You know that famous painting of the dogs playing poker? I know a dog that could do that. He is a player, a faker, a bluffer. He uses every situation to his advantage.
I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, he’s not a mean dog. Farthest thing from it. He’s the sweetest thing on four legs I’ve ever met.
You see, he’s actually a drama queen kind of dog. Yes, it’s true. A dog drama queen.
Let me introduce you to Murphy. First of all, he is not my dog. I do not own dogs, I don’t have any desire to own dogs. I have children, and a husband. Just enough of each. A dog is just another human being in disguise. I have no need for another household member to care for, worry about, feed, cajole, mollify, or cater to. (Now I sound like a bad guy, whatever.)
Murphy is the proud owner of a family that I am friends with. I’m at their home almost every day. And every time I show up at the door, there is Murphy behaving as if I abandoned him and he thought he’d never see me again. He gets this whiny, shaking, I’m so traumatized I could cry thing going on that makes you want to pick him up and snuggle him like a baby. Just like he wants you to do. I used to buy into this act. He’s not really all that traumatized. But it gets him some stellar attention. I’ve seen him act that way with other visitors to the house, and frankly I get a little jealous. Which of course plays into Murphy’s scheming.
Once a rescue puppy, he has scraggly black fur, a lopsided ear and a nub of a tail. Murphy can look for all the world like a newborn puppy when his fur grows too long. He becomes a roly-poly looking furball with no eyes. When he’s been to the groomers and gotten a nice cut, he’s the skinniest ratlike creature I’ve ever seen. Clean shaven or fluffy he uses his good looks to his own personal benefit. He’s going to cute his way into your heart, no matter how determined you may be to keep him at a distance.
I’ve spent a little too much time at Murphy’s house. I know this because I’ve learned all the nuances of his barking. There’s the typical territorial barking at the window if the mailman dares drive by or the neighborhood’s little old man shuffles past. His pitch, speed and excitement increase a notch if someone approaches the door.
If someone he doesn’t like comes to the door, Murphy becomes a Doberman. Attack dog on the loose, watch out. It’s really something to see a tiny fuzzball transform into the mental equivalent of a guard dog. Fierce in a hilarious sort of way. He’s got your back and he lets you know it. Being so tiny he might not being able to do much to save your back, but he’s there, nonetheless.
Some visitors to the house are welcomed with a song by Murphy. Literally, he starts a high-pitched singing thing, as if he can’t control the excitement and joy in his voice. It’s a doggy version of angelic choirs breaking forth. Drama. Queen.
I must be delicious because my legs get a regular going over with his tongue. He especially likes the taste of knees. If your hands are idle he will commandeer them for his personal pleasure. Human hands were created for nothing more than caressing Murphy behind the ears or feeding him. A lap is useless if Murphy can’t utilize it.
Suggest to Murphy that he might go out for a walk and he spins in circles at the thought. He grabs his leash once it’s attached as if he’s going to walk himself. Ask him if he wants a car ride and he becomes a bouncing ball, leaping four feet into the air in answer, working himself into a frenzy of anticipation.
Murphy spends an inordinate amount of time sleeping, and he does so anywhere he wants to; in one of the kids beds, in the middle of the hallway, at your feet, on the arm of the couch. His favorite place for repose is molded around the curves of someone’s body, tummy exposed, all four legs splayed out, completely trusting.
When no one is looking, Murphy likes to clear the kitchen table of any leftovers, but don’t tell his family that. He’s a great vacuum, too, as most dogs are. And, he likes to eat carrots, which I think is kind of quirky. He pretends he’s starving if you have food. He gets his whine on in the most overplayed, melodramatic, sad puppy dog eyed way I have ever witnessed.
All Murphy needs is a little crown and his life would be complete. He is royalty and silliness, take and give, all rolled into one bundle. And what a package!