Out there somewhere, Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s a list of things youâ€™re not supposed to let your dog do. Information about how you are supposed to be dominant and hereâ€™s how to make that happen. In fact, I know there is. I read Dogs For Dummies.
On that list, Iâ€™m sure, are things like â€œDonâ€™t let your dog sleep in your bedâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t give your dog food from the tableâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t let your dog completely control youâ€. They probably have tons of reasons why you shouldnâ€™t do those things. Maybe the dog begins to think he is in charge. Maybe one day heâ€™ll get rid of you so he can eat whatever he wants, including those chocolate graham crackers you wonâ€™t let him have (See! Discipline!) because they will kill him. Heâ€™ll eat them OH YES HE WILL.
We, of course, do not follow these rules. Miles? Is in charge. Heâ€™s like Charles, but with better hair.
We tried, we really did. We werenâ€™t going to let him up on the bed. We got him a little doggie bed and put it on the floor, where he could see us but knew he wasnâ€™t allowed where we were. When he jumped up on the bed, we made him get down. He was learning that he had his own bed, and that was where he could hang out. But, yâ€™all, his little face is just so sad. Even when he is licking your face and wagging his tail, his eyes are sad. Sad and hard to resist. And eventually one of us (who? I canâ€™t remember. No really. No idea.) started letting him hang out on the bed. Not while we were sleeping, but just while we were hanging around. Heâ€™s just so cuddly.
Today, that little doggie bed might as well be on the moon for all he uses it. He not only sleeps in our bed, he sleeps between us. He does not appreciate it when you make him go to the foot of the bed. He rebels by lying on your pillow. If your head happens to already be there, well, too bad. Thatâ€™s what you get.
Miles was a shelter dog. When we picked him up from the house of the woman who ran the place, there were probably 15 dogs in the front yard. When she opened the door to bring him out, the barking we heard was unreal. There is no telling how many dogs were in there. The woman told us sheâ€™d just bathed both Miles and herself, but yâ€™all, all we could smell was dog. Miles is very laid-back and chilled out, which probably served him well in that environment. That is, until mealtime.
Iâ€™m sure he had to fight for his food. He eats like he still does. As soon as that food hits the bowl, he is all over it. But his food obsession is not limited to dog food. Anytime you open the fridge, he is there, dying to know what youâ€™re eating, and more importantly, can he have some? He sniffs at the bottles in the door and the food on the bottom shelf. And if youâ€™re cooking, you can forget moving easily around the kitchen. He is at your feet, just waiting for something to fall. (Or for you to hand him something. Not that anyone I know does that.) He has also, somehow, learned to distinguish the sound of the pantry door being opened from the coat closet, even though they are right next to each other. Open the pantry, and his little head pops up and his ears are perked. Heâ€™s ready.
Iâ€™m pretty sure youâ€™re not supposed to give people food to dogs. But itâ€™s just so funny. My favorite thing lately to give him has been ice cubes. He works so hard to get them chewed up, but he canâ€™t seem to get it done before they melt. All that work for nothing. Itâ€™s like a race. A really, really funny race. He has also been known to eat pretzels, chicken, sausage, lettuce, croutons (those are especially fun because they fall apart when he bites into them and he gets confused) and pizza that was laying in our neighborâ€™s yard.
He eats our food, he sleeps in our bed, his sad little face dictates just about everything we do. I want, I want Miles in charge of me.