My daughter, Emily, suggested that I write about “the seven deadly sins” but with a canine twist. Naturally, I loved the idea and felt that it should be my next post.
Lust of course comes straight to my mind from my hours at the off leash parks over the years. Fulton, a regular I walk would find this the hardest sin to let go of. After each of his trips to the park, his owner Janine will always ask, “How was he?” The funny thing is that we both know the answer. I always say that he had a great time, and perhaps mention if we went somewhere new or if an adventure had occurred. Then after a pregnant pause, I wryly answer “He was humping again” and give details on his newest desire. Fulton has favorite types, particularly Golden Retrievers or Chocolate Labradors. Sometimes he lusts after an older slow moving senior (an easy conquest!) which I have to break up. He certainly is known as the park “Romeo,” but I figure there are far worse traits than doing the “dog conga.” He is totally aware of his actions and my usual response; like a child he waits for me to make eye contact with him, or to physically remove him from the situation.
Gluttony is one of my two Labradors greatest sins. They love watching me prep and make dinner and hope that I will drop a morsel by accident. They both eat their food in record time and stalk me when their meals are due. They have incredible inner clocks that are so completely accurate, I could go without a watch or clocks on our walls to know what hour it is! From my boarding experience, I have found that dogs eat at all different paces. When a dog is a slower eater – which I find most poodles or poodle-mixes to be- my Labradors are very hopeful that they will get some of their meal. They are very stealthy and walk silently up behind the visitor, politely eating its food, ready to gulp down any remaining bits of morsels left. Once the dog is finished, its bowl is spun in a whirling fashion; all sides of the dish are explored by Abby and Ember’s fancy tongue work. I have no doubt that if I ever left their bucket of kibble open they would eat the entire pail and then be sick. Gluttony really is their dog “sin.”
Greed is another dog “sin” which I see on a regular basis, especially by my dog Ember. She is the type of dog that will not allow other dogs to have their own toys, carefully packed by their owners before a dog comes to board. The resource guarding type of dog could also be accused of this “sin.” At the park I see many dogs who won’t share their ball, or stick, for example. Sometimes they will take others toys, which is evident when a dog has three balls etc. in their mouth at once!
Wrath is a trickier sin to put a spin in in the canine world. All I can think of are dogs that have experienced a negative event with another dog, for example a fight. I walk a Portuguese water dog named Jackson. When he was a puppy he had a terrible scare from a large dog. If I am walking him and the other dog comes towards us by fluke with its owner, Jackson goes crazy in a “rage,” which I believe is wrath in its best form. He even associates all other dogs that look like the other dog as being “the one.” I always have my eyes peeled when walking Jackson to try to avoid an unnecessary flare up. He is a lovely dog otherwise and a pleasure to walk along with his sister Marley.
Envy is another dog “sin” that I see on a regular basis. It can be something as simple as patting someone else’s dog in front of your dog. Quite often the owner’s dog will body check the other dog out of the way, or start leaping on the owner with body language saying ‘I am here, pat me instead!” I have even seen a large dog breed stand up on its rear legs onto their owner, which makes themselves taller and easier to see.
Sloth was also an easier “sin” to think of. Believe or not some dogs actually would rather sleep than go for a walk. I walk a dog that needs a lot of prompting to get off the couch and go get some exercise with me. I know her hiding spots around the house, where she is always found dozing. There are some dogs that come to board who sleep in later than we do! When I try to wake them up for their breakfast, they don’t even open an eye!
I found pride to be the most difficult of the sins to create with a canine twist. Immediately I think of our two dogs and their “happy ears” they display at times. This happens sometimes when they see me come through our front door, or come back from the park. They wag their tail and tuck their ears back in an unnatural state; seeing them do as so pulls at my heartstrings every single time. A full body wag is Ember’s signature, which she often does for family members; I am sure she does this because of her pride in her forever home and as a way to show us her gratefulness. Also, I can easily say the majority of dog owners think their dog is the most beautiful, clever, smartest and most loving dog in the world. Not that there is anything wrong with that!
What do you think of these deadly dog “sins?” How does your dog “sin?”
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