There is what’s meant to be an amusing video making the rounds on social media showing a flustered young dog, trying to grasp, bite or chew the ‘bone’ painted on the bottom of his water dish.
It’s a big ol’ bone and at first, it’s pretty cute to see him react to it, but then you feel a bit sorry for him and as I’m pretty sure quite a few of us have fallen for the old ‘quarter glued to the counter’ joke, at bars and stores, resulting in a moment of humiliation in front of others, as we, in vain, try to pick it up, we empathize with this pup’s confusion.
I’m not a fan of things being painted on the inside of bowls and cups — not just for animals, but for us. I’ve seen beautiful porcelain pieces with hand painted blossoms or berries painted on the inside and they always scare the crap out of me when I get to the bottom, because when that last bit of coffee washes over, exposing them, my first reaction is that yet another stinkbug has found a place to ride out the winter in my house.
No one, especially animals, likes to see things where they shouldn’t be. It reminds me of a small rubber snake that went the rounds between my best friend and me, when I was 18, used to deliberately frighten each other to death. I can handle mice, rats, bats, any furry thing, really, but put a rubber snake under my saddle as I lift it off the rack and I need a defibrillator and a shot of schnapps. But I got her back: I nestled it in the bottom of her riding boot and fell over at her reaction when she slid her foot into the shaft of the boot, only to feel the coils of the snake wrap around her leg. I’ve never heard anyone shriek so loud in my life. I’m pretty sure garage doors were opening in the vicinity. She, in return, bested me by securing it beneath the sun visor of my Volkswagen, knowing that as soon as I drove away from the barn that evening, I’d be pulling it down as I headed west. I did, and the thing landed in my lap. I took down the mailbox, before slamming my Bug into reverse, to jump out and sling her, face-first, into the manure pile. Score!
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Ah, the good old days of outdoor recreation...
But let us now look at the dog’s perspective of this tantalizing bone in the dish. It’s confusing and a little cruel, don’t you think? Imagine if that were you, after a long day of napping with the occasional jog around your property to mark your territory. How would you like it if you were handed a freshly baked pizza on a platter, only to find out it’s some sort of joke? Or a mouth watering cheeseburger? First you might feel bemused, then probably irritated, and finally, perhaps rather hurt, because it would make you eye your ‘master’ with a bit less trust in your welfare, wouldn’t it?
Even if you disagree with the above statement, fair warning: dogs never, ever forget. Ever. And they will get even with you when you least expect it: just when you're having the pastor over for tea. Yea, that is when Fido will wreak his revenge and suddenly appear in order to demonstrate how the rug is the only thing that will relieve the itch on his posterior.
Give that dog a bone.
Reach PAM STONE at email@example.com.