People like to ascribe human qualities to animals. I’m often asked, “Doesn’t Randy get tired of eating only dog food?” The reply that comes to mind is, “How should I know? He’s a dog.” But I stop short of snarkiness. It’s a bona fide question, since I choose to feed my Seeing Eye dog only dry kibble. Granted, he supplements his diet with whatever he can scarf off the street or under the dining table. He’s a Lab; food is his calling. Some dogs are bomb-sniffing, others are drug-sniffing. Randy is food-sniffing. Certainly, Randy would like variety. But variations from his food plan produce epic gastrointestinal thunderstorms. So, when someone asks, “Would Randy like some bacon?” I reply, “Would you like to clean up after it?” That usually brings that line of inquiry to a close.
“Doesn’t Randy get bored on long car trips?” is another query for which I have no inside dope. He hasn’t demanded a Play Station. When I was a kid, my brother and I played backseat games like License Plate Bingo. Randy does not require a line item for entertainment in the vacation budget. He checks the back seat for leftovers, then lies down and sleeps. After a while, he turns over. We don’t let him stick his head out the window. Eventually, we arrive at our destination.
“Randy must not like it when the bus is so crowded.” I have a sure rebuttal to this one. Randy loves people. He loves people at close quarters. He sits amid standing passengers. They pat his head and tell him he’s handsome. He gets to know them. He learns about them. He looks, he pokes, he prods, he sniffs. One woman giggled, “This dog knows more about me than my husband does.” That’s when I said, “Down, Randy, down. We don’t want to blur any boundaries here, do we?”