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A Dog's Life: The Importance of Showing Up

This is a special guest post by Buddy (the mischievous pug)

As a pug, I live a pretty good life. My master, a tall, dorky-looking fellow, treats me well enough. He takes me outside every day so I can do my “doggie business”, gets me my food and fresh water, and doesn’t bother me too much other than shoo me away when I’m gnawing on my doggie bone on one of his shoes (it appears I have a tendency to slobber just a bit when I do that). He’s no Cesar Millan but overall I guess I can do a lot worse than him for a master.

Not long ago, I strolled into the kitchen while my master was making himself a sliced turkey sandwich. Now, I usually get a doggie treat every now and then if I do something cool like sit, stay, come when I’m called, or give up my paw (you humans impress way too easily). I rarely, however, get any of the food that my master and his family eat except when it accidentally falls on the floor and I run and snatch it up. This turkey smelled damn good, though (tomatoes, red peppers, a hint of cumin; Southwestern flavor, perhaps?). A dog gets tired of the same dry dog food all the time; is it too much to ask to get some fresh meat every now and then?

So I sit down at my master’s feet and look up at him with the most adorably pathetic face I can muster. It ain’t hard (it’s something us pugs are born with) and I’m hoping my master will feel sorry for me enough to toss me a slice of turkey. My master looks down at me and asks, “You wanna slice of this, Buddy?” He dangles a piece of sliced turkey a few feet above me. I perk my ears up, open my eyes a little wider, give the tail a good wag, send him all the right signals [Yes! I want some of that!]. After looking down at me for a few seconds, he pulls the slice of turkey back, chuckles, and says, “You probably couldn’t handle that.” The bastard. I give him dirty looks the rest of the day and avoid the powerful urge to pee in one of his sneakers.

A few days later, I hear my master rustling in the refrigerator again. I head over to the kitchen and see he’s making himself another turkey sandwich. Now, unlike most humans, us dogs have very little dignity so I figure, what the hell have I got to lose? I get into position again seated near his feet and look up at him with my adorable pug face. He looks down on me again and asks, “Are you here for another piece of turkey, Buddy?” [No, dumbass. I’m here because I was getting tired of napping on my ridiculously comfortable doggie bed!]. He dangles a piece of sliced turkey just above my head again. I give him all the right signals: ears are pointed up, eyes wide, tail wagging. He lowers the slice of turkey to my mouth and says. “OK, here you go, but don’t get used to it.” The turkey is as good as I thought it would be (definitely Southwestern flavored). He doesn’t notice it, but I’m smiling.

Since then, every time I hear my master rustling in the refrigerator, I head on over there and give him “the look”. I don't always get what I'm after but every now and then he tosses me a slice of turkey; or a chunk of last night’s grilled chicken, a piece of ham, even a doggy treat. I don’t always get something but if I just show up, there’s a chance I just might. And when I do get something, I forget about all the other times I didn’t (us dogs have a pretty crappy memory anyway).

Lesson learned? If you lie around on your doggie bed scratching yourself all day, nobody’s gonna bring you a damn thing. But if you just show up where the action is and give off the right signals…you never know.

Are you showing up? Woof!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Buddy is a mischievous pug who calls South Florida home. He enjoys napping, eating, peeing, pooping, drinking out of puddles, lying in the grass, and napping some more. His master is rumored to be award-winning filmmaker Dan Perez.

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