Learning dog logic enables understanding our pets

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My dog spends hours visualising her dinner, licking her lips in anticipation of it and walking in and out of the kitchen to catch the precise moment when it is served. And then she inhales it in one nanosecond. Slurrrp! Gone.

“At least savour the thing” I shout, but she pretends not to understand English. Besides, she follows dog logic, which ain’t human logic. Here’s how dogs deal with problems. 1) Face whatever it is. 2) Slowly tilt your head and look at it from a 45 degree angle. 3) If it remains puzzling, go off to the kitchen to see if any food has magically materialised in your dog bowl.

Dog ownership, once seen as a western tradition, is spreading fast throughout Asia. Here’s how to understand them. My dog and I communicate well now. I’ve learned dog logic. For example, when she scratches at my door, she is giving me a message: “Let me in, so I can go back out again.” The gap between wanting to come in and wanting to go out can be as little as ten seconds, and she sometimes stops half way for a head-tilt.

Top five pieces of dog logic: 1) When someone passes within 20 metres of our door: “Everybody in the outside world wants to kill us! Brace for attack!” 2) When visitors enter our home: “Please line up for security inspection. This will involve the temporary insertion of my snout into your nether regions. Remove laptops and put them into the trays provided.” 3) When I take her out for walkies: “Wow, here’s another beautiful new spot to add to my list of sacred territories. And now I will urinate all over it.” 4) When it’s time to clean the house: “I fear nothing. I will give my life to protect this household from danger of any shape or size. A vacuum cleaner! RUN!” 5) When you buy a different brand of pet food: “Sorry, I am an extremely discriminating diner and will eat only the finest haute cuisine. Oh look! One of my old poops! Yum.”

But there is one oddity about my dog. When I try to play “fetch”, she won’t cooperate. She just looks at the other dogs as if to say: “My human spent five minutes looking for that stick. And now he’s thrown it away. See what I have to put up with?” But dogs are nice people. If I have an accident, she rushes to my aid. “You just fell off a ladder! Will a face-licking help?”

Yet, be warned. You will never have any privacy again, thanks to the most annoying bit of dog logic of all: “Hmm, the children are out and mum and dad have gone to the bedroom for a cuddle. There’s nothing they’ll like better than for me to add to the fun by jumping on the bed and barking!”

Now I think I am going to have to stop here. I did check earlier, but I want to look again to see if anything new has materialised in the fridge. Not that I am picking up bad habits or anything.

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