Monday, September 17, 2012

Poop on the Floor

Duke, our beloved plott hound, is a master of understatement. His preferred style of communication is sophisticated and subtle. Nothing obvious or boisterous about Duke. He prefers to drop shy hints about his personal needs and if we are not paying careful attention, he will drop something else. Poop on the floor. I know, it's not pleasant and it's not frequent, and I am getting more skilled and attentive day by day. I am beginning to pick up on his casual glance toward the door, his soft, almost imperceptible whine, his trot through the kitchen. So, we are doing much better.

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that Duke is learning some important things about me as well. This educational process is a two way street. I think Duke has picked up on my not so subtle tirades when I see poop on the floor, how his unwillingness to take care of his business outside does not make me more tolerant of his accidents indoors, and how I am so much more agreeable and friendly when he sticks to his normal routine of bodily functions.

On our early morning runs or when we take long walks in the evening or go to the dog park, I don't mind carrying a plastic bag or two and picking up after Duke along the way. No big deal. He's my dog and he's my mess. But no more poop on the floor. Enough already.

The only exception to Duke's shy, quiet manner is when some poor innocent soul rings our doorbell. At that moment Duke is transformed into an incredibly noisy barking beast, bounding to the door to terrorize our unsuspecting guest. And though he is big enough to terrify the faint of heart, he means no harm. When I open the door, he sniffs and calms down and backs away, not really interested in eating our guest. He's all bluff, no bite, and we are glad of that.

So here's the deal, if we would let Duke's nervous habits teach us all a thing or two. You and I would do well to learn when to kick up a fuss and when to keep calm, when to bark and when to be still, when to take care of our business, and how best to make our Master smile.

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