"THE REASON I ATE THE SOFA"
By Axelrod (The Yellow Lab)
I know this is a sore subject. You’ve held this against me for like a
coon’s age, which I think is three to five years, unless the raccoon
is trying to take a short cut through our yard. Then it’s less.
I’m not stupid. I knew it was a bad thing from the moment you walked
into the house and said the word “bad” over and over again. By the
way, why did you automatically think it was me? Not once did you turn
and look at each other and ask, “Honey, did you eat the sofa?” No,
you just assumed it was Axelrod.
Okay, it was Axelrod. But there’s an explanation.
I didn’t do it because I was angry that you were gone so long that
day. I’m not the kind of dog who thinks about anger and revenge.
Honestly. Revenge would require long-term thinking. I’m not good at
And it’s not because I was bored. I actually started eating it just a
few seconds after you walked out the door. Besides, I’m bored a lot.
Sometimes I wish I had fleas or ticks because at least that would give
me something to occupy my mind during those long, lonely stretches.
I think if you have to blame someone for the sofa, blame yourself. After
all, you’re the guys who brought home the really huge chew bone with
the rawhide. Remember? That chew was almost as big as me at the time.
And when I started eating it, you both laughed and took pictures.
It took me a while to finish that bone. Then the sofa came into the
house and how was I to know? That chew is made out of rawhide. And
rawhide is like leather. And the sofa was made out of leather—or
something kind of like leather. I thought you wanted me to go for it.
Honest mistake. Won’t do it again. I guess the rule is, if you guys
sit on it, it’s not a chew.
"I CAN POOP THE SECOND I START MY WALK"
By Sophie (The Cocker Spaniel)
I shouldn’t be telling you. This is a closely guarded secret in the
dog world, a secret so big it could change the world as we know it. A
huge scoop. And yes, I am aware that “scoop” has two meanings.
When we started doing this walk thing, I was young. You brought along
the tiny treats and I was a good girl and then we went home. And then
one time I got distracted. Before I knew it, we’d gone around the
block twice. What a discovery. I could actually control the length of
the walk. In theory, we could go forever, maybe as long as Sherman’s
march. (Sherman is the basset hound down the block with hemorrhoids. He
can be out there for hours.)
Those first long walks were magical. We would go and keep going and you
would sweet-talk me like it was you who wanted the tiny treat, not me.
Then I finally pooped and you got so excited, like I’d just sat and
rolled over and played dead all at the same time.
As time went on, I got a little bolder. How long could I drag this walk
thing out? Not forever, after all. At some point, you lose your patience
and just take me back inside. Then a little while later, nature calls
and I have to do the whole hiding-the-poop-under-the-table trick, which
never works. I don’t know why I even try.
So we came to this kind of compromise, the kind where you don’t know
it’s a compromise and I try to time out just how long your patience
is. I’ll sniff around and squat a few times and keep walking. And
you’ll keep your eye on my rear end like it’s some kind of
wrapped-up birthday present.
Now that I’m getting up there in dog years, the game isn’t quite as
much fun. The acting isn’t really acting anymore. It does take me
awhile to get my business done. And the nice thing is you’re just as
patient as when I was a puppy.
Maybe even a little more so. That’s nice.
“YOU CAN FORGET MY BIRTHDAY”
By Tinkerbell (The Chihuahua)
First off, I don’t know when I was born. Honestly. My eyes were closed
and I had no idea if I was still in or out, except that at one point it
stopped being crowded. So I missed my original birthday, which I don’t
think is all that unusual.
Also, I’m not sure exactly when a year has gone by – or seven years
as you like to put it. “Hey, everyone. Tink is like 28. Like
middle-aged. That’s funny.” Well, I’m not 28. I’m a vibrant
four-year-old. But that’s not my point entirely.
My point is we don’t celebrate birthdays. If you really want to know,
we celebrate naps and escaping from the backyard and the death of cats.
Remember that time I altered the leather on your favorite shoes and you
locked me in the closet and I altered the straps on your second favorite
shoes? That wasn’t because you forgot my birthday the day before. No.
They were just ugly. I was doing you a favor.
Also, I couldn’t resist the irony of you punishing me for the first
shoe crime by locking me in your shoe closet. That’s why I ate the
second pair, even though I wasn’t in the mood.
So, about yesterday’s party… I guess I liked the attention and all
my friends coming over. But it wasn’t much different from a hundred
other playdates, except maybe for the tent in the backyard and the
doggie cupcakes with the lighted candles. And later on, of course, the
fire truck and the water hoses.
But all that other stuff – before the flaming tent and the water…
oh, and before the bleeding, screaming clown – some of that early
stuff was lame. Like making us do karaoke. And hair extensions. They
just don’t look natural on me.
Oh, about the clown incident. The dogs had this bet going about whether
that was his real nose. And whether those were his real shoes. And, tell
me, really, what kind of clown shows up wearing his own nose and shoes?
I mean, losing a bet like that is enough to drive you rabid. Anyway…
Excerpted from "Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All" by Jeff Johnson. Copyright © 2012 by Jeff Johnson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.