Dog day afternoon (and morning and evening)

My wife and I are dog people. We had a cat for a long time, and she was the most evil creature the world has ever put forth. We kept her for the entire 18 years of her life, despite many people over the years suggesting we get rid of her. We could not do that, as she was our cat, and even though she may have made us question our sanity at times, we had a responsibility. And part of that responsibility, apparently, was to randomly get attacked by a mewling ball of rage as we sat on the couch watching TV.

Our cat left us a few years back, and we decided then we would be a dog-only family from that point forward. The one caveat I have issued is that, should we ever have a barn, I would like to get a barn cat. Since we do not have plans ever to have a barn, I think we will be OK.

We currently have two dogs, a spry and loveable boxer named Maddux, and an old and grouchy Dachshund named Murphy. If you are a cat person, I have no issue with your personal inter-species preference. We are just, well, dog people. That said, as dog people, there are a few areas in which I ask the dog species on the whole to up their game a little bit, just to make sure there is no room for us to consider seeking another species:

  • I often sit on my back deck working. And over the course of any given hour, I estimate that I open our sliding glass door roughly 23,000 times per hour to let dogs in and out and in and out and in and out. Please. Inside or out. Pick one.
  • I’ve seen what you eat out in the yard. It’s nasty. So when a piece of cucumber falls on the kitchen floor, please stop pretending you’re better than that. Vacuum that up like you did the squirrel carcass the other day.
  • Yes, we are lenient on our furniture rules and let you hop up on couches and beds and such. That said, be happy with that. There is no need for a dozen rapid spinning turns, digging at pillows, flinging couch cushions onto the floor so that you can wedge yourself into some never-before-created couch crater.
  • We have established that you do not like fleas, and thus we spend good money to make sure you have the best preventative medicine out there. Once a month, you have to take one small pill to make sure you don’t get infested with the pests. Please don’t make us set out a family budget line item on cheese or turkey slices to get you to take it. Just eat it.
  • If I am inside and you are outside and would like to come in, one bark will do. I heard you. Can I please finish pouring my cup of coffee before you let off a series of barks and yelps as if a pack of wolves was closing in on you?
  • When we go on walks, I get that there are a lot of really amazing smells out there. And lots of territory to be marked. Could you maybe skip every, say, tenth one? A 30-minute walk should go more than 50 feet.
  • Those treats you love so much? Please remember that if I have no fingers, it will be difficult to give them to you. Gentle.

Dogs, you’ve got my vote. I’m solidly in your camp. So if you could just take a few of these small steps to ensure we stay a dog family, that would be great. And, of course, thanks for not randomly attacking us while we sit on the couch watching TV.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.

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