Ted (merovingian) wrote,


I had a dog when I was a kid, then at some point I started owning cats instead, and since then I've felt intimidated by dogs. Maybe it's toxoplasma -- I worry about toxoplasma a lot, you know -- but I think it's just that suddenly I couldn't understand what a dog's demeanor meant anymore. I couldn't tell if a dog was neutral, friendly, annoyed or full-on hostile. Lately, though, I've been watching those pet shows on TV and reading about pack dynamics and wolf facial expressions and so on and I'm starting to make sense of dog psychology and maybe I'll feel a little more comfortable meeting dogs.

Here's what I've learned:

  • If a dog's forehead is up, and it's showing it's teeth, the dog is worried that it has something unsightly stuck between its teeth. Like some spinach or something. Offer it a mirror.

  • If a dog makes quick eye contact, then looks away, with its tail lower, that means that the dog is not interested in robots. Dogs need to communicate when they don't want to hear about robots. So don't talk to them about robots when you're dogs like that.

  • When dogs tail is wagging, it means they're pretending to be a stegosaurus, impaling things with their spiky tails. You should compliment the dog on its spike tail, and also its awesome back plates. Back plates! Don't mention the tiny head or emergency backup brain.

  • It's important for a dog to know who is the alpha. Show your dog the letter alpha. In fact, teach your dog the Greek alphabet and language. And also Greek culture and history. If you're not sure if your dog will like Greek culture, offer it a spanikopita.

  • If a dog exposes its belly and makes a whining noise, that means it's excited about high school comedies featuring Christian Slater. Put on a DVD of Heathers or Pump Up The Volume. Avoid Kuffs at all costs, since it may cause injury to the dog.

  • When a dog scratches at a door excitedly and whines, it's because the dog is concerned about the energy flow of the househole. Offer it a mirror, but a little octagonal mirror, not a spinach-discovering hand mirror. The distinctions are subtle but important.

  • If a dog suddenly turns into a cat, it was probably caused by toxoplasma. Gah!

I hope this helps!
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