No, excuse you

dexter smiling

Are you tired of this mug yet?  Well, just be grateful you can’t smell his breath.

And you can still vote for him here.  Thanks to everyone for all of your support so far!

Rolling right along with our Dexter-themed week – a discussion on shame.  In Temple Grandin’s  Animals in Translation, she discusses the phenomenon of dogs seemingly “acting guilty” or “knowing” they’ve done something wrong.  She explains that unless caught in the act, punishing a dog for a misdeed is worthless – they do not have the ability to connect the past action to the present correction.  The example she used was a dog that gets into the trash when left alone.  When the owner returns home to a trash-strewn kitchen and yells at the dog, the dog doesn’t learn to leave the garbage alone; the dog learns that when her owner comes home and there is trash on the ground, bad things happen.  Grandin explains that the dog would react the same whether or not she had actually gotten into the trash – if a new puppy were responsible for the mess, for example, the older dog would still offer the same display of guilt.

Ernie is a perfect example of this.  I have yelled at him so often for chewing up my panties and jeans that if I so much as hold up a pair of pants to him, whether or not he’s chewed them, he avoids eye contact with me and slinks away (usually to the corner by the backdoor).  This would be hilarious if it weren’t so heart breaking.  He’s such a sensitive dog – the one time my roommate bopped him on the nose in a pique of anger he cried and wimpered as if she’d broken his little toes one by one.

Dexter, on the other hand, has no shame.  One day Steve and I came home to find that he (Dexter, not Steve) had completely destroyed one of the couch cushions.  He had chewed through the leather and the batting to get down to the springs in the couch.  We found him lounging atop the wreckage of chewed leather and upholstry stuffing; he lazily looked at us with an open-mouthed smile and thumped his tail.

“DEXTER!  What the F*%& were you THINKING?!?”

*thump thump*

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”

*thump thump thump*

And while we’re discussing Dexter’s complete lack of shame, I have to tell you about its most recent manifestation.  I was over at a friend’s house with the dogs, playing Super Mario Brothers Wii, and Dexter shuffled through the living room.

*faaaaartfartfartfaaartfartfaaaaarrrrttt*

He totally crop dusted us, walked past his own blanket, and slumped on another dog’s bed.

Must be nice.

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7 thoughts on “No, excuse you

  1. Oh my God! That last statement made me inhale beans! Hahahaha!

    That picture of Ernie slinking away makes me almost want to cry. Poor thing. (I mean, when you’re not livid at him.)

    Um…better in than out? I don’t know the correct bean protocol.

  2. I don’t know if the stupid Bissell website counted my vote. My work computer is weird and it SAYS thank you for your vote but the vote count doesn’t go up. I would vote for him just for the cropdusting. That’s hilarious.

    Bissell’s voting system is kind of wonky; I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from would-be voters. Get with it Bissell!

    And thanks for voting, btw.

  3. I’ve heard about the whole “guilt look for the owner’s benefit” thing. We would go to elaborate lengths trying to catch the dogs in action; we would set out a decoy, pretend we left, then hide. Sometimes we were able to catch and punish the crime, but more often we were the idiots hiding behind the kitchen counter for nothing.

    You guys must be ninjas – I swear my dogs know what my intentions are as I move around the house. They know the difference between me going to the kitchen to get a snack and me going through the kitchen to open the back door.

  4. Animals have no shame with farting. I swear sometimes I think my cat only sits on my lap so she can fart. Then I give her that “excuse you” look and she acts all like “how dare I accuse her” look. Then I beat her. Just kidding I don’t. Don’t call the pet police.

    Don’t worry – the pet police aren’t taking my calls anymore.

  5. I think it would be hard to get tired of that face 🙂 The only bad act we ever catch is barking, maybe some trash diving.

    It’s so weird; he has no shame, but he’ll only do these things when I’m not looking. Which leads me to believe he knows he shouldn’t do them…but then has no shame when caught lying on a pile of evidence of wrong-doing! Does he think I can’t put 2 and 2 together?

  6. At least Dexter has it in him to look ashamed. Buddy likes to destroy tissues and when I point at them and yell he just looks at it and sees if he can chew some more. The lights are on but no one’s rattling around in my dog’s brain. And no one tells you when big dogs get older they fart doing everything. Buddy sits, he farts, he gets up, he farts, he climbs on the couch, fart, fart, fart. And I’m still a child and find it freaking hilarious while giving him the “Oh Buddy Gross” hee, hee.

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