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Jul. 28 2009 - 9:15 am | 6 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

On dogs and al fresco eating

the asheville pizza tasting room dog

The inner-pain here is palpable. (Image by mygothlaundry via Flickr)


Really quickly, may I have a word. I’m really sorry to interrupt your meal like this. I can see you are enjoying your Sunday brunch al fresco….but why is your dog with you?

You’re right, you’re right. He must be enjoying the spectacle of humans eating.

I remember as a child encountering a similar situation. Whilst dozing one afternoon in a local park, I was awakened by a hare, who was rushing past me on the way to an appointment (for which he was apparently quite tardy). Being the nosy future-journalist that I was, I decided to follow the hare and spy on whatever proceeding he might be headed to. Well, he led me into a rabbit-hole, and much to my surprise, once I was inside he turned on me.

“This is where I conduct psychological torture on young children!” he declared. It was too late for me. The hare had leashed me to the ground somehow. He then proceeded to lower slices of pizza from the ceiling, suspended by strings just out of my reach. As the intoxicating aroma of cheesy goodness wafted through my nasal passages, I had no choice but to watch the hare consume each and every slice. During the proceedings, if I so much as stirred from my spot, his eyes darted towards me and he issued a swift “Hey! No!” and then a “Good boy” when I returned to motionlessness. It only lasted an hour, but it seemed like an eternity.

That’s what it’s like to be a dog at a restaurant, I imagine.

I know, I know. Your dog is different. So well trained, and look at the grooming! He just wants to be by his master’s side doesn’t he? No, that’s totally not the case. Your dog is, by nature, a carnivorous eating machine. It’s behaving because it knows that good behavior offers it a higher percentage chance of receiving meat in the near future. But make no mistake about it, what it really wants to do is ravage everything on the table. That large olfactory cortex means that it has been smelling every single omelet con creme fraiche made at this establishment since you arrived. It knows that food is within the bounds of a small leap, but instead it sits, wondering what it did to deserve the punishment you’ve bestowed upon it.

It will never be able to comprehend that all it did to deserve its punishment, is have an owner who thinks it’s cute to bring his dog to places where the dog doesn’t belong.

Good day to you sir. I’ve gone ahead and dropped a few slices of bacon on the floor while we were talking. Your dog deserved it.


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  1. collapse expand

    did it ever occur to you that dogs might simply be masochist tricksters that secretly enjoy olfactory torture?

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    When I was fifteen, my baseball coach condemned me to a stands-bound life. "Graham, you're a pretty good fielder," he said. "But unfortunately it's easier to teach kids how to field than it is to show them how to hit." Stung by this unceremonious end to my baseball career, I trained my crosshairs on his breed. Over time, I have come to realize that he isn't unique, American sports are full of coaches just like him....

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