There’s a saying you should strive to be the person your dog thinks you are. This is good advice and I think applies to cats as well since cats are excellent judges of character, as proven by the fact that if you put twenty people in a room and only one of them doesn’t like cats the cat will go right for that person, which also proves cats have a great sense of humor. This principle probably applies to other pets too, although I’m not sure what kind of person your fish or tarantula might think you are, and if you’re one of those people with a ferret as a pet you should strive to stay away from me because those things freak me out.
Anyway I do try to be the person our dogs think I am because they seem to think I’m a pretty good guy. Even our youngest and newest addition to the family thought so even before I knew his name, which is Sabik. I wasn’t familiar with that name and when I first heard it thought it might be from Star Trek, because I’m not only a huge geek but our dogs think I’m a huge geek, especially when I sing They Might Be Giants songs to them, but my wife explained that Sabik is a star in the constellation of Ophiuchus, in keeping with a stellar family tradition since his grandfather was named Sagan.
And like his namesake Sagan was smart and had a quirky sense of humor. He liked to get in the bed. In fact he didn’t just like to get in the bed–he would get excited and run to the bed and fling himself onto it and then if I lay down he’d immediately curl up next to me because he could go from sixty to zero in 1.8 seconds. And then if I moved at all he’d let out a disgruntled moan that would last approximately six and a half minutes. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t really annoyed but only did that because it made me laugh, but that’s another story.
I don’t take it for granted that our dogs think I’m a pretty good guy and believe in taking care of them which includes preparing their food. My wife is usually the one who feeds them, but we have them on the aptly named BARF diet. That’s Bones And Raw Food, which means every few weeks I get to grind up a lot of chicken into the same kind of paste they use for making nuggets and also a lot of vegetables into the same kind of paste you might spoon into your smoothie to try and pass it off as healthy. We get the chicken from a dealer but I get the vegetables at the grocery and the purchase of mass quantities always seems to raise some eyebrows at the checkout even though I’m pretty sure they’ve seen stranger things. And sometimes my purchases raise questions, like the other day when I was buying a heap of kale and other leafy greens and assorted vegetables and a few assorted sundries the guy checking me out asked, “What are you going to do with all this?”
This seemed like an unusual question. What do most people do with food they buy? And yet I also thought it might sound goofy if I said it was going to be fed to some dogs, even if they are exceptional dogs.
“Well, this is my special superfood blend. I’m going to puree the kale and other greens with the ginger and vegetables, the sardines and skim milk are there to add protein, and the pink lemonade is just to give it all a little color and add some sweetness. Then I’ll pour the whole mixture into a hot tub and soak in it for twelve hours.”
And then I left so I have no idea what kind of person that guy thinks I am.