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?!?”
“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.
He totally crop dusted us, walked past his own blanket, and slumped on another dog’s bed.
Must be nice.