What is it about our canine companions that makes them so darn adorable and fun to have around? It’s not like they help with the housework, do the shopping, or pay their share of the power bills, or anything. And when they’re not dropping twirlies our feet are sure to squish, staining the lawns yellow with tinkle, or scaring the flapjacks out of hapless mailmen and passers-by, they’re just lazing around doing zip.
We feed them, groom them, walk them, play with them, clean up after them, and whisper sweet nothings in their floppy ears. Yet, despite our incessant pandering to their every need, we’ve conned ourselves into believing we’re their masters. How do these tail-swishing Mesmers draw us into their thrall and hold us there like besotted groupies? It all boils down to seven habits they use against us with stunning effectiveness.
1. The Doe-Eyed Doggy Habit
We’ve all copped this plaintive look from our rascally rovers when they’re eyeing some tasty repast we’re hoeing into or when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have, like turning mom’s prized Louis Vuitton handbag into a patchwork doily. But such is the compelling power of this look that it’s well-nigh impossible to resist. You want this chicken breast? It’s yours! You ruined a 2000-dollar fashion masterpiece that took me a year to save up for? Oh come here, you silly duffer. All is forgiven.
2. The Sit, Roll, and Stay Habit
We think we’re oh so clever because we’ve taught them a few rudimentary commands, like “Sit!” and “Fetch!”. We call it obedience. They call it humoring the poor fools to get free rent and board all the days of their lives. What a deal!
3. The Please Shake My Furry Paw Habit
Our furtive fidos sit before us, like adoring servants at their masters’ feet, and raise a paw as if wanting to shake our hands, issuing an encouraging woof in the process. We oblige them, unaware that they’re employing a neuro-linguistic programming technique designed to make us go weak at the knees whenever that paw comes anywhere near us.
4. The I’m a Loveable Nut habit
Whether they’re chasing their tails, snapping at the wheels of an ice cream truck, or racing around our backyards, as if their bums were on fire, after we’ve washed them, our balmy bow-wows know what makes us laugh. But the truth is they’re laughing at us, for they know that if we carried on like that, we’d be institutionalized. The cheeky barkers!
5. The If You Love Me Rub My Tummy Habit
Our pooches roll onto their backs so we’ll rub their furry bellies and, naturally, we’re only too eager to oblige them. But would we render the same service to a human with such a hirsute gut? Absolutely not! That would be gross. But a crotch-sniffing, flea-ridden, tush-licking dog? No problem.
6. The So Happy Together Habit
We arrive home from work and there are our faithful four-legged friends jumping out of their fur coats to see us again. It’s because they worship the carpets our comfy slippers shuffle on, right? Wrong! It’s because they were worried sick we’d died at work. No us means no free eats and no five-star accommodation with complimentary butler service.
7. The I’m Missing You Already Habit
We’re leaving home for work, and our pooches are barking mad about it. We think it’s separation anxiety, but our pooches are just out of their minds with worry that we won’t be coming back. Why do we put them through this hell every day? If we really cared, we’d go on unemployment.