Decoding doggo behaviour is not really my job, but I had to step in. I could not bear to see my dear mate Kiko part sad and part embarrassed about being called reactive and so on. There is a limit!
Let me begin with a simple question. To hoomans reading this post and doggos listening to your hoomans’ narration – do you like everyone you meet? If the answer is yes, it is precisely for you that we get a bad name (just joking, no hard feelings, please).
To those answering in the negative, we understand; neither do we like everyone and their grandmother. My mothership mostly dislikes her kind; the only exception being hoomans with doggos. She loves all doggos though and almost instantly makes friends with them. She is a bit extreme; I know. Now the issue is, I am her exact replica in the doggo world. I do not get along with most doggos but get along well with hoomans. There are only a handful of doggos who I adore – they are my inner circle. Kiko too has his inner circle – sometimes I envy him for having such a cute BFF in Aiko.
Kiko and I go to the same dogsery and not for once have our hoomans been called for a hooman-pawfessor meet. We know how to behave well, and we get along perfectly well with our friends there. We huddle together, even play a lot. Kiko even swims like Phelps and mind you there are other dogs in the pool but no accidents. When we need our space, we simply move away or our pawfessors intervene to maintain order. But we do not cause a nuisance; we are good dog citizens. For the record, Kiko and I have both passed our assessment tests with flying colours – our Head Pawfessor Romi can verify.
Coming to the hot topic of dog parks, my hoomans and I stay away from these community spaces. As I said, mothership and I are not exactly ‘take us anywhere’ folks. We like our space. Also, I must tell you that I have been bitten by big dogs not once but twice in these parks. My fault was I barked urging them to stay away from my hoomans. Please note that I did not lunge at them, merely asked them to stay away. And got bitten! Is it then fair to call me aggressive? Nowadays, whenever I am nearing another doggo, my hoomans use a nice term temperamental…I can live with that. My friend Kiko is not much different. He is a very loving doggo who is slightly selective in his choices, just like me.
By the way, have you heard The Yellow Dog Project? It is a global initiative for doggos like Kiko and I who need space. Next time you see a doggo wearing a sassy yellow tag, do ask for permission before approaching. I suspect many of those who claim to know the ABC of doggo behaviour will need some education on this; Mr. Google can assist!
I was quite disappointed to know that Kiko was put on the naughty list this Christmas just because he toppled the X-mas three and chewed on a few things. That, I thought, was a little harsh. My friend was only missing his momager, who had to work hard during the holidays. I am with you Kiko, I understand. Now that I stay at home on most days, I too miss my mothership on the days I go to the dogsery. I do not chew on things, but what the heck I am older than you, Kiko. And you will get there too.
Before signing off, my hooman insists that I should tell you all about something. When I was a little pup, if a big dog approached me, my mothership would pick me up quickly. She thinks that is why I tend to bark at dogs while crossing paths with them. She was only concerned that I should not get hurt, but a little rough play does not hurt. She realises it now. So, be mindful of how you are bringing up us doggos – certain behaviours stick, you know. But it is never too late to meet doggo behaviouralists, some of them are really nice. It is quite like hoomans visiting nice therapists and feeling better.
For today, this much decoding of doggo behaviour is good enough, I guess. Next time before you say anything harsh about Kiko, remember I am right here to deliver another sermon.
PS: To those who tell our hoomans that doggos like Kiko and I need socialising, we can produce certificates of excellence.
Mr. Popo is the Paw-in-Chief of PawzNRead. He contributes o’paw’nion pieces for the blog.