I’ve finally realized the most recent addition to my family is a DOG. And I mean, a “dog’s dog.”
She may execute a nice long sit/stay but she still sniffs crotches. She may wait patiently until I release her to eat dog food, but she still enjoys digging in our trash and eating food off my plate if I turn my back for one second to grab the salt. The other day, I became so upset by her apparent love of putting anything in her mouth that my self-righteous subconscious took over and I let choice words fly: “why I never!…what are you thinking?!…that shoe in your mouth cost more than your dog food!”
Slobbery shoe in hand and an absolutely adorable white dog sitting in front of me waiting to be given back her chew toy, it dawned on me that I’m the problem in this situation. I unconsciously believed by simply bringing this furry creature into my home, feeding her, allowing her to warm my feet by the fire on a cold winter’s night that as thanks, she would become less than the essence of who she was – less than a dog.
Dogs are animals. Animals that evolved from wolves by hanging around ancient human settlements, eating their trash – the really bold ones probably stole food right off the human’s plates when they turned their back to chisel off the salt block. Dogs survived thousands of years on their own eating whatever humans left lying around. This proves, in a theoretical way, my dog doesn’t need me and she would really really really like the very interesting chew toy back RIGHT NOW. This is a chew toy that gets picked up in the morning, put on her owner’s smelly feet and comes at night smelling oh-so-different.
I imagine my dog’s ancestor on the dusty edges of a small settlement (pregnant because her pseudo owners were too lazy and cheap to spay her) where her best chance for the survival of the next generation was to eat anything remotely edible. Now, if I care about my shoes I put them away because even I know no shoe will ever win when up against Mother Nature.