You may remember that I am a professional dog walker/sitter, in the sense that I profess a level of competency in the field, based on nothing, really, and I occasionally get paid for my services. These animals, with a few exceptions, love me. They doubtless love their owners too, but it can be startling how quickly they’re willing to shift their affection to any human who pays attention to them. (see: the attention economy.) Theres is an unconditional love – or at least, based on the measliest of conditions. It’s not even “feed me.” Just “touch me.” Who am I kidding, I’m the same way.

The puggles I walk on wednesdays are undeniably adorable, albeit useless little alien pig-like anomalies of nature. They don’t play fetch, sit on command, fetch newspapers (ha!) They in fact embarrass me. At the dog park when people tell me how adorable they are, I scream “they’re not mine!” But still. In my car they crawl around excitedly, like little, retarded toddlers. I talk to them. I have lengthy conversation that I imagine someone is overhearing. (No one is.) I’ve been referring to them as boys, as in “let’s go boys.” “shut up, boys.” etc. although, as I understood it, they were a boy and a girl: Rocky and Jayda. Today I looked closer at Rocky’s heart shaped tag and saw the name “Roxanne.” Hmm. Quick check revealed no external genitalia and gosh was my face red! So Rocky is Roxy and the boys are girls. I’m gonna keep calling them “boys” to be different. Brevity brevity brevity. I’ll tell you about some of my other charges later, resting on the belief that it’s not what you say but how you say it, cuz honestly, other people’s dogs? zzzzzzz.

Except three more things:
1. To a dog, the mouth is like a hand. A hand you can taste things with, but also pick up things with, but only a limited number of things. I theorize dogs don’t long for fingers so much as two mouths.
2. I get jealous of how much they love rawhide bones. I wish I loved something that much. I doubt I love my mother as much as they seem to love gnawing on shit.
3. That shameful look on their faces? It’s always there, but most apparent to the observer when they’re pooing. It’s the same way their smiles are not really smiles. A smiling dog is bound to start whimpering, and the illusion = shattered.

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