writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Home Stretch

Home Stretch

December 19, 2012
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes

The last year we lived in Switzerland, Mr. Wild Dingo did a "no-no" and invited the cracker onto the sofa. I'm not against dogs on sofas or beds, I just happen to like my furniture a lot and though I like napping with dogs, I don't particularly like spending an entire night sleeping with them. And lets face it, Loki is not a gray dog. He's black and white. He only understands what he can and cannot do. Not what he sometimes is allowed to do by invitation.  So the rule has been: no dogs on furniture.

But Mr. Wild Dingo, he made that faux-pas and allowed him on the sofa while living in Switzerland. It wasn't our favorite sofa. It's a beat up old leather sofa. So I overlooked it.  And shortly after those first few times, Loki followed up with begging eyes, pleading with a look so sorrowful that you just knew you'd be going straight to hell if you died at that moment and did not let him on the sofa.  You see, cracker guilt, is different from normal dog guilt. Because it's often served up with a heavy dose of  "you're to blame" and "you made me like this."

First, it's the sit-stare: "Hey can I get up here with you please? No? But WHY? I'm the poster dog for 'nervous breakdown' because of you. Why can't you make up your mind what I can and cannot do? I don't understand! I want on the sofa. I've been on the sofa. And now you won't let me. Am I a bad boy? What did I do that was so wrong? I'm so confused! WHY? Why can't I be on the sofa? I just want to be next to YOU! Is that so wrong?"

Then puppy eyes come out. They grow wider and wider with each attempt to ignore him. He wiggles his but closer and rests his chin on my knee and, "I love you. Why don't you love me? Why the change in heart? What will happen next? Will you stop feeding me dinner? Or giving me bones and treats? Will you kick me out? Where will I go? Who will love me? What have I done wrong? WHY are you doing this to ME? I'm so confused. I thought I was a good boy. I'll try harder to be good. I promise."

I'm sure you know what followed after that. Snuggles with the cracker on the sofa. I am the poster person for enabling anxiety through gray rules and wishy-washy boundaries.

Soon, Loki got in the habit of leaving his dog bed every night to go downstairs and sleep on the sofa. I overlooked that too.

Guess what  Loki did the first night back in our California home? But this isn't a beat up old leather sofa. And I don't really want him on it, no matter how adorable he is.  Rather than voice correct him and make him feel bad about something he thinks he's allowed to do, the second night I outfitted the sofa with big boxes partially filled with books and magazines. I gave him plenty of praise and his favorite scratches for being in his own bed.  Later that night, in the pitch dark, I heard him tap downstairs and a few seconds later an "Omfph," then a whimper and then a sigh.

Poor Loki! Foiled by cardboard boxes!

While we wait for his 47 plush dog beds to arrive by shipment, he and Juno are sharing some old comforters and pillows thrown over 2 dog mats.  And each night, before we go to bed, he watches me lay a few books and magazines on the sofa to politely discourage him from sneaking downstairs.

But I can read his mind: "You don't love me. You love those damn books better than me."

Don't worry buddy. It won't be long now. Our sea shipment arrives tomorrow.  And you'll have your choice of any 47 plush beds that you want.

"Only the 48th one matters--the sofa,"  he tells me as he skulks away.

It's times like this I wish I didn't speak dog.


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11 comments on “Home Stretch”

  1. Ahhhh. Those sea shipments! We had a running family joke whenever anything was lost that it was in the next sea shipment. 🙂 As for those puppy eyes, um, yeah. Abby will do that - big soulful eyes and waggy tail. Of course, she always gets everything she wants (well, she doesn't get my dinner off my plate, but that's pretty much where the line is drawn...). But it doesn't stop her from doing the puppy eyes "I want whatever I want" look. Now the cardboard box/book trick is just mean. Poor Loki. I don't blame the poor guy for thinking you love the books more than him! 😀 And yeah, who cares about all the plush beds when the sofa is now off limits. *sheesh*

    -Dr. Liz, who is having The Longest Day EVER

  2. No turning back now. He has tasted the good life and will wait patiently for the night you neglect to put books on his bed. Deal with it.

    Mango Momma

  3. hahahahaha We feel your pain! While we were moving, we were all stressed out and let Darwin on our bed a couple times. Then we got to Singapore and she got out of quarantine and while in our temporary place, they had a giant king bed and it wasnt so bad to let her up every so often. Now that we're in our apartment with our queen size bed, Darwin thinks she still should get to share our bed. We've gone so far as putting hangers on the bed when we go to work, and lately Ive come home from work and found the hangers pushed to the side and her curled up all nice and comfy.

  4. LOL! We have a "no dogs on the furniture" rule, too - except the bed. (They like their own space at night but like to nap up there during the day, so we sort of time share it.) When we moved to Korea, Booter, our Lab/Aussie mix took a look at how horrid the living room furniture was, and I swear I could see the wheels turn in his mind, "This stuff's so ugly, we must be allowed on it!" I couldn't argue the point with him - it was hideous. Somehow, when we moved back to the States and to our own furniture, he remembered the rule and didn't even try to jump up. He was such a good, good boy!! 🙂

  5. We've had the no dogs on furniture except the bed rule for years. But, one sweet yellow lab named S used to sneak onto sofa. The only way that we knew was by feeling whether "his spot" on the sofa was warm. It was warm quite frequently, and the sofa survived. That memory makes me smile. He was such a sweet dog.

    Our other dogs have always followed the rule, without question. I don't know why.

  6. Oh the couch. It used to just be Kat that liked the couch but in the last two weeks Steve has decided that he has been missing out for the past 6 years and he should be on the couch too. It makes for some crowded couch space!

  7. Our mama is just as whacked about letting Abby on the sofa: sometimes it's ok and sometimes there's a dining room chair blocking access to the sofa. Makes no sense at all to Abby. Jed thinks it's a function of how grubby the sofa cover already is; Abby just finds it confusing. But one of the doggie beds is right in front of the sofa so Abby can roll on her back and rest against the sofa, so that sorta counts as sofa time. Of course, the dining room chair is now a permanent fixture on the sofa; not quite the elegant decorating style mama originally had in mind.

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