What a dog’s life: food, family and fights

What a dog’s life: food, family and fights

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Now that the pumpkins are disappearing, I can get ready for the best holiday ever. It’s only about 14 weeks before everyone comes for Thanksgiving. Confused? I’m the dog and you have to multiply any time unit by seven.

Keep that in mind when it looks like I need to relieve myself. That “one more minute and I’ll take you out” line becomes especially painful when your 10 minutes is more than an hour of leaning against the wall, desperately trying not to be a “bad doggie” by relieving on the carpet.

What do I love about Thanksgiving? Let’s start with the food. There’s always someone — a vegetarian, a vegan or a messy kid — who wants to remove turkey from their plate without offending the host.

With the guests coming into an unfamiliar kitchen, I get plenty of scraps that don’t make it into the garbage. When these people turn their heads quickly to look at a touchdown, they miss the garbage can with the food they’re shoveling off their plate. Once in a while, I push the garbage can an inch or two to the left or right when no one is looking.

The weather is perfect for me. I walk around all summer wearing this heavy coat with my tongue hanging down by the floor, and waiting for the leaves to change. I can’t wait to get outside and roll around on the ground, scratching my back and breathing in the cool air.

Besides the food, my favorite times are when there’s a big fight. I know these people don’t come together to argue, but they can’t help it. They’ve got old wounds, they don’t get along all the time and their kids have huge differences. People go from barking at each other, to walking away, to barking and stomping, to whimpering. I can relate to all of that.

It doesn’t happen every year, especially now that everyone holds their electronics and ignores people in the room. Still, there’s the potential for howling. Now, while I wouldn’t suggest arguing, it can and does have its benefits for me. Every time someone gets upset enough, he or she grabs the leash and takes me for an incredibly long walk. That’s when they talk to me while I’m out there doing my usual sniffing for signs of other dogs on my pathway.

This one time I was sure I smelled a mixture of a Great Dane and a greyhound. That must have been one huge dog. I’ve had dreams about meeting that dog and challenging him to a race. I know I’m just a mutt, but I get big ideas and maybe the holidays will bring more than another bone and a pat on the head this year.

Anyway, people sometimes get on their knees and pet me while they look deep into my eyes. I look back at them and see why humans and dogs first became friends. Their eyes look so doglike sometimes, it’s incredible. And the cool thing is, if the light is right, I can see a small dog in the black part of their eyes. I keep wondering when I’ll meet that dog or if, maybe, deep down inside those eyes there’s a dog waiting to come out.

Bottom line? Don’t ask too much of me now. I’m saving my appetite for the big weekend and for all the exercise and heart-to-heart talks.