Exposition: Our dog Abby has two behaviors that are set in stone. First, she believes pillows are for humping. We have two couch pillows that sit next to our television on the entertainment unit because if we leave them on the couch, they will be violated. Second, Abby believes anything filled with stuffing is meant to be chewed upon and eventually torn apart, with its stuffing to be strewn about the living room floor. Abby’s behavior has time and again displayed these to be indisputable truths. Yet my idealistic wife hopes, nay, believes that one day, Abby will somehow mature past the point of this kind of behavior. “That’s because she was a puppy,” Lynnette is fond of saying. Prior to this week, we purchased at least two beds for Abby that she humped, the unceremoniously tore apart. As a mostly logical and practical man, I am of the opinion that we should never buy a bed for Abby again. But if you ask my quixotic wife…
When I got home from work late last night, I was surprised to find that Abby wasn’t at the top of the stairs waiting for me. I whistled. Still no Abby. When I ascended the stairs, I saw Abby under the dinner table tossing something around. As I got closer, I found that Lynnette and Madison had decided to purchase Abby a new bed, dismissing the statistical evidence which said that Abby will destroy it. I would not have allowed this if I was with them. It was no mistake that such a purchase could only be made in my absence.
I took the bed away from her and noticed the pinkness of it immediately. Upon closer examination, the heart, tiara, and word “Princess” embroidered on the bed led me to the conclusion that Madison had selected Abby’s bed. I went to find my wife. She was in the shower. “Abby’s humping her bed,” I said. “What?!” she shouted over the shower head. “I put it on the chair!” I guess Abby can accomplish anything when it comes to obtaining fluffiness. “I just wanted a simple flat bed, but Madison picked that one,” she continued. “Who’s the adult?” I asked. I received no answer. Perhaps she could not hear me over the shower head. But I think she did.
I returned to the living room and placed the bed on the couch. “This is for sleeping,” I said sternly. “Inside.” I pointed to the bed. Abby hopped inside and sat there. “Good girl!” I said. “No biting, no humping!” I gave her few scratches in the attempt of positive reinforcement.
I walked around the corner and waited a few seconds. I peeked back out to find Abby back at her usual antics. “No!” I said. Her tail lowered and she stopped her activity. I returned to my hiding spot around the corner. A few second later, I popped my head out and saw her sitting calmly in the middle of her bed. “Good girl!” I shouted.
I took Mad from the shower, dried her off, brushed her hair, then returned to find that Abby had taken her game to the next level.
Abby was in the midst of a passionate hump/chew with her new bed. At first I was taken aback. I mean, this was their first night together; it was a little forward. But then I realized that since a dog bed is essentially a pillow made of fluff, Abby’s surefire behavioral tics clicked simultaneously. I took the bed from her and placed it on the island where she had no chance in hell of reaching it, unless she some how learned to use a ladder the same way the raptors learned to open doors. I returned to the bathroom.
“You have a kinky dog,” I told Lynnette. “What?” she said. “She’s humping her bed and biting it at the same time. Kinky stuff,” I continued. “So we have a horny dog,” Lynnette said. “Just like master,” she continued. She then did the thing where she makes her eyes big and shakes her head quickly in order to emphasize her sarcasm. While I can neither confirm nor deny Lynnette’s accusation, it is an accepted concept in dog lore that dogs take on the personality of their owners.
There was an episode of House in which a patient had a condition where he would take on the personality of the alpha male or female in the room. During the episode, someone suggested that House and Cutty should go into the room together, alone with the patient. This way, it would settle once and for all who the alpha personality was. House and Cutty walked into the room. “I can fire him whenever I want!” Cutty shouted. “But she never does!” House fired back. Behind the glass wall, many of the hospital staff members had assembled to see the outcome of the experiment. The patient looked at Cutty and said something along the lines of “Nice rack.” Cutty slowly closed her eyes. House turned to face the assembly and started dancing.
I guess it comes down to this: I admit to being amorous at times. I am a passionate warm-blooded mammal hard-wired to seek the company of my life-long mate. It’s possible that I somehow influence Abby’s default humping behavior. But I would like to suggest that it is also entirely possible that my aforementioned life-long mate could influence the same behavior. After all, she is the one who believes that the 50 Shades of Grey has already earned “modern classic” status because of its incorporation of something called a “play room” and also her hope that Ian Somerhalder will play the main character in the eventual films made based off the books.
In this regard, I feel like a hypocrite. Every time Lynnette or I scold Abby for her humping/biting combo, I feel that if she could talk, she would angrily bark out the words “You, alright? I learned it from watching you!”