Ten Things To Tell Your Dog Today


My dog Houdini knows fewer English language words than Koko the gorilla, but probably more than the kid at Taco Bell who had to call a manager because I paid him with a ten dollar bill and two pennies. Which is to say, several. Treat. Bath. Walk. Dish. Squeaky Beaver.

If only for one day, this magnificent beast could understand everything I’m telling him. Life would be easier for both of us. In case Mark Zuckerberg ever figures out a way to not only converse with dogs but to get them on Facebook, I have prepared a list of the ten most crucial things I would like to tell Mr. Hairy Houdini.

1. It’s a dog door, not an airlock.

I don’t know why you always burst through that thing as if there is oxygen in the kitchen but not outside. You were living outside when we found you, remember? It’s not that bad. And speaking of the dog door, I have to shake my head whenever I walk by and see your rear end still inside, while your front end is poked through the door, barking at some perceived threat in the back yard. Make a commitment, dog. In or out. The kitchen will still be here when you get back, I promise.

2. It’s called a walk, not a stop.

Look, I’ll be honest. I’m not entirely concerned with your welfare when I take you for a walk. It’s mostly about me getting a little exercise. So when I walk, I like to keep moving. We’re not investigating a crime scene here. If you’re going to stop and sniff every blade of grass, every leaf, each individual molecule of asphalt, and then leave a single drop of urine, it will take us a month to walk three blocks. Stop and smell the roses, yeah, but not everything else too.


“Did you hear that? I think a squirrel just dropped a pizza bone!”

3. Please stop licking your feet.

Why you insist on doing this in our bedroom after lights out is beyond me. I don’t get the fascination with your feet, but either cut it out or take it somewhere else. It sounds like a damn porno movie down there.

4. Sometimes you can’t come with me.

When I’m running errands I leave you at home because it’s better for both of us. You beg me to go for a ride in the truck, and then you whine the whole time you’re in there. Like an idiot, I reward your whining by rolling down the window. Even in subzero weather. At each stop, I have to abandon you for a few minutes because dogs are not allowed, well, pretty much everywhere. Just stay home. We’ll both be happier. If I invite you to come along for a long drive in the country, that’s when you should be concerned.

5. Your dog food brand is just fine.

I know your little friend is a f*!@ing show dog. I know he has f*!@ing  papers. I know he eats a special diet of high protein, additive-free, free-trade, organic food. The kibble I give you is good stuff—better than grocery store grade. I’m not going to spend more money for your food than for mine.

6. Not every moving object in your field of vision is a threat.

Look, Bob Barker, I know there are dogs who bark more than you do. But they would not last a day around here. Enough is enough. I know your eyesight is starting to go, but you’d probably be surprised at how little danger actually presents itself on a daily basis. I do think it’s pretty funny how you bark at bass players but not drummers.


“Who are you calling fat? When was the last time you even saw your pink thing?”

7. It’s okay to poop in your own yard.

The fact that you have to stop three times in the first block of our walk to take a crap tells me that you’re holding it in, hoping for me to reach for the leash. Just go lay some cable in the yard, where I don’t have to pick that shit up. And another thing. Sometimes I use a plastic grocery bag for something other than carrying around a load of cooling dog crap. So stop losing your shit, so to speak, every time I pull a bag out of the drawer.

8. I’m coming back. I always come back.

It’s clear that you have some pretty serious separation issues. The thing is, I live in this house. I always return, whether I’m gone for a week or just stepping out to fetch the mail. I would hope after 14 years on the payroll you’d figure that out, even with a brain the size of a pistachio. You don’ t have to act like I’m Lewis and Clark returning home from a journey across the Continental Divide every time I go outside to get the newspaper. Really, it’s embarrassing.

9. Your mouthwash ain’t makin’ it.

Yes, I’m quoting Clint Eastwood. Your breath would knock a dog off a gut wagon. Seriously, it is objectionable. I mean, it smells like you used a skunk for a straw. Your vet tells me that I should brush your teeth, but we both know that would involve some Greco-Roman action that I’m just not up for. Hell, I can barely remember to brush my own teeth sometimes. So I’ll keep giving you Greenies, but that’s not going to help much. I just wish you didn’t always want to lick me in the mouth.

10. You are getting enough food.

I realize you will disagree vehemently with this one, but trust me, you’re eating plenty. Look how fat you are, you fat bastard. You look like a bratwurst with eyes. Between the dog treats, the pizza bones, the chicken bits, the dropped morsels and the licked plates, you’re never going very long without something to eat. Food and affection, that’s all you have. I get it. I know that since we had your marbles removed you have no interest in sex. Hell, I haven’t seen your pink thing come out of your pants in years. But having food as your raison d’être is just unhealthy. Don’t look at me like that. Oh, all right. Here’s a Milk Bone.

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blog archive.


Have an off-white Christmas with Bob Wire.Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.


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