I know what we’re all thinking. NO ONE can replace me. I am the First Dog. But, still, my absence will leave a horrible hole in my Peoples’ lives, and they must try to fill it somehow. I don’t know how long they’ll wait after I’m gone. It could be weeks. It could be months. It could be years. But at some point, they will want to open their hearts to another hound. Here’s some advice to whoever has to try to fill my embarrassing doggy boots.
When we first started out, it was just the three of us. Me, Dad, and Mom. It was pretty awesome. I moved in, and immediately we were a family. We’d go on walks together, we’d snuggle together, we’d feed me treats together. After 5 years of racing, it was heaven to have my own, comfy bed that I shared with Mom but refused to let Dad sleep on.
About that. Mom and I had to let Dad pretend he was in charge. This is important- Dads like to think they have any authority. But honestly, when it’s bedtime, you give Dad the “look”; Mom gives Dad the “look”, and guess who’s sleeping on the couch? That’s right: Dad. If he thought for a second he wasn’t in charge, he would be trying to act dominant (so cute!) and kick you out of bed.
Another thing: they give treats for sporting events. If the Cubs get a home run, or win the game, you get a treat. If the Bears get a touchdown or win the game, you get a treat. You should probably try to convince the People to become fans of some other teams instead.
Eventually, Mom and Dad added more humans to the family. They came one at a time, and started out little and boring. The little humans weren’t bad- there was still room in Mom’s lap for me and the little human to snuggle. They’re weird, though- during walks, Mom pushes them in this big wheely thing. I still haven’t learned to pay attention to it, and often run into it on our walks. That thing comes out of nowhere! It’s a little embarrassing, since I’m supposed to have a 270° field of vision. However, that’s not the most important thing about the little humans. Little humans grow, and after a few months, they get REALLY interesting.
Mom and Dad started training the little humans for their true purpose- Food Dispensor. They put the Food Dispensor into a table like thing, and provide it with food. This helps the Food Dispensor learn which foods to throw to me, the Dog, and which foods to keep for itself. Parents start off slowly training your Food Dispensor, but gradually build up. Food Dispensor learns that things like cracker, cereal, and chicken are good to throw, while hopefully avoiding bad things, like onions and carrots. (Side note: if your Food Dispensor should ever accidentally throw you a carrot, the proper thing to do is to chew it up, then mash it into the carpet with your paws.)
When you move into MY house, you can thank me for Food Dispensor Senior’s and Food Dispensor Junior’s excellent training.
One really weird thing People do is they sometimes move. I don’t mean they get up and walk around. I mean they pack up all of our stuff, and go live in a brand new house. This is very stressful, because you just don’t know what is going on. Also, people are really bad at using cardboard boxes. You and I both know that cardboard boxes are meant to be torn to shreds. People put things in the boxes and save them. Weirdos. Even though the process of moving is stressful, it’s okay, because you’ll get to go with. You’re a part of the family, and will always be part of the family. Sometimes the People will leave you with Grandma and Grandpa for a few days while they’re on vacation, but they’ll always come back. Plus, you get to spend a few days with Grandpa, and Grandpa always has lots of treats. Win-win.
Now, it may sound like living with my People is the sweet life, just petting, eating, and walks. Don’t get me wrong- living with my People is great, but YOU have some responsibilities, too. For example, it is very important that everything that needs to be peed on outside gets peed on. This will be all on you. Humans apparently don’t know how to pee. Another thing is that humans like collecting your poop. It’s weird, but we still love them anyway. So, whenever you poop, expect a human to collect it in a baggy for safe keeping.
Besides keeping the People properly supplied with excrements, you will have to love them. This is very easy. They will pet you, and feed you, and love you. Loving them in return is easy. When Mom cries (and it will happen), be there for her. Let her pet you. Show her you love her. A nice, juicy burp in the face always makes her smile. When Dad is stressed, have him give you a belly rub. Seeing that you are neutered and he’s not will make him realize how good he has it. Be patient with the Food Dispensors. They are young, and they are learning. But most importantly, they drop a lot of food, and floor food = Dog food.
In short, New Hound, take care of my People. Love them, as they love you. I spent the first five years of my life racing before they were ready to adopt me. I spent the next seven years training them how to be excellent humans. They deserve the best, which they got, in me. You need to keep that legacy going.
Paws and Tail Wags,