with us. It’s going to be tough at first. We may not go on as many walks or play fetch or tug as much but, we will make up for that with treats and snuggles.

The street is dangerous

When I was a little kid, my dog Madison ran away and got hit by a car. We found her on the side of the road in a pile of blood. She survived. But there were streaks of blood from her dragging herself to the side of the road after she got hit. She split her nose in half, broke her hips, and couldn’t walk for months.
It was terrible and scarred me for life.

And the person that hit her fled the scene, leaving her there alone and scared. It’s literally my biggest fear. You can explain to a kid how dangerous the street is but not a dog. I wish I could because I couldn’t imagine life without you.

It’s cold out, just poop already
It’s really badass that you align yourself with the Earth’s magnetic field every time you ‘go’. It’s even more impressive that you choose to do it on a North-South axis. I understand because I feel claustrophobic if I don’t have my phone with me in ‘my office’. But you don’t have to stand outside in the rain, snow, and extreme cold to watch me do it. Just. Go. Please.

Don’t lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher
I tell you this literally every night. No joke. Every. Freaking. Night. Just don’t do it anymore.

It’s kind of hilarious when you are bad
Most of the time, when you act out, it’s because we aren’t paying enough attention to you. And most of the time, when you stomp away and steal a shoe, go into the garbage, or ring the bells just to get our attention, it’s hysterical.

But you are still so freaking good

Okay, I tell you that all the time. But it’s true. I just want to be absolutely sure that you understand just how good and sweet and adorable you are. That you comprehend how lucky I am to have you. And that there’s nothing better than when you fall asleep with your little head on my chest.

I’m sorry I get frustrated when you sniff everything on walks
Humans and dogs are wired differently. When we go for a walk, I’m programmed to want to make the walk quick and efficient. We will walk for 15-30 minutes at a brisk pace to ensure that we can do your business and get some exercise. That’s not what it’s about for you.

Alexandra Horowitz – author of ‘Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know – takes her dogs for ‘sniff walks’.

Per Alexandra, “The perfect walk (for both of you) would be one in which the dog chooses the route and the pace… to walk or run… who to greet… what to spend seconds or minutes sniffing.”

Often times, I find that I imagine that I am doing something for my dog but, if I really stop and think about it, I’m really doing it for myself. It makes me feel better about myself that I took time out of my day to take Marshall for a walk. That’s bass-ackwards. If a walk is for your best-friend, make sure it is really all about your best-friend.

Dogs show the most unconditional love. Return the favor.


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