Excerpt from A DACHSHUND'S MERRY-GO-ROUND LIFE, Book 5 of THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES
4 – More Things I Have
Learned from Humans
I’ve found that some humans talk all the time, and some don’t talk much at all. I’ve also noticed that children tend to just say whatever comes into their minds, lacking the ability to know what is considered proper and what isn’t. Even some adults don’t seem to understand that issue. Most human adults don’t always say what they are really thinking, and they have several reasons for not doing so: (1) they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings; (2) they don’t want to seem weird to other humans; and (3) they don’t like to let others know how they really feel. Oh, I’m not saying that I agree with their reasons or even understand them, I’m just stating what I’ve picked up over the years.
Here are some more interesting things I’ve learned from humans:
1. Adults will seldom admit that they take naps.
I don’t understand that one, since I like to take naps often, and so do the cats. If an adult human IS actually taking a nap and the phone rings, the human will never admit to sleeping if the caller asks! I don’t know why—but the call usually goes something like this:
Phone rings. Napper awakens and yawns.
Caller: “Hi, Tom. Sorry to bother you. Were you sleeping? You sound like it.”
Napper: “Oh, no. Why would I be sleeping in the middle of the day?”
Caller: “Well, you just sounded like you were. What were you doing? Are you busy?”
Napper: (sounding annoyed) No, I already said I WASN’T SLEEPING. Um, I was just, er, reading. Yeah, that’s it—reading.”
2. Humans seldom mean what their words say, unless they are Papa or Mama.
Humans say crazy things like “I died laughing” (when they obviously didn’t), or “Oh, I just LOVE to go to the doctor” (when they mean the exact opposite). Men always tell women that their new clothes look wonderful, their hairdo is beautiful, or their outfit goes together perfectly. They’ve learned that saying dumb things like “That dress makes you look fat” doesn’t go over very well with ladies, so men have learned to say the same thing to any question a woman asks. Maybe it’s just easier that way.
“Do you want to eat chicken for dinner?”
“Do you want to go out to eat?”
“Have you mowed the yard yet?”
“Wonderful! Er, well, no. But it will be wonderful when I do, dear!”
Humans also love everything! They LOVE their families, they LOVE pizza and chocolate, a TV show, weather, vacations, trees, and even clouds. I can understand loving my family and of course food, but trees??
If Mama asks Asher if he likes her new coat, he might say it is ugly, because that’s really what he thinks. She did ask him, right? But if she asks Daddy or Mavis, either of them will reply with something like “Oh, that’s a nice color on you,” or “My, where did you find such a great buy?” Notice they didn’t say they LIKED the coat. Humans!
3. Humans all think that animals don’t understand anything they say or what is happening in life.
Actually, I’m happy to let them go on thinking that I don’t understand, because I can thereby outsmart them quite often. I know that when they say they’ll be gone for just a minute, that often means an hour. Also, the sillies spell out words if they don’t want me to know what they’re talking about, like B-A-T-H or V-E-T. Ha! I know how to look dumb, but I run and hide whenever they spell those two words, so they have to spend time looking for me. That gives me time to adjust to what they plan to inflict upon me.
Another point: we know how they are feeling even if they don’t tell us or try to pretend otherwise. We can tell when one of them has a fever and is coming down with something, sometimes even before they know. To me, they just smell different. I will go lie down beside family members when they are getting sick, trying to give them a little comfort. “Sarge, why are you being so ‘clingy’ today?” Daddy will ask. Then, boom! The next day he has a nasty cold. MmmmHmmm.
Mama is also very good at telling if the children are getting sick. She must have learned from me, but she’ll look at them, touch their foreheads, ask them if they feel achy, or ask if they’ve been coughing. And the next day, they’ll be sick. I think mamas just have a special gift like that.
Sometimes I act tired even if I’m not, simply because I don’t want to be bothered. The children will want me to play with them, but they’re slowly catching on that I’m an older dog now who doesn’t want to do all those silly things I used to do when I was younger. So, I just act tired, and they generally leave me alone. If Duke is around, he’ll still jump right in with playing, but he pays for it later by being dawg tired (no pun intended). He hasn’t totally learned that tidbit yet. The cats don’t care if I’m not in the mood to play. They’ll jump on me, anyway, tails twitching, ready for play fighting. Thor is especially pushy about playing—that cat just won’t take no for an answer. Usually, Mama shoos him away so I can rest. But he comes back--he ALWAYS comes back—to annoy me further.
4. Humans are often like roller coasters—one day they’re up, the next day they’re down.
I think the word humans use for that is moody. And I agree, especially with the sisters. They can be laughing and joking one minute, then crying their hearts out the next. They can be getting along like best friends, then suddenly they are very cross with each other. Mama has gotten tired of their drama, so she bought a huge T shirt, wrote “Love Shirt” on it, and when they get mad at each other, she makes them both get in it and wear it for a while until they stop being angry. Now THAT is a sight to behold, and they’ve caught on that they need to make up quickly in order to get out of that shirt that they both hate being in.
It is kinda funny. If Annika wants to get a drink of water while they’re wearing the shirt, of course Alexa has to go with her to the kitchen. If Alexa wants to lie down, she can’t unless Annika also wants to lie down. And, if Annika wants to go outside, she can’t if Alexa won’t go with her. I think the point Mama is trying to make with that shirt is that you MUST learn to get along with your sister or you’ll be miserable. I know they try to avoid fighting now so they won’t have to wear it very often.
I think it works rather well, but I’d really hate it if Mama put me in a shirt with Thor just because I growl at him when he’s pestered me one time too many!
5. And finally, humans have taught me that they hold all the power in life. Most of the time.
We animals usually end up doing what humans want us to do. Sometimes we get the better of them, but I won’t give away any secrets here. Horses carry humans around and pull heavy loads. Farm animals provide humans with food. Cats? As stated earlier, I haven’t actually determined a real purpose for them yet, but they have grown on me. Dogs like me are their companions, but then, we enjoy being with our humans the most. I know that some dogs are actually work dogs, like Siberian huskies who pull dogsleds. And St. Bernards, German shepherds, and others are rescue dogs. My greatest admiration is for those therapy dogs who visit very sick or disabled humans, such as humans in wheelchairs, helping them or cheering them up. I also like seeing eye dogs who help blind people.
Those dogs are my heroes.