Dog Standards

Last night we had corn on the cob for dinner. That always means adventures with the salt shaker, and most of the salt meant for Justin’s corn ended up on the floor. Later Penny came along and licked the salt off of his chair.

Barry doesn’t like it when Penny scrounges around the kitchen looking for the elusive table scrap that may not have been swept up. He seems to think it’s beneath her. He grew up with poodles, and says they never did that. They must be a higher class dog than I’ve ever been around because every dog I’ve ever known hasn’t had particularly high standards.

Candy, the schnauzer/cocker spaniel we got when I was 12, eventually stopped drinking out of her water dish because she favored the water out of the toilet. She did have standards, I guess. She would only drink when it was clean. I think my mom gave up trying to get her to stop, and at some point we all just learned to make sure we flushed and left the lid up for her.

My sister and brother-in-law’s little dachshund, Deuce, won’t eat food out of his dish. He has to tip it over and spill it out onto the floor before eating. Maybe not poodle caliber manners, but certainly more eccentric and silly.

Sassy, their older dachshund, is obsessed with food, is on a strict feeding regimen, and is never given people food, and given the slightest opportunity she will snatch something away faster than you can blink. She licks anything off of your fingers, or even feet. Once after spending an entire day traipsing the streets of New York City in flip flops, I came back to Sassy’s apartment and put my feet up on the ottoman. She proceeded to spend 20 minutes licking the salty sweat off of them. She steals Deuce’s food. When her baby brother, Ben, started eating in a high chair and feeding himself, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to her. She’s also fond of eating her own vomit. Standards? Hardly.

When my parents’ schnauzer, Scout, was in his prime, his favorite thing to do on a walk was pee on one object in every single yard. Once he got loose and Barry and I tried to get him to come back to the yard, which he eventually did, but not before peeing on a bike in the neighbor’s garage and along their entire fenceline. You could go on a five-mile walk with Scout, he’d pee ten times, but somehow would still have enough in reserve to mark his territory one more time before going in the house. No pride. Or maybe entirely too much pride.

I have friends whose dogs have eaten: socks, panty hose, a glove, poop, marbles, and various other inedible objects. Some requiring trips to the vet, some not. So I’m not sure what kind of a high-brow dog Barry thinks we have who will eschew normal dog behavior and not sniff around like mad for an extra treat, but it’s not Penny.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011


4 thoughts on “Dog Standards

  1. This is excellent. Our dogs are not high brow, either. Thank goodness, too. I rely on their quest for crumbs and leftovers on the floor to keep the vacuuming and sweeping to a minimum.

  2. Our dog never begged for table food and I don’t think he realized what we were doing UNTIL grandma babysat the kids and she gave him people food and when we invite her over for dinner, and catch her fingers under the table feeding the dog who is eagerly licking her fingers! Now he begs so he has to be put in another room during meals! Thxx grams! ***thumbs up***


    • I won’t ask which grandma. ;o) My dad is a notorious table feeder. If he’s eating a bowl of popcorn or pretzels or whatever, he can’t resist a little sad-eyed dog sitting at his feet.

      I liked your post about Ozo. He’s cute and sounds like a silly little guy!

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