The thing that can kill you: delicious. People in hats: deviants. Gene on dog behavior

Gene Weingarten
Columnist August 15

As a lifetime observer of dog behavior, I feel qualified to present the following lists, which are prioritized in descending order of importance or likelihood.

Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writes "Below the Beltway," a weekly humor column that is nationally syndicated. View Archive

What a dog is most terrified of:

1. Thunder.

2. Starving to death because you will forget to feed him every day for, like, two months.


(Eric Shansby)

3. Getting yelled at. ...

762. Exploding under the wheels of a car.

What dogs like to eat:

1. That indefinable thing in the gutter.

2. That other thing next to it, pulsing with maggots.

3. Grapes, chocolate, chewing gum, avocados and everything else that can literally kill them. ...

796. Three-dollar-a-can gourmet dog food with 10 essential amino acids and glucosamine for healthy bones, teeth and joints!

What you can count on a dog to do if, on a walk, you run into the archbishop of Canterbury:

1. Attempt to engage romantically with the archbishop’s leg.

2. Mark the archbishop as his own personal territory.

3. Poop out a tampon.

4. Do that butt-scooting thing on the grass. …

947. Behave exactly as Lassie would in the episode

“Lassie Meets the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

What a dog is likely to be thinking at any given time:

1. “Yay!”

2. “Yayayayayayay!”

3. “Zzzzzz.” …

1,294. “Perhaps I am being too immature and obsessive about this. I think I’m just going to chill.”

Events that will get a dog really depressed:

1. Dog sees suitcases in the foyer!

2. Dog hears you filling the bathtub!

3. Dog realizes this is the vet’s waiting room. ...

349. You come home one day in a motorized wheelchair, and missing an arm.

What dogs are really, really good at:

1. Hearing that first nugget of food hit the bowl.

2. Eating the food but spitting out the hidden pill.

3. Remembering which house on which block had a half-eaten hot dog in front of it that one time four years ago, and re-checking during every walk, just to be sure. …

793. Fundamentals of leash dynamics, vis a vis trees. ...

874. Knowing that when the place is a-rockin’, you don’t come a-knockin’.

Things at which dogs are likely to bark menacingly:

1. Squirrels they can’t catch 25 feet up in the trees.

2. Mail carriers on the other side of the door they can’t open.

3. Vacuum cleaners.

4. People wearing hats, or carrying boxes, or walking with crutches, or doing calisthenics, or behaving in any other way that deviates even slightly from dog-authorized human behavior. …

234. A dog-friendly burglar.

Where dogs like to sleep:

1. In the middle of the kitchen floor when you’re cooking.

2. On the dry cleaning.

3. On the keys you have been searching for.

4. On your head, but only when you are sick with a fever. …

412. On the ratty, smelly “dog bed” you are willing to keep in your living room because otherwise the dog might be inconveniently underfoot.

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