What is it about our canine companions that makes them so darn lovable? It’s not like they help with the housework, do the shopping, or pay their share of the bills. And when they’re not dropping twirlies for us to step in, staining the lawns yellow, or scaring the flapjacks out of hapless mailmen, they’re just lazing about doing zip.
It’s amazing. We feed them, groom them, walk them, play with them, clean up after them, and whisper sweet nothings in their floppy ears, yet have conned ourselves into believing we are 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 six 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 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!
2. The Sit-Roll-and-Stay Habit
We think we’re so clever because we’ve taught them a few rudimentary commands. 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. We, of course, oblige them. What we’re blissfully unaware of, however, is that they’re employing a neuro-linguistic programming technique designed to make us go weak at the knees whenever that paw comes near us.
4. The I’m-an-Adorable-Nut habit
Whether they’re chasing their tails or tearing madly around our backyards after we’ve washed them, our balmy bow-wows know what makes us laugh. But the truth is they’re laughing at us because 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 tummies, and we eagerly oblige them. But would we do likewise 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, waiting for us, jumping out of their fur coats with excitement, are our faithful four-legged friends. It’s because they worship the carpets our comfy slippers shuffle on, right? Wrong! It’s because they were worried sick we’d croaked at work. No more us means no more five-star accommodation with complimentary butler service.