Thursday, May 22, 2014


Our dogs know SB's footsteps and will run for the door seconds after he steps out of the lift. They don't know mine so well, probably because I don't stomp like Godzilla, and so while he gets twin pups seated in front of him with swaying tails and happy faces, I open the door to the occasional alarmed bark, quickly followed by a frenzy of running in circles and flinging bodies. No matter that I ignore them when they are trying to jump on me, they don't actually require any participation from me and will ricochet off me as I attempt to wade past them into the living room.

While I was away, SB was apparently working on changing how the dogs greeted him. When he came home, I was busy in the kitchen and didn't go out to greet him until I heard, "Where's my tribute?" in a rather imperious voice. I walked out to find the dogs frantically rushing about the flat before hurrying back to SB with the nearest toys that they could find in their mouths. "Show me tribute," he said, as they stood in front of him, wiggling happily with toys in their mouths. Then he reached down and removed the toys before praising them lavishly and petting them.

"What are you doing," I demanded to know. He then proceeded to explain to me that as their overlord, he required that his subjects pay him tribute with their most prized possessions. He repeated this demand for tribute after returning from running an errand with similar results (he eventually gave back the toys). Great, I thought; Mr. Egomaniac has taught the dogs to worship him while they still don't know half of the most basic commands. But who needs a dog that can lay down on command when you can get it to fall prostrate as you enter the abode.

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