How To Walk Humans
Author: Luke Marchant
The problem with many dogs nowadays is that they forget that a human is not just for Christmas, it is for life. Shortly after being born, many puppies (with the naivety and inexperience of youth, I must add) impulse buy a human. They seem to think that owning humans will be all play, forgetting that the first few months are the hardest and that they'll have to work like a…hard worker.
This essential guide will help you through those first months and hopefully, provide all first-time people buyers with some invaluable insight into the bizarre workings of the human mind.
1. Entering the house. Once you walk into the "house" (an over-sized kennel), mark your territory immediately. Ideal locations for doing this include any expensive looking rugs or elderly relatives that are lying around. If the humans yell at you, do it again. It is important that you let them know who is boss.
2. Make yourself at home. Humans love home improvement, so try to add a bit of yourself to the house by altering the furniture. This is very easy to do, just nibble off the corner of a coffee table or scratch a door to pieces. Don't be afraid to use your imagination and try something new; my personal favourite is moving lots of human food from the inside of their fridge to the adjacent floor. When the humans discover your work, make sure you sit next to it and wag your tail so that they realise whom to accredit the alterations to. If they become over excited, mark your territory.
3. Avoiding danger. Shortly after you have settled in your new home, many humans will come to visit you. However, you need to be careful as you will inevitably encounter "Children" (mini humans; remember, the smaller the human, the more dangerous they are). Many children will insist on attacking you; they'll either rapidly tap you on the head or scratch your ear. This may be painful, or even just plain annoying, but please, please do not run away. Stay still (perhaps wag your tail as a sign of impatience) and pray that the mini-humans will lose interest. If you do attempt escape, the children will rapidly pursue you. Indeed, nature knows no worse predator than a determined mini-human. Upon cornering you, the children will awkwardly hoist you in the air and scratch/tap you some more. For emergency escape, mark your territory. The child will quickly abandon you. (This is not strictly true, the smallest mini-humans, the variety referred to as "Bairns", "Babies" or "Li'l Tykes" will probably mark their territory as well and then continue harassing you. Whimper to let them know that they have won and they will hopefully abandon you)
4. New Tricks: The older you get, the harder these are to learn, but humans will try to teach you certain performance pieces. They will often spend seven laborious hours with you (one in human time) getting you to act like them for various delicious rewards. Remember: the more you fail, the bigger the reward. It is imperative that you let the humans know that you will only perform for them if they pay you with treats. The famous actress Lassie infamously forgot this golden rule. Apparently, she started off performing tricks such as "sit" without edible rewards, and before long was rescuing mini-humans from mine shafts for little more than an affectionate pat on the head.
5. Exercise: Take your humans for walks regularly. Humans are notoriously lazy so will need much encouragement. When walking, you will have your humans on a "lead" (a cable designed to enable dogs to tow and guide their humans to various destinations). The humans will frequently pull on this lead and slow you down, but you must not let them walk at a normal pace; they will not get proper exercise if they go too slowly.
Once you are off the lead, you must protect your humans from any passing cats or cyclists. Furthermore, many humans suffer from acute amnesia in open spaces. Indeed, they very often drop a ball or a stick on the walk, which you have to return to them. Moments later, they will drop the object again. Make sure you are patient and bring the discarded object back to them each time, otherwise they will forget it.
When you return to the house, demonstrate that you realise that you are home by marking your territory.
6. Conversational English: Here are a collection of human phrases that you will find useful (do not repeat them, humans find it disturbing if their canine owners talk back to them in the same language).
Sit! - Take the weight off your feet and rest on your haunches.
Dinner!- I have poured some dry, meat flavour biscuits into a bowl. Please try it. Din-dins!
Walkies!- Please take me outside.
Good Boy/Girl - Congratulations are in order.
Vet- Run for your life.
Wilma's next article will be published soon. For the mean time, dogs are welcome to try her earlier work, the self-help book "Finding Your Inner Puppy"
About the author: Wilma Woof is the author pen name for pet humour articles published on http://www.allpetservices.co.uk, a free directory for pet services, pet sitting, dog walking, and more.
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