My dog Trudeau is kind of an idiot. I say this with all possible love and affection, but seriously though.
Case in point. Trudeau is kind of dog-aggressive, meaning that sometimes he gets on just fine with other dogs and sometimes he is a colossal tool. This makes my life difficult primarily because it’s generally impossible to tell, when Trudeau reacts with excitement to another dog, whether he wants to play with it or beat it until it pees itself. Also, since Trudeau weighs in at 110 pounds, he can be a little hard to handle when he decides to get in touch with his inner bastard. As a result, he’s simply restricted from getting anywhere near other dogs, which clearly drives him crazy and doesn’t help the problem, but what the hell, dog? You’d be able to indulge in all the glories of the dog park if you weren’t such a son of a bitch.
We’ve been working long and hard on his ability to listen to me rather than flipping his lid, but still, he is a dog. It’s not like I can just explain things and expect him to be rational. I thought at least his issues were rooted in some form of genuine dog behavior voodoo until the other week when we were passing a vendor’s table at a street fair. The guy had a stuffed German Shepherd toy on his table to show off the collars he was selling.
Trudeau caught sight of this completely fake dog and went full Cujo. I have never, in all the time I’ve had him, heard him bark and snarl and generally just go ape-shit the way he did over that stuffed toy. I’m pretty sure we gave the booth vendor — who had his back to us at the time — a heart attack. His life probably flashed before his eyes.
Once I’d dragged Trudeau away from the offending plushie, I said, “What the hell, dog?! THAT IS NOT EVEN A REAL DOG YOU JUST WENT INSANE OVER.”
And he said, “What? That was totally justified. He said something about my mom.” Or at least, that’s what I imagine he said. It’s sort of what he said with his eyebrows. I don’t actually think my dog talks to me. Honest.
Still, sometimes I think his general psychopathy is the least of his problems. A few days ago I took him for a walk on the local parkway, which runs along a sort of small swampland and is generally just choked with weeds and gnats and kind of nasty river grasses. (It’s actually not always a pleasant place to walk and it’s kind of covered in graffiti for some reason but whatever, it’s close to home and well removed from Utah’s insane drivers.) Trudeau chose to divert himself by eating vegetation, which normally I don’t mind — I feed him greens myself and I think variety is important to a dog’s diet, plus eating grass seems to be an important part of settling his stomach when he’s feeling not-super. But normally he’s eating a few handfuls of grass here and there. This time he chose to eat weedy seed-heads. You know, the kind that sort of look like wheat, with essentially big spines on them? The kind that look profoundly inedible? Things sort of went like this:
Me: Oh my GOD, dog, STOP eating those things! You are going to puke them back up and it is not going to be pleasant because they are practically BARBED.
Trudeau: You’re not my real mom! *noms*
Me: This is not going to end well for either of us, you realize this.
Trudeau: These are SO GOOD! *noms* Let’s take some home! We can grow our own! I’ll poop the seeds out and we can start a GARDEN, lolz! *noms*
Me: I hate you, did you know that? I wish I could just let you walk home by yourself so nobody would know that we know each other.
Trudeau: I don’t know what you’re so upset about. *pukes*
He waited until we were at the farthest point from home, of course, and then he started throwing up seed-heads, one seed-head at a time. We’d take ten steps and then he’d start hacking like a twelve-pack-a-day smoker, and leave behind a little puddle of vileness with a single sprig of vegetation at its center. Walk ten steps, repeat. When we finally got back to the river again, I let him eat swampgrass for a good five minutes, which finally settled his stomach, but that really could’ve gone either way… it could’ve just caused him to puke even more violently for the next twenty minutes. These are the kinds of choices that our dogs drive us to.
Trudeau is known for his poor food choices, though. He once chose to sneak a drink from a pasture drainage ditch while I was busy re-tying my shoelace, and took a nice big drink of brackish, standing manure run-off water. (That didn’t end well.) The photo below was taken his first time at the ocean, and as you can see he is drinking huge mouthfuls of seawater, presumably because his previous mouthfuls of seawater made him thirsty.
He will also eat anything that is thrown at his face, and simply assume that it is edible. He’s a very trusting soul. Usually he won’t bother to smell or taste it, he’ll just shovel it down his gullet. I’m pretty sure if I threw a chainsaw at his face he’d swallow it. Actually, we could possibly turn that into a sideshow act and maybe he’d earn his keep for once. Lord knows he’s not going to acquire any other sort of gainful employment, unless you can count “being a total knob” as an occupation.
If you enjoyed this post, I would like to offer you some additional recommended reading. You might enjoy my previous post about the day I threatened to develop psychic powers just so I could destroy my dog remotely, but I also want to very seriously recommend both Texts From Dog (every moment of it is pure genius) and Hyperbole and a Half‘s blogs titled Dog (in which the author administers an IQ test to her dog) and Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving, in which the Simple Dog discovers she’s magical and can make food, and the Helper Dog has a nervous breakdown. Both of these authors are seriously genius and I hope you will enjoy the ever-loving hell out of them. While you’re doing that, I’ll be over here, giving my dog Trudeau this IQ test…