My dog, Tanner is an Australian Shepherd, which means he’s capable of helping around the house. Well, if you’ve ever seen one of those shows about breeds, you would know, Aussies can be trained to do almost anything (which is the sole reason I chose him). I was pretty sure getting him would be like having a full time cleaning person.
The shows said that Australian Shepherds could unload your laundry into a basket, or unload your dishwasher, though I can’t imagine anyone wanting their dog to unload dishes? Would the dog put them in a basket like the laundry, because that wouldn’t be safe for glasses, or do these people have really low dog height cabinets? And do people who have dogs unload their dishes not see that their tongues could leave water spots??? (I’m sorry to those of you who have dish washing dogs, I don’t mean to be offensive.)
They also love to herd things, which is why I envisioned Tanner getting my children to congregate in a small area and circling them, making a playpen type boundary around them and doing so until they leave for college. Yep, he would also be a full time babysitter. I counted the money I’d be saving.
Ooh, and Aussies can be trained to fetch specific items which is great when you don’t want to get up. He could get my iPad, a calculator, a vodka/cranberry. Yes, I believed that he would be the most brilliant housekeeper/ best friend/ sitter/ bartender a woman could buy.
Then I got him. He spends most of his time on my lap (all 60 lbs) attempting to lick my face relentlessly. How is he ever going to understand shaken, not stirred, when he doesn’t get “no more licking”? As it turns out, he does herd everyone and everything while barking loudly and circling them and jumping on them until they’re dizzy and or unconscious. And, to top it all off, he doesn’t do any laundry at all. I mean none. He doesn’t even do the easy stuff, like match socks or fold towels. Well, he’ll fold a washcloth every now and then, but we’re not impressed.
Today, he started yacking up the grass he apparently ate this morning when I took him for his morning walk (and by walk, I mean, let him out in the back for a few minutes while saying, “good boy”).
Of course, I wasn’t saying, “good boy” when he ate the grass, I didn’t notice that part, because part of our “walk” includes me going back into the house and making a latte so he can have some pooping privacy. Well, he’s the only one in the house that even knows what that is, so don’t be all upset about the fact that he doesn’t get to walk in the AM! I’d trade a leashed walk to poop on the lawn without any onlookers any day. Wait, I think that needs rephrasing…
Anyhoo, while yacking, he looked at the grass (which was still in full grass form). The Aussie I signed up for would’ve thought? “I’ll go grab the swiffer,” but Tanner clearly thought, “How did that grass grow in here?” and “That looks delicious!”
I watched him come to this revelation and sternly said, “Leave It,” which is our dog command for, “leave it.” We learned to be simple in our commands, when we realized “Colors are to be washed in cold,” wasn’t getting through (I have a pink shirt or 2 to show for that miscommunication.)
He did leave it, and then, when I thought he was dumb enough to go back for it, he eyed it and simply walked away.
Which means the obvious: He is not a dumb dog who would try to eat his own puke… he is in fact a brilliant dog, who would only eat his own puke if it was within the limits of the 3 second rule — because anything more would be gross and unsanitary.
If he gets the 3 second rule, he trumps my husband in intelligence. Tomorrow we learn to make margaritas with salt!