Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Perfect Pet: A Cautionary Tale, Part 4 of 10

“Dogs are able to ‘read’ even the most subtle human behaviors…
through our body language, smells and breathing patterns.” ---The Puppy Whisperer, pg 83

Jimmer spends most of his time being tethered up in the kitchen. That means we spend a lot of time together. Usually he gnaws on his chew toys, but one day--soon after our telepathic conversation--he just sat there, watching me. I would be pouring cereal and turn around to get the milk and he would be sitting in front of the fridge, watching me.

I would be cooking on the stove and drop something on the ground, and when I bent down to pick it up I would notice him, watching me.

I would be at the kitchen table, writing a letter and suddenly look over at him, and he’d be watching me like the Great Sphinx,

and his unblinking eyes would be fixated to mine like he was trying to burn holes straight through my pupils and out the back of my head.
He’s just trying to intimidate me, I thought. I decided he needed to be shown who was master. I grabbed the leash and took Jimmer outside.
From the moment I hooked the leash to his collar he yanked on it with his teeth, pulling me down the driveway. I told him to sit and he just looked at me and cocked his head, as if I was speaking Portuguese. “Sit.” I said. “Sit. SIT.” He grabbed the leash again and tugged at it. “Stop it. Give that back. Let go!” Finally I gave up and walked Jimmer back home. (Or you could say Jimmer pulled me back home.) We’d made it to the mailbox and back.
So now we were back to the kitchen again, with me cooking and Jimmer staring. I couldn’t put him outside because we didn’t have the fence installed yet, and couldn’t put him in the crate because he would whine incessantly. I tried to ignore him, but it is hard to ignore anything that that stares, especially if it has sharp teeth.
If this was what having a dog was like, I didn’t want it. Scott wasn’t with Jimmer all day like I was. He doesn’t understand what it is like to live with an animal like this. It was driving me crazy, and my husband needed to know. It was time for good ol' Scottyboy and I to have a talk.
Now, I’ve been married for ten years now, and I know that men don’t pick up on subtle hints, so I decided I would just be straightforward and communicate with him as clearly as I could. As I do with all important conversations that might affect my marriage I rehearsed it first in my head:
“Scott,” I would say, “Jimmer is trying to hypnotize me. I want you to take him to the shelter. Preferably one in a different state. Today.” I repeated that to myself over and over to be sure I would get it right when the time came.
“Scott,” I said to my husband when he came home from work. He bent down to greet Jimmer who was bounding around his knees with the kind of pandemonial euphoric excitement that you only see in lottery winners and people who are being rescued from a deserted islands. “Scott,” I began again, “I want to talk to you about Jim—“
“Just a minute.” He said. “Jimmer wants to do some tricks.” Scott fished some dog treats out of a jar on the counter while Jimmer was still bouncing around like a ping pong ball.
“Sit.” Scott commanded. Jimmer instantly sat. Scott gave him a treat.
“Down.” Jimmer lay down. Another treat.
“Roll over.” Jimmer rolled over. Treat.
“Up. Stay. Sit. Down. Roll over. Up. Jump! Spin!” Jimmer performed every command with the precision of a West Point cadet. I felt at any moment he might salute.
“Good boy!” Scott proclaimed, squatting down and showering Jimmer with treats and pets. Scott looked up at me. “Isn’t he brilliant? I am amazed at how smart this dog is. We are so lucky to have a dog like this, isn’t that right, Jimmer? Oh yeah, Chelsea, did you want to talk to me about something?”
I opened my mouth. What was I supposed to say? Jimmer was sitting between Scott’s legs, panting and smiling up at me like Ryan Seacrest. I closed my mouth.
“Never mind.” I said. I turned and started dinner.

Here is a photo of Scott bathing Jimmer. I am taking the photograph.
Notice when he looks at me his eyes glow red.
You see it, too, don't you? Click here for Part 5


  1. This dog knows you hate him. He is one smart dog.

  2. Oh my! My parents have a huge (some say adorable) black lab. My kids love it. I started hating it the day my kids came home with fleas. He sits on the back porch calmly as my kids run to him with loads of love. He sees me get out of the car and starts to growl. We keep out distance. One afternoon while I was fixing dinner, Kathryn asked me, "Mom, why you no pet Char Char?" "I don't know Kathryn" (How do you tell your 3 year old you don't like animals?) "It cause he's dirty?" "Maybe." "Mom! You can wash your hands! Ugh!" Char Char is a lot bigger than Jimmer. I bet he could take him..if you know what I mean. Happy to arrange a 'play date'.

  3. Haahaha! This is great- I love reading this :). I do understand the frustration though...not fun. And yes, his eyes are glowing red.

  4. I am dying with laughter! My question is does Scott read your blog?

    Keep them coming JK!!!!

  5. The more i hear dog stories the more it convinces me that I don't need one. UGH! That hypnotizing stare would drive me bonkers!!!!

  6. This is great chelsea. Since I was out of town and am now behind on blogs I get to read this all at once, but I wanted to stop and comment here and tell you this is great. I mean, not what's going on...but the story, you know.