Over at Making Light last week, tnh linked to the Bad Pets List, an extremely long set of statements that bad pets ought to write 100 times on a blackboard. Excerpts from the ferret and cat list are in the post and its comments; I spent several days working through the dog list at various intervals and noting my favorites.
But first, two preliminary comments:
- I didn't keep in the ones that apply to dogs we know, because they aren't that interesting. (For instance, the one thing I really want Emmy to have to repeat daily is, "I will not eat things that make me vomit." See, not that interesting.)
- Crate your dogs, people! Or at least confine them in a dog-safe room. It seemed like half the list were things that happened because people left their dogs to roam the house when they were out. Well, sheesh—leave your dog to amuse herself in a house full of edible, breakable, destroyable stuff, and she'll eat, break, and destroy it. I promise it's not actually cruel, and it's far safer for everyone involved. This has been a Public Service Announcement.
- I will not sleep with my eyes open and my tongue hanging out. If I do, I will wake promptly when my owner shakes me; otherwise she will think I'm dead.
- I will not pee or even think about peeing on the baby Jesus in
the Nativity Scene on the church's front yard.
(Similarly: I will not herd the animals in the church's nativity scene.)
- I will not eat the chocolate rabbits in the little human's Easter basket. It will give him a complex and make him think his parents do not love him.
- I will not climb halfway up the Christmas tree, get stuck and scream my little Basenji lungs out so that the neighbors call the police, thinking that my human has murdered someone.
- I am a German Shepherd, not a spider. My human's embroidery
floss is not good web material.
(Similarly: I am a dog. I cannot knit or crochet. Dragging my human's wool all over the house will not help me to acquire these skills.)
- I will not eat the chocolate my human bought for my human and had hidden in his closet, then breathe in his face so he can smell the chocolate mint and know who did it.
- I will not eat wall-to-wall carpet.
- I will not jump through the living room's picture window just because I don't want to be left alone.
- I will not sleep under the kitchen table only to unbend during dinner, and walk away with the table on my back. This makes a mess and eating broken dishes along with the food hurts my mouth.
- I will not try to lick all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (even though I know I'm not supposed to), and then jump back when I am yelled at, catching my collar in the bottom rack and scaring myself, causing me try and run away dragging the whole (full) bottom rack with me, and breaking my human's mother's crystal cake platter that she to got as a wedding present.
- Ink jet cartridges are not chew toys. If I must think they are chew toys, I will try cleaning the carpet myself.
- It is not a moral imperative that I take and destroy the tops of soda bottles as soon as my human removes them. They will not hurt her.
- There are no moles living in the bed. I do not need to destroy the sheets to verify this.
- We, (all eight 5 week old German Shepherd/Husky pups), will not climb over the gate that separates the whelping room from the rest of the house. Furthermore, we will not eat the stereo's speaker cabinets, woofers, or tweeters and then play with the magnets. Nor shall we eat the collector's set of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies or the Beatles' White Album. Henceforth, we shall abstain from eating new couches or chairs, since the evacuation of foamy products is excruciatingly painful and deleterious to our health. Also, we will not eat coffee tables or tables of any sort, including entertainment centers. Lastly, we will not look absolutely adorable after having done so many dreadful things.
- I am a dog. Chocolate is not good for dogs. I therefore will not eat dark-chocolate covered espresso beans, no matter how good they smell, because they make me run around like a lunatic for hours and poop like some horrible poop monster.
- I do not need to bark excitedly at my food, "play-bow" to it, remove it one kibble at a time, and toss it around the kitchen before I eat it.
- I may be a Bird Dog, and a turkey may be a Bird, but the turkey that just came out of the oven is not fair game.
- I will not eat duraflame logs. I already have enough fiber in my diet.
- I will not eat out of my human's ice cream bowl while she's out of the room, then act innocent when she discovers ropes of drool on her spoon.
- I will not eat the crotches out of my naive female owner's dirty underwear leading her to believe she has a strange sort of sexually transmitted disease. (It was very embarrassing for her at the doctor.)
- I will not make guttural noises when my humans order stuffed crust pizza and then sit at their feet and moan in a stage whisper while crawling like a soldier on the floor.
- I will not rip open a brand-new box of Pop Tarts, consume an entire package, leaving the wrapper behind, and then hide one of the unopened packs for two days while my human anxiously awaits the passage of the other mylar wrapper. I will not take the hidden package and place it carefully in the middle of the living room, after we come back from an expensive X-ray trip to the vet looking for said wrapper, and then sit on the couch and look off into space like nothing is wrong.
- I will not rummage through grandpa's briefcase and eat classified microfiche.
- I will not steal the loaf of bread, and when my human catches me, will not close my eyes and eat faster so I can inhale the whole thing by the time she gets there.
- If I must slurp from my human's beer glass, it should be a national brand and not a microbrew.
- It is not necessary to blow bubbles in my water and then pounce on the bubbles every time I need a drink. I am not that thirsty. My human is running out of towels. I do not need to do this in mud puddles either.
- Wallpaper, drywall, and fiberglass insulation is a three-course meal that gives me a tummyache.
- When my human gives me a grape I will either eat it or give it to one of the other dogs. I do not have to bury it in the corner and guard it all day. I will also realize that my human doesn't want the stupid grape so I will not grumble whenever she looks in its direction.
- My human doesn't like it when I put a coyote skull on her pillow.
- I cannot type. And even if I could, I am barely able to speak English. Therefore, I probably cannot program in Smalltalk, and will refrain from trying to help my human at the keyboard.
- I do not need to imitate a draft excluder. It confuses people when they can't get into the room they left a couple of minutes back.
- I finally realize that my human's TV Guide is not my greatest enemy and that there is [no] need to put it in a safe place where it cannot hurt her.
- I will not cause a traffic jam by having sex with a collie in the middle of the road. My human gets embarrassed when she has to get me out of situations like that.
- I will not steal my human's girlfriend's shoes and let her chase me just to get a reaction from her. I will also not try to bite her toes. Dogs shouldn't have foot fetishes.
- I will not drag my human down the steps, across the golf course, and through the lake, even though I am stronger than she is.
- I will not go into the back seat and cover my eyes with my paws just because my human's driving.
- I will not pounce on Mom's gut while she is pregnant, even though it is fun to slide down.
- I will recognize my beloved human, even if she is wearing her drum-n-bugle-corps uniform.
- My human's brother-in-law is not the Antichrist.
(Similarly: Apples are fruit, not the devil.)
- I will not open the kitchen cabinets and pull out the garbage can, steel wool pads, garbage bags, etc. When my human has taken a hair ribbon and interlaced it (figure eight style) four times within the cabinet handles and tied it in a square knot, I will not untie the knot, unlace the ribbon to get in the kitchen cabinets. (And it is sheer impudence to lay the ribbon in a straight line next to the kitchen cabinet.) When my human then has to put a child guard lock on the kitchen cabinet, I will not unlock the guard and get in the kitchen cabinets.
- Moaning while getting a bath will not speed up the process.
- I will learn that howling whenever I hear sirens does not help the firemen find their way.
- I will not smack my tail against the doorjamb so hard that I fracture it, then, when it heals, do it again.
- I am a great big Malamute. I will not scream, wet on myself and cower in the car each and every time I see a live chicken. I will be brave, I will, I will.
- I will not play dead dog in the middle of the small kitchen floor when I see a plastic bag. It won't hurt me.
- Squirrels are not out to get me. (Repeat for an hour every
[Editor's note: this is a lost cause.]
- I will not lick crop-circles into the living room carpet. She won't believe my story about the aliens.
- I will not run, barking wildly, to the front door when I hear a doorbell ring on TV. We do not have a doorbell at home.
- Terriers cannot howl very well. I will stop trying because my voice sounds squeaky.
- I will not drink half a glass of my human's scotch and then start a drunken brawl with my 101 Dalmatian water bowl.
- I will not throw my dog toys over the fence. The dogs on the other side will not give them back.
- If I decide to take a walk without my human, I will remember how to get back home. It is a rather an embarrassing thing to have my human's neighbor a block away call and say that I am sitting on their porch crying.
- I should not torment my human's mother's cats by sticking my snoot under the door to the room they are in and snorting loudly.
- I will not fetch the cat every time my human calls for him.
(Similarly: The beagle is my sister and not a toy; therefore, when I am told to "get a toy", I shouldn't go grab her by the collar and try to drag her to the human.)
- I will not flip small dogs over with my snout just for the fun of it, especially not at the top of the stairs.
- I will not chew a hole in the bottom of the rabbit cage and sit there panting excitedly with my head up through the hole. This frightens the rabbit and causes my humans to elevate the rabbit cage.
- I must realize that the coyotes are terrible snobs, and that howling along with them will not get them to talk to me (especially when my howl sounds like the horn on the Queen Mary).
- I will not chase deer. They are too fast; I am too fat. And if by some miracle I ever caught one, it would kick the snot out of me.
- I will not continue to clean dog food from my teeth with the neighborhood porcupine.
- Moose are not play toys. Bears are definitely not play toys.
- Multi-coloured snakes are NOT my friends.
- Sheep fight back. They also have no sense of humour.
- When running as a dog team, and pulling a human on a sled, we will not chase any foxes for longer than 20 miles. And we certainly will not follow that fox to a live bombing area at the nearby air force base.
- I will not pull the down comforter off the bed and into the closet so I can sleep on it in the middle of the night.
- I will not move a large couch while 3 full-grown humans are on it to get at the ball I just lost behind it. This is very disconcerting to the humans, especially since I only weigh 25 lbs.
- I will not hide under the covers of my humans' bed and pull out my stitches. They can hear me spitting out the thread and they freak out and put the evil cone back on my head.
- The vet already has a husband, and even though I am in love with her, I will not tear big gouges in the door, and howl and cry for hours after she leaves.
- I will not eat the Bad Dog list.