op-ed

Things Our Dogs Would Say If They Could Speak And Were Incredibly Sarcastic

many dogs Shutterstock/Erik Lam

My dog Rudy isn’t the best dog in the world. He isn’t the best dog in my state. He isn’t even the best dog on my cul-de-sac. First of all, Rudy doesn’t respect boundaries, so in that sense he is similar to my roommates in my first apartment after college:

Me (in kitchen, to first roommate): Hey, Cheese, every time you borrow my cashmere sweater and blast that giant melon of yours through the neck-hole, you take a year off its useful life. You know that, don’t you?

Mayor McCheese: I’m just as God made me.

Me: Just buy your own sweater, okay? It’s simple physics. [Noticing second roommate entering kitchen] You, too? You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re what, a 52 waist, and you’re wearing my sweatpants?

Kool Aid Guy: Oh yeah!

So that’s not Rudy’s best trait, his disregard for boundaries. And though Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a royal breed, I don’t see the two of us gassing up the El Camino for the Westminster Kennel Club anytime soon. But who cares? He’s my dog, and that’s good enough for me.

Rudy. Courtesy of Mike Kerrigan

Rudy. Courtesy of Mike Kerrigan

But there’s something else. Royal lineage aside, it’s hypocritical for me to expect my dog to walk with kings. He’s not exactly surrounded by David Niven doppelgängers in my home, where “dress for dinner” means simply that. Yes, at dinner, you must be fully clothed. Truth is, if Rudy’s been paying attention at all, what he’s probably developed in my home is professional-grade sarcasm. Why, I’d like to think for all of his dog friends in my neighborhood — they living with families not unlike my own — these are the kinds of things they would say to their owners:

Yes, dog parks are great places to meet women. For most. As for you, Jack, I’ll fetch you a stick, but not a girlfriend. I’m a retriever, not a magician.

Are we seriously going through this again? Who do you think went through the kitchen trash, Finn, Professor Plum? It’s just the two of us in this dump.

I know where you’re going with this line of questioning, Molly: I’m a good boy! I’m a good boy! Still, you might not be as cheery when you see the present I left in your bedroom.

Trust me, Joe, this will happen faster if you give me a little space. I mean, give a terrier some room. Were you toilet-trained at gunpoint?

Let me guess: The upstairs green with Linda from Apartment 7F for flirtatious chatter that never goes anywhere? Pound sand, Greg. You get my leash.

Alright, Devin, alright! I’ll speak, I’ll speak! So I just pick the topic then? Fine. I’m sick of watching “The Devil Wears Prada” with you. There, I said it.

Dream on, Gordon. I’ll start fetching your slippers when you start wearing shower shoes.

Want some truth, Paulie? I don’t love putting my head out your car window. I hate sitting next to your Uncle Chet. His slacks are ready for a Viking Funeral.

Still shopping that manuscript to literary agents, Doug? Who’s chasing his tail?

Do I want a treat? I drink from your toilet, Jeff. What do you think?

Yes, Hope, I am smiling. Because right after the HVAC guy leaves, I’m going to growl at the utility closet. Gets you every time.

So here’s to our dogs, even if they occasionally do make messes of our homes. Although you don’t say these things when you look at me with your silly dog-smile, Rudy, I know you’re thinking them. Because you’re my dog, and I love you.

Michael C. Kerrigan is an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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