Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doogie, The Bionic Beggar

My last alumni magazine from Central Michigan University had a cover photo of John Grogan. Yes, the author of the best-selling Marlee and Me, attended the same University I did. Probably took some of the same classes, maybe even from some of the same professors. But he was lucky enough to acquire a Labrador Retriever whose antics have entertained countless readers.

Not so my dog Doogie. About all he does lately is beg for a Beggin Strip. Or a T-Bone, or a Canine Carryout, a Pupperoni, a Riblet, or whatever people-food you might be eating yourself.

To paraphrase some lines form Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie The Terminator--That's what he does. That's all he does! You can't stop him. He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel shame, or remorse, or fear. And he absolutely will not stop, ever, until you give him his treat.

Yes, we know it shows poor discipline on our part to let our dog have his way with us. My brother-in-law chides us about this every time we have a cookout at his house. Doogie mooches a morsel here, a morsel there. Not from my brother-in-law, though.

What's odd is that Doogie seems to violate the laws of basic of psychology in this regard. Through the years, my brother-in-law NEVER has given Doog as much as a crumb. Yet, my dog will today stare at him endlessly while he pounds down his hamburger. Never mind that there are others eating nearby that Doogie knows would be an easier touch.

Now I don't know if dogs have goals in life but Doogie apparently has as his mission to successfully beg a hand-out from my brother-in-law. It's a real case of irresistable force meets immoveable object.

Lately, I have tried to reason with the mutt. If he scratches at the kitchen cupboard where his treats are kept, I'll have him sit down while I explain to him that he just had one an hour ago. And if he eats too many treats, it will spoil his supper. Doogie will dutifully sit there and stare unflinching straight into my eyes as if recording every word.

But if I don't make a move towards the cupboard after I'm done with my speech, he will go to the cupboard himself and scratch again. It's as if he's saying, "I understand what you say. Your opinion obviously is well thought out and quite profound. But where is my treat?"

So to get him to stop bugging me I relent and give him his hand-out.

Stupid dog.


Anonymous squirrel said...

Your dog is adorable and that sweater is soooo cute!!!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Love the sweater! Does Doogie mind wearing it?

I'll be posting about my dogs in the next few weeks...ironically, my husband told us a funny story about one of them yesterday, and I thought it would make a good post. And now that I actually know how to post pictures, you'll get to see what they look like. No sweaters, though...they're too fat.

I think dogs are amazing, and they bring us more joy than we even realize, wouldn't you agree?

Take good care,

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, your tag "stupid dog" couldn't be further from the truth my friend, he has you (and it seems everyone but your brother-in-law) wrapped firmly around his clever little paws.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hehehehehe...be careful who you are calling names here, Dave! ;)

Doogie will reign supreme over your brother-in-law...you just wait and see! The day will come and it's not very far away! It WILL happen...just make sure you're present to witness the great event, because you can be assured if it happens out of your eyesight, brother-in-law will not admit defeat! lol

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupid dog? Not on your tintype. He has you right where he wants you.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doogie would be smarter in a SPARTAN sweater.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

I'd probably do the same thing.

There's a stray cat who has lived in our yard for about 9 years now, and she's coming to the end of her life. Every time I see her looking in the front door, I run and get her a bit more canned catfood. I don't want her to go hungry.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Hehe. . .sounds like my kids begging me for snacks.

Cute pup.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old song goes like this---
"Your lips tell me no-no, but
There's yes-yes in your eyes!"-
Doogie is reading you right!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

"Stupid dog." Not really, Big Dave. Didn't he get his treat? I would say he's pretty smart - and determined - and very very cute!!! And I'll just bet that your brother in law gives Doogie treats when no one is watching. I bet they have a secret alliance. Doogie's not going to tell because he's playing it from both sides. He's not such a stupid dog after all. He's a genius!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Hmmmm? Are you positive your brother-in-law has never given Doogie a treat? The same thing happened for years with my husband and our friend's dog Annie. We all thought this very odd and funny that Annie hung with the one who never gave her treats under the table...until we caught my husband one night sneaking doggie treats he kept in his pocket just for Annie. Seems he had been doing it for years and the joke was on us!

Great post Big Dave...have a great week.

11:55 AM  
Blogger vicki said...

I knew- as soon as I saw Doogie in that sweater, the Ms. B would have weighed in on the matter.

Your description of Doogie highlights one of the less attractive features about dogs- their unrelenting pursuit of food through begging. Cats don't tend to do this. Ours aren't interested in people food but if there's something they really want they just wait until we go to bed and then hp on the counter and help themselves.

I guess for a dog, Doogie is cute enough. I DO like his sweater.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Doogie sounds like my 18 year old Persian. She was just in here yowling at me until I got up and follwed her to the pantry where the treats are. Dumb? Not likely.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

Cute sweater on the pup!

9:50 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave... doesn't he have that on backwards? (of course it would be hard to read the other way!) ~ jb///

10:10 AM  
Anonymous jan said...

I used to keep doggy treats in a drawer, but I moved them up to a cabinet. Still my dogs would snap to attention and rush over every time I opened that drawer. So being well trained, I reached in the cabinet to get their treat.

Once I remarked that they were pretty dumb not to realize that the treats were no longer in the drawer. My son pointed out that they got the treats anyway, and they really were not the dumb ones.

Love Doogie, my kind of dog.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous kristy said...

My mom always says she can't figure out why her dog begs. As she gives him yet another bite of whatever she's eating.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

This was great......lol
Doogie is ONE smart cookie. (no pun intended)
And some people say dogs can't "think".....yeah, right. Tell that to Doogie!
He's adorable, by the way and love his winter attire.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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