When I think of my dog, I think of that Supertramp song that goes, "Don't you look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I got.../Not much a girlfriend, I never seem to get a lot.."
She's not much of a dog, but she's the only one I got.
I picked her up at the Humane Society a year ago, because she was a collie, like our last dog, and she looked so pitiful and friendless. How was I to know that that is her natural state? I thought she was depressed about being in jail - turns out she's just prone to depression and delusions of persecution by her captors. By adopting her into our home, we weren't releasing her from prison, but merely changing the prison decor. We are now the captors, planning her slow and painful torture, or maybe a more swift and vicious end - she can never be sure. That she has escaped such a fate so far doesn't seem to sway her opinion that someday we will inevitably turn on her.
I know what you're saying: "Oh, poor thing, she was probably beaten by some former owner." That's what I thought too, at first. But many, many dogs who have had unfortunate experiences with evil humans have grown to love their new, nicer human caretakers. This one will not be swayed. Even further proof that she has not turned her back on the human race: she loves everyone else she meets. She wags her tail at everyone who comes to the door, and tries to sneak out with them when they go. I promise we have not mistreated this dog any more than by giving her a bath (which is when her Streep-like acting ability really shines, as she whines in agony at the soapy water torture she is required to endure practically monthly).
These days, her routine goes something like this:
6:30 - 7:30 a.m.: Stay motionless in bed, hoping that my captors will forget about me today. Oh, how I hate mornings.
7:30 a.m.: Eat breakfast, now that my captors have finally capitulated to my demands for a mixture of dry AND canned food. Spit out the pill that keeps me from leaking urine while I sleep.
8:00 - 8:20 a.m.: The female captor requires me to exercise outside, even during periods of rain. I may see other dogs and humans, but am not allowed to properly smell them, as I am leashed to my captor by a diabolically ingenious collar-and-leather-strap device. I see other dogs in the same plight, and I weep for us. I carefully choose a popular-smelling place and deposit my poo as a signal of my whereabouts, but she picks it up and puts it in a bag. I am foiled again. However, sometimes if I can find something really foul to eat, my poo comes out too runny for proper scooping, and I rejoice.
8:20 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Sleep on my bed. I just wish my captors would keep it down. It's difficult to sleep sometimes with the constant comings and goings.
6:00 p.m.: More dry food with just enough canned food to make it palatable. I mean, really. It's not like they are hard-up for money. I retaliate by spitting out my pill again.
6:10 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.: Sleep on my bed and listen for after-dinner snacks.
8:30 p.m.: The female captor is eating popcorn. It's truly vile, but so much better than my "food," that I submit to the indignity of sitting and looking desperate so that I may be thrown a few pieces. If I look pathetic enough, I may be given a chew snack. Yes, a chew snack! A bright moment in an otherwise gloomy day. But once it is gone, I look around in grief, wondering where it went - did I really eat it so fast? It is gone and I feel bereft, like I have nothing left to live for. I hate myself. Humiliation exhausts me. I must rest.
9:00 p.m - 10:30 p.m.: Sleep on my bed.
10:30 p.m.: I am forced by my captors out into the gated exercise yard in the back. I believe they wish me to urinate so that I might leak less during the night. I would rather not urinate on command. I refuse and request re-entry. They pretend to ignore me while they walk around swishing a stick against their teeth. I'm not sure what pleasure they gain from this procedure. They don't seem to be chewing the stick...but I digress. I am forced to stand at the door, again looking desperate, until they concede that they have failed again to command my bladder activity, and I am allowed to go back to bed.
10:35 p.m. until morning: Sleep on by bed. Oh, how I hate mornings.