My dog


Switch the first and last letters of “dog” and you have his perception of himself. He was the “family’s” dog only in the context of municipal regulations on dog ownership. As far as he was concerned we were “his” humans. Who existed to serve him in exchange for his protective presence and wisdom.

Of course we tried to “train” him from puppy-hood. He thought the whole thing was quite silly. Why did you throw your stupid stick if you wanted it back right ? he would ask with an annoyed look. If you wanted him to trot over to you without a prior appointment you bloody well have a good reason. Like a treat. It was preferred that you did the leg work as a sign of respect for his superiority.

Respect was a big deal for him. You couldn’t treat him like a dog. His meals had to be reverently place before him. The one time some one slid his plate to him he flipped it over with his snout and trotted off in a huff. Head and tail held high. Food strewn all over the kitchen floor. We learnt our lesson.

The plate flipping incident was a major statement because the animal loved his food. In those days there were no fancy dog food – he feasted on rice and curry like everyone else. A heaped plate of the stuff was not enough. Half way through a meal you would get a slight dab of a cold wet nose on you elbow and there we was. With his patented “I’m a poor starving puppy please feed me” expression. It worked most of the time. If that didn’t move you, there would be a flash of “drop some food or I’ll shred you with these” fangs emphasised by an impatient threatening growl. The switch between the two expressions was disturbing enough make the victim surrender.

His favourite food was any kind of desert. Topping that was The Bone. Which he usually buried somewhere in the garden. When he felt like a good gnaw, he brought it into the house in a trail of soil and settled down blocking the door to the kitchen. Anybody disrespectful enough to step over him will get their foot badly bitten. If you wanted to go to the kitchen, go around the house to the back door. When he blocked the door on rainy days we used umbrellas. You have to be practical about these things – specially in the 3rd world.

The animal had a regular routine that he stuck to like an Englishman. The morning back scratch on a door mat. A spot of dignity abandoned sun bathing – lying belly up, paws raised limp in the air, eyes closed and tongue hanging out. Quite a contrast from the meditative post lunch snooze from “his” chair in the veranda.

Like the president, our four legged family member held the defence/home security portfolio. The closest a 2-am attempt on the coconut tree got was the top of wall. By which time our side of the neighbourhood was awake. All visitors to the house were sniffed and kept under surveillance.

The territorial integrity of our house was ruthlessly defended against intrusions of other dogs. Usually through unilateral action of a barking snarling Banzai charge at the invader in the best Berserker tradition. The fact that the intruder was twice his size didn’t matter. Once he got badly wounded and had to have his head in hilarious looking bandage. He wore it proudly like a medal.

I must of course balance out the seemingly fierce portrait.

He cleared loved everyone in the house hold. He refused to have lunch until I came home from school. Or dinner till my parents ate (cynics might say that was to get titbits off the table). We ate together for years – me at the table and him at his beloved bright orange plate. Don’t ever recall him begging food from me.

When I lay plastered up from numerous bicycle falls he would sit by the bed looking quite concerned, forehead creased. He had a knack for spotting people needing a bit of cheering up. Which he did effortlessly by casually trotting over and sitting next to you. A little eye contact and a friendly wag of tail. Sometimes a sympathetic paw would be “accidentally” placed on your foot.
Or a concerned head on the lap. Somehow it puts your concerns into a different positive perspective. Exactly how is a mystery.

14 comments

  1. Wow, good tale or a tail! My parents have one that drinks tea (in the afternoon only) and he is right now at my feet, expecting me to take him for a walk. (I have to because those eyes make you feel guilty.)

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  2. O crap this post was supposed to be in draft mode for more editing!😐 but what the hell now that its out and about🙂 its incomplete but vtdn?

    kalusudda Sounds like you animal is quite a character and a master of the manipulative arts. The hound that this post is dedicated to passed away about well over 5 years ago. We have a small alms giving in his memory – though the monks at the local temple have know idea who the “relative” really is😉

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  3. Ah Cerno..
    our man with the blog.. congrats’ for the 300+ blogs and wish many many more.. and happy to see you over came the ‘Bloggers’ Block’… and then wow.. like most of us..here you are… with the reguler ‘My Dog’ post…
    hmmm…i see you taking us to uncharted waters…
    by the way this ‘Dog’ seems to be a right royal ace Dog…hehe..
    whats next..? ‘my Dawg’?

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  4. Cerno…so you made it over the block..GREAT!

    love your post, I miss our friend who is in SL at home. He is a charactor on his own. We got him from the Dog Home down Kadawatha road in Dehiwela, but he does not care about from where we got him, he rules and we follow. Yes, I agree, they always think that they are our keepers and we are compled to dance to their mood. But they are so loyal and always loving that we just fall for their tricks, always.

    The only person our guy loves leaving out the home gang is the Pizza delivey guy, He loves him and even keeps the menu that is dropped over the wall in his home (yes, my guy has a brick and cement home and protects it like the deed is in his name), we think he must have been italian in his previous life!!

    If Pizza is on the menu my Guy will even do the Tango!!

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  5. I’ve got four of them – all with their own unique characteristics. Sometimes I feel I prefer their company to humans’. Too bad they don’t have longer life-spans, isn’t it?!

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  6. tinker: Think I’ve run out of animal post already🙂

    Yoyo: Very true🙂 But Pizza???😐 I guess you might be right about the Italian connection.

    javajones I agree – even if they live to the limit of their doggie years😦 (the hound in the post made 15)

    RD😀 So does Mrs C🙂

    Scrumpulicious:😀🙂 Thank you

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  7. Great post. It’s insane how much character a dog develops over the years. Actually, Scratch that. My one was a clown from the minute we brought him home at 5 weeks. He spent the whole afternoon bawling miserably for his brothers and sisters, forgot about them by evening and played non-stop with us till nighttime. The previous owners rang to find out how he was and we told them this and they said “but he’s too YOUNG to be playing!!”.

    4 years down the line, he still thinks he was born yesterday and plays with as much, if not more, enthusiasm as he did then. It’s sad because we don’t really have much time to spend hours playing footie with him anymore. But whenever we do, the gratitude he shows us is… breathtaking.

    And no matter how many times we leave the house in a day or for how long we’re gone for (be it 5 minutes or 5 weeks), when we come back home he greets us with equal joy. It gets annoying having a massive german shepherd leaping at your face 3, 4 times a day, but you can’t help but feel touched at that pure joy of having us with him and around him again.

    Man. I love my dog. To me, his face still hasn’t lost it’s puppy look. Where everyone sees a huge, powerful alsation, I see a big kid🙂

    Haha, as you can see, I use every opportunity to wax lyrical about my dog. Thanks for handing me one on a silver platter. Quality post🙂

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  8. Soixante Neuf:😀 Very happy you liked the post🙂 Sounds like he’s one very happy hound particularly if he’s young at heart after 4 years🙂 My grandfather had an Alsation (way before my time) and he’s still talked about fondly.

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  9. […] Cerno blogged about his dog. I don’t have a dog, to blog about. I have 2 cats. And one just gave birth to kittens. It’s a bad case of incest. The father is actually the mother’s brother.But you wouldn’t want to hear about that, so I’ll just bung out whatever the voices in my head dictate and hope it makes sense. […]

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