Puppies: The First 100 Days Part 4: Leader of the pack

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By Gail E. Moss
(Editor’s Note: This humor column is fourth and final in a series.)

I’ve been watching a lot of training videos, listening to pet store clerks and even the homeless guy whose dog actually comes when called, and they all say the same thing: You’ve got to be pack leader!

Our puppies have the run of the house and they know it. They choose feeding and bathroom schedules. So when they nudge me awake at all hours to take them out, what am I to do? My goal is to get back to sleep quickly so I don’t spend the entire day guzzling coffee.

My dogs roam the yard, literally having a pissing match all day long. I swear I can read their little puppy minds:  “Bet I can kill more of her flowers than you can!” The other replies: “I bet if I pee in the same spot long enough grass will never grow again.”

Meanwhile I spend my workday leashed to a constantly ringing phone, hoping to make it to the bathroom and back without missing a call from a customer. I must take control. Therefore I signed up for an online course that teaches you to show your pooch that you’re in charge—the pack leader!

The course says your pups will know this because you eat first. (Pack leaders eat first apparently). Before feeding your dogs you eat out of their bowl, letting them know you’re the boss and they’ll eat when you say. So I’m standing on the back porch at 4am, eating out of the dog bowl as I look over and see my neighbor smoking a cigarette contemplating my behavior. I instantly stop and start stupidly explaining myself, “You see I’m pack leader and I’m in charge and…”

The neighbor just nods and says, “I saw the big one pee on that bowl.”

Gail E. Moss is a writer, stand-up comic, wife and mother of twin boys (that are actually dogs). Hailing from Ohio via Florida, she looks super cute riding her Harley motorcycle and is an avid Buckeye fan.  

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