We are busy people and so the front doorway in our house is a busy place. We ready ourselves for our outings in the entryway, finding wayward shoes, zipping up jackets, and putting on gloves. It is quite often the case that we are going somewhere where Dexter can not join us, a grocery store, physical therapy, or the post office. It is in these cases that we give Dexter a treat, usually a biscuit or a jerky snack, right before heading out the door. As he is being given his treat I will tell him to, “be a good boy”, “hold down the fort until we get back”, or “keep an eye on the place”. He happily wags his tail and takes both the responsibility and the treat.
Sometimes I don’t just leave it at that. If I have laundry going I will ask him to transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer or to remove the clothes from the dryer when they are done and put them away. I have asked him to empty the dishwasher, vacuum the house, and mop the floors among other household chores. He wags his tail and takes the treat but he never agrees to the additional tasks asked of him. The boys and I laugh knowing full well that these things won’t get done while we are away and we all know why they won’t get done.
It has nothing to do with the fact that Dexter is a dog or that he lacks those rather handy digits we call the opposable thumbs. No, it is because Dexter is a dog of leisure who would rather have his friends come over and hang out and party with him than take out the trash. He is a wily one, our Dexter D Dog. By the time we get out of the car and back up to the house there is no evidence that a dog party has occurred. The balloons have been disposed of, the party hats neatly stowed away for the next time, the glasses and plates licked clean and put back in the cupboards. And of course there is neither hide nor hair of a guest to be seen.
How, then do we know that Dexter is a dog of such decadence and deceit? We know because he never denies it and quite often he wears a look of guilt or concern (at being caught, I imagine) across his furry brown and black German Shepherd face upon our arrival home. Perhaps the guilt stems from his nasty habit of snacking on his own feces in the backyard while he thinks he is alone and can’t be yelled at. I would rather think it is due to his secret canine social gatherings.
Now that he is older and arthritic I do not ask him as often to clean the bathrooms or pick up the kids’ toys when we are gone but I do expect him to have fewer of these parties. Does he? No he does not. He has in fact upped his game and level of sneakiness (who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks.) Quite often when we get back from running errands we will find him stretched out on the same patch of carpet we left him, eyes closed and breathing slow and calm. There is not a sign that just moments before he had been rushing around making sure all was in order and that the last of his friends have disappeared through the dog flap and into the woods.
The boys never tire of this game and honestly neither do I. Carter likes to think that Dexter’s dog friends are simply hiding in the bushes waiting for us to leave so the party can resume. Cody wonders what Dexter serves at his parties, cracking himself up when he thinks it might be hot dogs. Husband thinks we are all a little nuts.
I think it is just plain fun to think about the secret life of our dog Dexter.
I have this theory about my cats. I think they love it when we go on vacation. We get back and they look at us like, “Please leave again.”
Hahaha – I find it so fun to think about what our critters get into while we are away. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. 🙂
I, too, love that look of incredible guilt our dog gives us when we get home. Like, seriously girl, what have you done while we were away that would leave you so ashamed? We look around for clues, nothing is out of sorts, but her head lowers with each new place we search as though she may have left evidence there. 🙂
Too funny! Oh yes, that look of guilt – Dexter has it down to an art form.
I’m with Carter – I’ve always imagined my dog having friends over, mixing it up over the toilet bowl, napping on our couch when we aren’t around and then jumping into the shrubbery when they hear the garage door open.
Mixing it up over the toilet bowl – Ha! It is a good think our dogs have not figured out how to email or text otherwise I am sure Dexter would be contacting your dog and asking for an invite to the next party. It sounds like there are some pretty raging dog parties over there when you are gone!
I’m almost certain my cat and dog are in cahoots – they party like it’s 1999 the moment we step out the door. I’d bet that our dog (Chester E) and yours would get along very well – mine refuses to vacuum or do laundry as well.
The only chore Dexter consistently does for us is to make sure the throw rug by the entryway does not get up and walk away. Chester E and Dexter D would get into all sorts of trouble if they were able to hang out together.
I like to think Dexter is enjoying himself. I know Sampson and Delilah are really just lying on the sofa in front of the fire, soaking it all up. 🙂
I always thought my dog would sleep on the bed or the couch when we were away and then as soon as he heard the door open he would crawl off and sleep in his bed.
My cats party when we’re gone too…but they’re not as good as dexter. They forget to turn the tv back off that was off when we left and is now on when we return!