In a shocking turn of events, I realized last night that my female dog, who I have loved and nurtured since she was two months old, is not a feminist. Now, I would prefer if everyone from Ms. Magazine to Dog Fancy didn’t start writing open letters to the dog that I love and adore trying to explain why she needs to be a feminist or to suggest reading materials for her. Famous dogs, keep your barks and opinions to yourselves. I, as a feminist, thought I had been a good role model and no one can tell me that I am not the head Bitch in this family. Seriously, I would not recommend it.
When it’s just me and my dog walking down the street or hanging out at home, I am in charge. She walks nicely beside me, treats me with respect and does as I say. She is a good member of our pack, so she gets it. (You know except for those rare occasions when she is all puppy for a moment or two even at eight years of age and she HAS to chase that bird.) She acknowledges me as the leader.
I treat her with love, kindness and respect. Don’t worry about that at all. If I come back in the next life I would want to be MY DOG because I treat her so well. How exactly that would be accomplished since I would be her, I have no idea. These are the kind of thoughts that keep me up at night.
Now when my husband is home, my dog becomes sexist. She stands near me waiting to be given permission to get on the sofa to sit next to me. I tell her it’s okay. THEN she looks at my husband who is sitting on the chair next to the sofa. She waits for him to tell her it’s okay. She waits for him to say it’s okay. Often I have to tell him that she is waiting for this because he hasn’t noticed. Then he says it’s okay and she gets up on the sofa. PISSES ME OFF. Seriously, HE has to say it’s okay? I already said it was okay. Apparently, it’s a pack leader thing. He is the pack leader, then me. When he is gone, I am in charge. I can’t say that I am happy about this.
Our beautiful chocolate lab, German shepherd mix also doesn’t like to get her paws wet. You read that correctly. She is a lab mix and she does not like to get her paws wet. The rain is her nemesis, one of them. She does not like wet grass either. She will sometimes happily walk through a puddle or in mud, but it has to be at a time of her choosing. So spring, summer, or anytime it rains in Florida is problematic for my dog and for me. This includes when I am trying to take her for a walk and or just let her out for a quick pee at bedtime.
My dog appears to believe that I control the weather. If I did, it would be okay because I would stop the rain at least long enough for her to pee. However, I don’t control the weather, in case you weren’t clear on that. The look of sheer betrayal and horror that she gives me when I open the front door to try to take her for a walk or let her out the back door when it is raining makes me feel like a horrible person. Then I feel like laughing because she looks so adorable, buts I know that I am not a horrible person who does not control the weather. My dog does not understand this, so I feel I should not laugh. It’s a confusing mix of emotions for me and my dog.
Now, my husband can get my dog to go out and pee when it rains. I believe this is part of her sexism and her lack of a feminist belief system. She trusts him. She follows him even into the rain. I call my husband the pee meister. (You know, among other things.) I tell him that only he can make the dog pee when it is raining or the grass is wet. He is calm and patient with her. I don’t know HOW the hell he does it. He just does it. He walks her to the door and out back and she pees for him. THAT makes me crazy. At least one of us can get her to pee. That is important. I am still trying not to take it personally.
On the nights when he goes to bed before I do, he lets her out to pee before he does. Sometimes later on the dog has to pee again or she wakes up in the middle of the night and has to pee after we are both asleep Guess who usually gets up with her?
Heaven forbid it rains or the sprinklers go off because this is what happens.( It is usually early in the morning and I am too sleepy or I am not comfortable taking the dog for a walk at this hour.) The dog and I go to the back door where she usually goes out. I open the door. The dog sees or smells, I don’t know, that the grass is wet or that it is raining. She doesn’t even step outside. She looks up at me with a look that used to break my heart and make me feel like the worst person in the world. I have seen this look for eight years now, so I have gotten used to it but what a sad, pathetic look. MY husband and I call this look the, “How could you be so cruel to a puppy?” look.
I look at her and sometimes I step outside. I wait. She does not budge. I then go back inside and close the door, take the leash off of her. Then a moment later she, still having to pee, goes to the front door. I put the leash on her, unlock the front door, turn the light on, open the door. Sometimes we make it outside, where we stand and we look at the grass. If it is raining or the grass is wet, we usually just stand there. The dog looks at me again with the “How could you be so cruel to a puppy?” look. Sometimes we don’t make it outside and she gives me the look inside and near the front door. Once the look is given, I know there is no hope of peeing in the yard.
And repeat, front door, back door, a few times until I literally say, “You let me know when you really have to go”. The dog has to pee. She WANTS to pee. She just seems to think that magically one time when we open one of those doors it will be dry one of those places. Seriously, she looks surprised and disappointed every time we open the door. I keep saying, she is smart, but she is dog smart. She is not people smart.
Eventually she has to pee so badly that she just runs out there and goes. She has to get to the point where her need to pee outweighs her desire to stay dry.
Then if she has to poop, we start the process again. Yes, I love my dog. I adore my dog and this is why I do this for her. I also like my rugs. And yes, I walk her or my husband does but sometimes, she still has to pee later on. It happens.