Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dog Fight

I think my dog is mad at me.  Seriously.  And I think I know why.  But if I tell you guys, then I run the risk of everyone thinking I'm even crazier than they already do.

Here we go.

Hogie has always been a very strange dog to figure out.  We adopted him when he was already full grown and we know nothing about his history except that he was found running down the middle of a busy street in Burbank grinning like a mad man.  By the time he got to the pound, he was dirty and had fleas but he otherwise seemed okay health-wise.  I mean, he was clearly not sick or anything and although no one had bothered to get him fixed (that icky task was left to us:  hey, we're you're new family, gotta get your balls chopped off, bud, sorry!), he still seemed like he came from a house where someone paid attention to him.  He came knowing how to play ball and he was very sweet.  Since no one ever showed up to claim him from the animal shelter, I say screw his previous owners but at least it doesn't seem like they hurt him.

We've pieced together some stuff about our crazy dog.  He hates it whenever anyone coughs.  He doesn't like guys with canes.  He's not super hip to being left alone.  (So, clearly a coughing man with a cane left him alone a lot, right?) Hogan is super smart and he obeys like a champ unless food is involved.  In his time with us he's used drawers as steps to get into cabinets, he's tipped over countless trashcans and ruined many a house guest's luggage trying to get at whatever snack they bought at the airport.  He's completely batshit crazy when it comes to food.  One time he knocked out a screen and ended up on the roof of our house barking at the neighbors.  Maybe there was something delicious taunting him out there.  A dancing taco?  A singing donut?  Or, more likely (if less magical), the creepy ice cream truck went by.

But, over all he's a good sweet little dude.  And even though I'm head over for the fat mutt, even though I write about him constantly and post way too many photos of him online, one thing no one knows about him is that he's pretty aloof.  I mean, he likes us.  Sometimes he's affectionate.  But he's never had that whole "I love you I love you I love you I love you" thing that most dogs have.  He always seems like he's appraising me.  I've been his person for over 5 years now and I still feel like he'll never be effusive with his love.  It's just not gonna happen.  Whatever he went through earlier in his life took that part of him away.  I'm okay with that, I am.  I love him like he is.

So, anyway, back to why he's mad at me.  Taking everything into consideration that I just told you, you've probably figured out that he's an independent dog.  He's smart enough to know the rules and to break them when we're not around.  Hogan McSmalls is only allowed on one piece of furniture in the whole house.  And yet, every time I get home, I can tell that he's had what I call a 'bed party' on our bed.  (Pillows everywhere, nest in the duvet cover, a lovely dusting of dog hair over the whole scene.  Aha!  A dog has been here!  Detective Genius is on the case!)  He also always turns over the trash can in my office.  I leave it there for him to knock over because I figure it'll make him feel rebellious and cool.

The other night, I gave up trying to sleep and wandered into the living room at about 3 a.m.  I settled into one side of the couch with my book.  I turned on the lamp.  There, across from me on the opposite side of the couch was Hogan McSmalls, curled up like he does it every night.  (He probably does it every night.)  "Busted!" I said to him, expecting him to jump down from the couch looking ashamed.  Instead, Hogie opened one eye and glared at me.  Then he opened the other eye and glared harder.  After a few minutes of a staring contest, he slowly jumped down, yawned, stretched and trotted off, stopping at the doorway to shoot me another dirty look.

Things haven't been the same since.  My crazy aloof little fuzzy burrito is mad at me.  I've been bribing him with toys and treats and scratches but it's not the same.  It's bugging me.  I know, I know.  I'm full-tilt crazy and I'm imagining that the dog is angry.

But, you guys, the dog IS angry.  We're soooo in a fight.  And he's gonna win this battle.  Because next time I catch him on the furniture, I might just leave him there.