I tried saving my dog’s life and now he’s angry at me.

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I’m normally ok with rejection. This wasn’t always true but every since the years 1987 to 1992 at Mildura Secondary College I learned to deal with rejection when asking girls out. I soon learned not to take it personally, and just accept that everybody has a personal choice and reasons for their decisions.

It’s a shame our dog doesn’t understand the pain of rejection. The whole incident started with a biscuit and luckily for us all it didn’t end with my asking him out. I was watching a movie in the lounge room when suddenly the room filed with the smell of someone cooking biscuits. I was the only one in the room apart from our Golden Retriever who was asleep near my feet. After a quickly deducting that I have absolutely no cooking ability whatsoever and I doubt Storm has done any culinary training maybe my wife or one of the kids was cooking in the kitchen.

I hate when a cliche becomes true, but the moment I looked up my eyes locked into Storm’s and we had what is called in pop-culture a “guy moment”. We had looked into each others eyes and instantly knew that we had to to do. At the same time we both stood up and headed for the kitchen. As I am taller and have better negotiating skills with my family I was the successful party who walked away with two biscuits and abuse from my wife for eating some delicious but sugary biscuit dough. Storm walked away with nothing but disappointment and the knowledge that yet again his cunning plan to get extra food outside meal times has failed.

Only this time things were different. Storm had a plan, and there was no way it would fail. He now considers himself a successful hunter as yesterday he successfully hunted, killed and consumed an innocent yellow butterfly who was flying though our backyard. Therefore getting a taste of this biscuit would be easy.

From the moment I sat back down in the lounge room Storm was the perfect dog. He sat next to me and did the trademarked Golden Retriever head rest on my leg. He tried doing a few tricks we had taught him, and his excellent theory was if he did them before I asked then he was excelling at his job and the food was sure to be coming soon.

He even decided not to bark like a raving idiot at the cat as he walked past. Today was a good day.

Good days don’t always last. The metaphoric dark clouds came in as I finished the biscuit. I could see Storm analyse the situation, and I firmly believe I could see the disappointment in his eyes as the fearful realisation occurs to him that no food would be forthcoming. His ears dropped a little and he sighed as he turned around and walked away.

Things have been awkward between us ever since. I call him over but he won’t come, he looks up from across the room but puts his head down dismissively when he sees who is calling him.

I get it, I’ve suffered from rejection before and know how it works but unlike those girls in school who rightly rejected me, this time I’m morally in the right. I enjoyed my chocolate biscuit, it was nice. Storm didn’t know the fun fact that chocolate contains theobromine which is bad for dogs. I believe he thinks it might give him superpowers or something like that, but instead it would end in vomiting and diarrhoea.

No story ends well when vomiting and diarrhoea is mentioned, especially when he is a inside dog who is currently holding a serious grudge against me. He is welcome to feel rejected and I am happy his stomach contents are not currently sitting on our lounge  room floor.

I wonder if he would re-eat it?

What happens when a dog doesn’t like early mornings?

This may sound bizarre but before getting a dog it never actually occur to me that dogs go to sleep. Just try to understand my thought process here for a moment. As a non-dog owner whenever you see a dog it’s either at the park running around like a psychotic maniac or in a car while driving down the freeway with his head sticking out the window while the wind blows his floppy ears around. None of these events make you think of sleep.

Non dog owners never get to see the other side of owning a dog. It’s the same as when you move in with a new partner and see the side of them that they normally hide from others. Of course dogs don’t care much for hiding their bad habits, they wear them proudly and with no shame.

I have a job that involves getting up for work at 2AM every morning. It’s obvious when I open our dogs crate to let him outside that he is not a morning person. It’s not just that he looks tired, he actually looks dead. It’s common to find him asleep on his back with his legs stretched out at weird angles, his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his entire body laying in a weird convoluted angle. If you didn’t know any better you’d assume you had just walked in on a car accident victim having a stroke.

 Golden Retrieves are a magesfic dog, especially when sleeping.


Golden Retrieves are a magestic dog, especially when sleeping.

I open the crate so he can leave but he just wakes up enough to look at me with one eye in a disinterested way. After a few minutes he finally decides that getting out of the crate would be a good idea so he stands up and stretches as he walks out. Normally three steps is all he can take until he drops down on the tiles and closes his eyes again.

I can see this is not going very well for either of us. He needs to use he back lawn and I need to leave for work soon so something needs to be done. I open the back door and turn on the outside light as I’m rightly assuming our brave dog is afraid of the dark. After a few minutes of negotiation we finally decide that if we both walk outside then that would be an acceptable compromise, however as we finally leave the confines of the house and into the strange and frightening place called “outside” we meet up with his nemesis.

It’s a sad but true cliche that dogs and cats don’t get along. That’s normal, but in this case there is a twist – our dog is petrified of our cats. Sure, he puts up a brave face and normally barks at them but as soon as they take a single step towards him then the retreat would impress the worst armies in the world.

Combine this fear with the early morning and you’re walked into our dogs worst nightmare. We both know he needs to go out but he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes and I nod to him. Do you know when you really need to do something but the obstacles are so large you know deep down in your soul it will never be a possibility?

Storm knows what the nod means, he turns around defeated and is asleep before I close the crate door.

He must amazing bladder control, but at least I made it to work on time.

Teenage mutant ninja dog.

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Does anybody reading this have a teenager living on their house? We have three human ones and now we have a dog teenager. They are very similar to each other in many ways, they have lanky legs that appear a little long for their bodies, they smell oddly and have no intention of following the orders of any adult.

When a human turns into a teenager it’s a gradual process but our Golden Retriever is only five months old so he went from cute little puppy to a know-it-all connoisseur of all things messy and dirty within a few weeks.  He sleeps until lunchtime, wakes up grumpy and moody and walks out the back door but doesn’t tell me where he’s going.

We’ve missed a few of the typical teenage attributes, he doesn’t play loud music around the house, has never tried alcohol and never locks himself in his bedroom for many unexplained hours.

The one common feature he does have is the typical teenager moody attitude and sullen demeanour when he doesn’t get his own way. This happens often, as we all know Golden Retrievers love eating food. It’s their most favourite thing apart from meeting people, going for walks, swimming in water, meeting people, meeting people, chasing tennis balls and sticks, meeting people and looking happy.

We don’t feed Storm food scraps from the plate, we never have. Unfortunately nobody told him of this executive decision of the household so whenever we are sitting at the dinner table eating a meal he will sit impatiently at our feet and I can tell by the look on his face that he firmly believes that today is the day when we finally change our policy, and start throwing down handfuls of delicious food from our plates.

We won’t.

He won’t accept that fact.

Then he turns into the sulky teenager who doesn’t get his own way. I guess if you look at it from his perspective we are terrible people who eat delicious meals in front of him but don’t have the common courtesy to pass some over. If he was a human teenager we’d get investigated by Child Services for our actions, especially considering we feed him dog food but he has to learn some manners.

It does get easier doesn’t it?