Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Puppy Is Confused; Happy To Be Here

I’m not going to go so far as to call Puppy a smart dog, although he did once poop in the bathtub, so I guess he has his own brand of wit.

Who knows what makes a dog smart anyway. Was Lassie smart? Or just a busybody? I mean sure, those dogs in “Homeward Bound” were pretty philosophical, but that’s easy when you have a dubbed voiceover.* The way I see it though, there’s only two ways a dog can prove its intelligence: To learn how to get me a beer from the fridge, and to perform feats of adorableness when attractive women are around. Because that shows that a dog has sifted through life’s purpose and meaning and determined that there is nothing but solitude and inevitable death, and all that matters is alcohol and women. It shows intuition.

Puppy? He pooped in the bathtub.

But one thing I will credit him for is his uncanny chillness. This dog has moved from Los Angeles to Manhattan, to Brooklyn, to Manhattan, back to Brooklyn, and now to Miami – and every time his attitude is basically the same: Whatever. Maybe it’s because he has no idea we’re in a different place, except that the trees look a little different here, and he goes for a lot of rides in the car. But even when, through the most improbable of circumstances, we ran into our old neighbor from Brooklyn on the street here in Miami, Puppy just jumped up on her leg, said hello, and then pooped on the curb like it was any old Tuesday afternoon.

The one that that seems to have rattled him, though, is the fact that Brooke and I are home all the time now. Maybe he never really liked the fact that he was alone for eight hours a day, five days a week, but like the old saying goes: Be careful what you wish for. Suddenly, he can’t sleep for five minutes straight without someone brazenly WALKING TO THE KITCHEN and rousing him from his deep slumber, at which point he looks up slowly from his bed and glares towards the offender with a look like an old man on a park bench might give a bunch of teenagers skateboarding by. (I swear I once hard him say, “Ahem.”)

It’s gotten to the point where he’s started acting weird. Maybe it’s lack of sleep, maybe it’s simply the weight of his uncontrollably changing life, maybe it’s dealing with (channeling Daniel Day Lewis) these people. Whatever it is, Puppy is acting like a retard.

For example: Normally, Puppy is very good at fetch. Along with sleeping, it’s one of his strengths. But lately, it’s like playing fetch with an Alzheimer’s patient. Halfway through he stops and gets all distracted. Then he’s like, “Hey, my toy!” and picks it up and keeps right on playing. Observe.

(Also, way to bring the toy back TO THE CAMERA.)

But this video . . . this is the disturbing one. This sequence of actions goes on any number of times over the course of a day. Observe (and read the following narration while viewing).

“Well, that’s a nice wall. Has that always been there? It looks new. Nice and sturdy, too . . . Anywho, let’s see what’s going on at the rug. Why don’t I roll over on my back for a second? It always feels so good when I rub it on the carpet. Oh yeah, get the face right in there. Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah, my face . . . uh oh . . . I think I’m stuck. I might be stuck. This could be trouble. How will I get to my food!? OK, not stuck. That was close. Hey! My crotch! Boy, I’m glad no one can see me. I could lick my crotch ALL DAY. What was that?! I heard something! Did my toy just say my name? I need to investigate. Nope, not the toy. Maybe the food dish? Hey, look, it’s my toy! I wonder if that wall’s still over there . . . When did Dan get here?”

Despite all that, I’m not worried. Puppy is a go-with-the-flow kind of dog. In fact, just last night he up and pooped in the fireplace. I have a feeling he’s going to settle in fine here.

* And just in case you were looking for the most disturbing video on the internet, I found it.


Anonymous Rachel said...

Maybe it's because I had a dog that looked just like Puppy and had to put him down a couple weeks ago, but that last video totally made me cry. At work. At my desk.

March 25, 2008 at 7:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved my dog from Los Angeles to Manhattan (note less dog moving) and he has had terrible skin problems due to the changes in climate. Or it's fleas! Eeek! I moved from Orlando to Los Angeles to Manhattan and have had similar problems. I only roll on the carpet at home, people frown upon that at the office for some reason.

March 25, 2008 at 9:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger swampthing said...

welcome to the swamp.

March 25, 2008 at 9:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nicole said...

Way to go, Dan. You made Rachel cry.

Rachel: I'm sorry to hear that you had to put your dog down. That is never an easy thing to do. My condolences.

Back to Dan: I think that perhaps it would be in the best interest for all involved if you and Brooke committed yourselves to leaving the house everyday for at least 2 hours. I think it's quite clear that you are spending too much time at the Homestead. And Puppy obviously needs some alone time to decompress and process the happenings of his life.

March 25, 2008 at 9:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous hello haha narf said...

puppy is one hell of a cute little dog!

March 25, 2008 at 10:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger KellynGal said...

Is it weird that I saw the blog post was about Puppy and got excited? and even more excited when I found there would be Puppy video? I think Puppy needs a fan club.

March 25, 2008 at 10:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Law Girl said...

I think that Puppy videos need to become a regular occurrence on your blog because THAT just made my day.

March 26, 2008 at 12:27:00 AM EDT  
Blogger dmbmeg said...

That last video makes me seriously fear for the human race.

March 26, 2008 at 1:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger faithstwin said...

I have my own 'puppy'. His name is officially "Mr. Puppy" and we called him that for good reason. You can see video of him on my blog.

Meanwhile: why is the behavior of Puppy odd to you? I would start video taping him when he was tying shoes and cooking eggs or somethin. Staring at a wall? Haven't we all been guilty of this before, yet not caught on camera doing it? Give him a break...

March 26, 2008 at 1:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Camels & Chocolate said...

OMG, I hadn't thought of Homeward Bound in over a decade. Thanks for the nostalgia.

Those Puppy videos are absolutely hysterical and only aided by your written commentary.

March 26, 2008 at 2:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Michemily said...

That video is disturbing. People scare me sometimes. Those poor dogs.

March 26, 2008 at 6:54:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, at least he's not a cat. When
you move a cat, they spend a minimum of 36 hours hiding under the bed (or in the kitchen cabinets). When they finally venture out, the slightest noise invokes another mandatory hiding period. Last time, I forgot we even HAD cats for a week after we moved.

March 26, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous You can call me, 'Sir' said...

Boy, that really was an incredible journey.

To the Land of Ass.

In my early 20s, life consisted primarily of rolling around on a carpet and giving myself a little hot personal crotch action, while frequently traveling from city to city, so I can totally relate to puppy.

March 26, 2008 at 9:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

Maybe Puppy is channeling the spirits of other former pet residents.
"I hear dead puppies"
No seriously, animals are just weird sometimes...and I can relate to verybadcat...they don't take moving well at ALL.

Now I must go scrub my eyes and brain with an SOS pad after watching that horrible video.

PS - I dig the Puppy videos.

March 26, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Plexus said...

I don't think Puppy is confused. He just has an overactive imagination. As a writer, you should appreciate that. Where you see a wall, he sees a giant prairie with thousands of prairie dogs to chase after, however that seems not as paramount of a task anymore and besides a headrub feels good every once in a while.

If you're concerned about his ADHD symptoms I'm sure there is a dog whisperer down there that can fleece you. Otherwise, let Puppy be Puppy.

BTW, the rug really ties the room together

March 26, 2008 at 12:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Queen Vic said...

Your apartment is clearly haunted. Dogs sense these things.

March 26, 2008 at 1:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dana said...

I think it's kind of funny that you have a fireplace in Miami. And it just shows that Puppy's really smart. "My people obviously are not going to be putting any logs in here - I guess I can help them out!"

That Homeward Bound video was nauseating AND horribly sad. I'm with Rachel. In my case I've been putting off the inevitable with my 15 year old dog.

March 26, 2008 at 1:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dana said...

ps. Have you read Dooce lately? Chuck proves that dogs are smart. Especially dogs that get written about in blogs. You'd better pay attention to what Puppy's telling you.

March 26, 2008 at 1:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nicole said...

"BTW, the rug really ties the room together"

Plexus, great observation!!

March 26, 2008 at 3:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I might be intellectually on par with puppy...

Witness my internal dialogue watching that last video:

"oh my god, the cat is being swept away. He dies? Why don't I remember this part of the movie?" *tears well*
"oh no, he's back. WHEW!"
(just like real life)


"Oh my god, the retriever fell down a shaft. He dies? Why don't I remember this part of the movie??" *tears well*
"Oh no, he's back. Whew!"

*cry anyway*

March 26, 2008 at 9:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

Puppy taking a dump in the bath tub is just his way of silently protesting against the very idea that he should be serving YOU alcohol.

March 27, 2008 at 1:26:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe puppy stares at walls, stops in tracks - and gets distracted because your new place is haunted... and puppy knows it!
I'm just sayin...

March 27, 2008 at 12:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Toni Lea Andrews said...

Hey, there's a SEQUEL coming out to The Incredible Journey.

As a person who has attempted to train cats (with some success), I'm pretty sure they had to rub those dogs down with tuna to get the cat to follow them.

March 28, 2008 at 8:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Vishaka Natascha Gleeson said...

Dan, although very amusing, the fact that you are writing about puppy, only puppy, and pretty much nothng else but puppy, does not bode well. You sound like my aunt. Her chihuahua and the many things it did.
Stick to cynical rants about your life outside of animal friends.

March 28, 2008 at 10:45:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to be able to whistle like that. Sadly my dog is old, tubby and has arthritis, so she'd take no notice whatsoever. It would still be good to whistle like that.

March 29, 2008 at 9:37:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Brava said...

I love Puppy so much. Reminds me of my little Marty

March 29, 2008 at 7:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Eve said...

It seems that you've embraced "working" from home. Yow.

March 31, 2008 at 3:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the biggest question is... how do you know Puppy wasn't doing things like this when he was home alone before? Maybe you're just witnessing it now... either way, I have an ADHD cat with very similar behavior.

April 1, 2008 at 3:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Distraction said...

Puppy looks and acts much like my Ben (same breed). I'd never seen any animal so fond of licking itself EVER until we got ours. Needless to say the entire family is a little disgusted by the whole thing and wish he would "get a room". I'm very sure his only other hobby is, "what's in the bathroom trash today?"

April 2, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Puppy is so cute. And so is his owner ;)

April 15, 2008 at 3:34:00 PM EDT  

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