I have some important dog information to share with you, and I know it is 100 per cent true, because my dog told it all to me. According to my dog, there is a problem between dogs and humans today, and the problem is this: humans have forgotten what a dog is.
I know, this seems crazy. How could we have forgotten what a dog is? I mean, I dress my dog in a T-Rex costume. That is how I know what my dog is: a tiny, adorable T-Rex.
Wait, I mean, not a human. A dog is not a human, of course! For one thing, a dog’s purpose, or even a dog’s journey, is not just to make money. I know because I have seen each of those movies seven times.
Now, my dog told me that dogs are working on solutions for this issue. First and foremost, dogs want a rebranding. Dogs are tired of being thought of as dull-witted, mess-making slobs. They want to be seen as smart, clean and organised. In short, they want to seem more like cats, but without being more like cats, because we all know (my dog says this, it is not me) cats are idiots.
To achieve this, my dog says, dogs really want to try the most popular rebranding technique, which is a name change. As part of that, they really want humans to stop calling them human names because that just makes humans even more confused about what a dog is. Humans are already very confused. So very confused, bless their hearts, my dog added.
My dog thinks, in fact, humans are not only confused about what dogs are, they are confused about what humans are, too. What is a human’s purpose, anyway, my dog asked me plaintively, if not to enjoy the best life has to offer? In response to this, I gave my dog a treat and rubbed her tummy and told her humans have a lot of stress, and that is why they love to take out their devices and watch little movies of cats being cute while knocking things over. This just about made my dog cry, so I reminded her of a dog’s purpose, which is to rebrand. From now on, Charlie will only answer to “Mouse pad,” while Bella will be known as “Hand Sanitizer.” A dog named anything else — e.g., Fluffy, Sweetie or Henry — will be “Laser Printer,” “Toner Cartridge” or “24-Pack of Paper Towels.”
Humans could then help dogs further, my dog informed me, by taking a minute each day to put themselves in their dog’s shoes. This is why, no matter how many movies a dog stars in, she is always going to see the world more like a character in a Dickens novel, and not just because she is always begging for more food. If that were not enough, my dog added, humans also make movies about dogs’ lives that are voiced by human actors speaking human words about what seems like every human’s dog fantasy, namely, that dogs love them wholly and forever. That is why the best dog name may not even be any word at all. The best way to call your dog, to show her you really understand where she is coming from, is if you could somehow appeal to her strongest sense — smell — by trumpeting a powerful scent. If only you could do this, your dog would be sure to respond.
Personally, I have never heard of such a thing before, but my dog assures me this is possible.
The whole mixed-up situation, my dog confided at last, was really making her anxious. She told me what she thought would really help: if she could get a pet. If she could have another living thing that is totally unlike her, that she could name and tame and dress up, that would make everything better.
I suggested she get a cat, but my dog gave me a withering look and reminded me: Cats are silly.
Maybe a fish, she mused. They are so soft and cuddly.
I asked her what she would name her fish.
“Bella,” she sighed, dreamily.
— Washington Post
Amy Fusselman is a columnist and author.