We are living in the Age of the Dog and no one, least of all me, is acting cool about it.
My dog Caesar studies engineering, with the hope of one day working for the council in the department of parks.
He thinks obsessively about walks, and doesn’t like other dogs.
In particular, he hates dogs that seem to think they’re faster than him. “They’re not,” he says. “I’m the fastest dog in the park.”
Yesterday, he ate half a packet of grain waves and when we spoke to him about it he blamed the cat (we don’t have a cat).
And then there’s my childhood dog, Ted.
Ted was fired from McDonalds after eating all the cheeseburgers, and now he won’t even talk about it.
He doesn’t trust people on bicycles because once he fell off a bike and is now traumatised. Poor Teddy.
Oh. And then there’s my friend’s dog Bella. First and foremost, she’s a feminist. That’s why she growls at men, especially ones in hats. She is also sassy, mostly because she was born in the ghetto and is now completely spoilt. We’ve rewritten the song ‘Jenny from the Block’ to make it about Bella and she used to have “a little now she has a lot…” etc.
If you do not have a dog, or identify as a ‘non-dog person’ – you’re angry. And you probably have some questions.
How can a dog possibly study engineering when their paws make it difficult to submit assignments electronically? Why are you pretending like your dog can speak? How on earth did a dog get a job at McDonalds? That’s extremely irresponsible. And how do you know if your dog identifies as a feminist? Furthermore – DON’T YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN MAKE UP PERSONALITIES FOR YOUR PETS?
“I’m suspicious I suppose. Why? Because you can’t trust anyone. The second you do, they dig up your bone and eat it when you’re not looking. Just yesterday at the park, I befriended a young pup named Gizmo. Seemed nice enough. We talked about the weather and the condition of the grass. I then excused myself to do a poo behind a tree and when I returned, Gizmo had stolen my ball. What a fuckface.” – Basil
And here’s what dog people are often too afraid to admit: We’ve all developed complex and nuanced personalities for our dogs that are based on their behaviour.
You find me someone who says their dog doesn’t have a personality because they’re an animal and I’ll show you a liar.
Virtually everyone with a dog knows what their human voice sounds like. Caesar’s is high and excited, and he pronounces some words wrong because the world is confusing, whereas Ted is a man of few words, and moans every syllable in his old age.