Dogs are pretty self-centered, really.

gordonscarfI love my dog, Gordon. I’ve always assumed Gordon loves me, too.  And why wouldn’t he? I feed him, pet him, pick acorns out of his paws and let him out when he needs to do his business. I’ve never suggested he get a job.

But I’m starting to think Gordon’s a little self-centered. If I try to write while sitting on the sofa, Gordon almost always rises from his sleepy spot and walks on my laptop. He steps over the screen and settles down on the keyboard like he’s nesting.

If I push Gordon off my laptop, he raises a paw and slaps it back on the keyboard. I push it away… SLAP. I push it away…SLAP.  This can go on for hours. Since Gordon’s supposed to be man’s best friend, I can only assume he’s trying to help me with my work.  But he only ever types “treat treat treat” over and over again, like Jack Nicholson pounding out “All work and no play…” in The Shining.  Rarely do I need “treat” in the middle of treat treat treat treat treat treat treat treat treat

See? There he goes again.

In addition to his terrible editing skills, Gordon only types five words a minute. I’m much more efficient at typing and he should stick to the things he is best at, like snorfing crumbs from the kitchen floor and tearing packing material into tiny pieces that are nearly impossible to pick out of the carpet. He could make the Olympic Packing Material Destruction Team with one paw tied behind his back. I have almost no interest in packing bubbles, but when Gordon tears into them, even I believe they need to be destroyed. He’s that good.

The other day I settled into my comfy chair to read, only to have Gordon plop his head directly on my book.  I pushed him away and… PLOP! his chin settled back onto my pages. I scratched his ears for a over ten minutes, but never did we reach a moment when Gordon thought the attention was sufficient and voluntarily removed his face from Chapter Three.  I’ve never had another “best friend” demand that I scratch him or her for hours at a time.  I’ve never had a girlfriend walk over, step on my toe and stay there. I’ve never had a pal wedge himself against a cushion in order to leverage me off the chair and on to the floor. I’ve never had to excitedly ask a buddy “Who’s here?!” in the hopes he’d remove his pointy elbows from my gut and run to check for the UPS guy. True, my husband begs for the occasional back rub, but after five or ten minutes there is a mutual understanding that enough is enough.

If the house gets a bit smoky, due to oven cleaning or inattentive cooking practices, Gordon runs to the door to be let out. He clearly thinks the house is burning down, but he doesn’t come to warn us. If the door was open, he’d skitter right through and leave my husband and me stopping dropping and rolling around the family room like tankless goldfish.

I’ve read about courageous dogs dragging their owners from burning buildings or, at the very least, offering a warning bark or two before bolting through the door. Who are these dogs? Are the stories true, or is there a canine propaganda machine of which we are blissfully unaware, duping us into believing these freeloading furballs are our loyal friends?

Don’t even get me started on the sleeping arrangements. Gordon is 65lbs and a long-legged Labradoodle. Fully stretched out, which is apparently the only way he can sleep, he’s nearly as large as I am. Yet he insists on sleeping where my knees, shins and feet should be. Unless of course he gets bored of that spot, walks up the bed, and drops his face on my face. 

Who does that?

If I settled my skull on top of my husband’s every night as we tried to fall asleep, we’d already be divorced or I would be on some sort of medication. Even if he doesn’t sleep on my face, Gordon will put his nose against my nose, and steal my oxygen before I can breath it. If there was a Wikipedia page dedicated to the top 10,000 loving gestures, stealing other people’s oxygen wouldn’t even make the list.

I ran a little experiment the other week. I made a cheese sandwich and squatted down in front of Gordon. I made sure I had his attention and that he looked me directly in the eye. Well, he was looking directly at the sandwich, but I held the cheese near my face.

I told him “Gordon, I am starving and I am going to eat this cheese sandwich. If I don’t eat this cheese sandwich, I might die of starvation.”

That’s when he snatched the cheese sandwich out of my hand and gobbled it down.

What best friend eats the cheese sandwich that stands between you and starvation?

I expressed my disappointment at his behavior, but Gordon just stared at me, his eyes occasionally darting to the counter where I had made the cheese sandwich, as if he would happily finish all the bread and cheese if only I’d bring it to the floor.

Is that love?  I mean, I don’t think treat treat treat treat treat treat treat

Oh, nevermind. Gordon needs a face scratching. I’ll have to finish this later.

He’s just so damn cute.


Article originally featured in Skirt! Magazine.

Amy Vansant

5 Responses

  1. Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point

    Last night my cat was sitting on the chair next to me as I was eating dinner. Every time I lifted my glass to take a drink he would but his head against my elbow causing me to spill a bit of my drink just as I was trying to take a swallow. For some reason I let it happen 3 or 4 times before I finally pushed him off the chair. My wife said he was just wanting some attention. I’m not buying it. He’s a prick.



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