Every time I take my long-haired, miniature dachshund, Jennifer, out for a walk to her favorite “pee tree,” my FitBit says I get 2,786 steps. If Jennifer wore a doggie FitBit, she wouldn’t even get close to that. How do I know this? Because I only put my wiener girl down long enough to let her “do her business.” Then I carry her back home.
That’s right, I carry my dog when I walk her. Suck it, Cesar Millan.
My relationship with Jennifer Love Dogitt is like that cliche e.e. cummings poem couples always make their terminally-single older cousin (usually named Janice or Eugene) read at their wedding. Except my version of the cummings poem goes “i carry my dog with me (i carry her in my arms).” After all, why carry a heart when you can carry a dog?
If you’re a dog trainer, you’re shaking your head in disgust right now. You think I’m enabling lazy behavior, you think Jennifer isn’t getting enough exercise, you think I’ve disrupted the natural order of dog-human relations.
And to that, I say: have you ever even seen a dachshund? Jennifer has the tiniest legs! She has to take nearly 10 steps for each one of mine. It would be cruel to make her try to keep up with my strong, masculine, human legs! Have you even seen my calves??? I’ve always had runner’s calves and I don’t even run. I walk fast. My legs simply can’t help it. Carrying Jennifer Love Dogitt when we go for walks is the humane thing to do.
But when I mentioned this particular habit to my friend Jennifer, she was horrified. For one thing, she’s still upset I have a dog named Jennifer. But Jennifer the Human also thinks I let Jennifer Love Dogitt take advantage of me. Which is why she texted me these questions, to determine who wears the collar in my household. How about we all answer together?
Five Signs of Doggy Dominance:
- Do you carry your dog on walks?
Yes, but have you seen my biceps since I started carrying Jennifer on our walks? Who needs to do bicep curls when you’ve got a chonky pupper? Not this schmuck.
- Do you let your dog pee in the morning before taking care of your own “business?”
Yes, obviously. Only one of us is gonna make a puddle on the kitchen floor if we have to wait one second longer. Jennifer goes, then I go. No brainer. Next question.
- Does your dog somehow take up more than 50% of the bed at night, even though they only weigh 10-12 pounds?
Yes, and I don’t understand how Jennifer does this, but she had a busy day barking at people who walked by our house, which, in her little doggy brain, was a Very Important Thing. She can have as much of the damned bed as she wants.
- Does your dog expect full control of everything, making you prioritize their desires over all others, and demanding you be obedient to their every whim?
Again, this doesn’t seem like too much to ask for such a good doggo.
- Does your dog make you call her “Master”?
Jennifer is my Master, so why pretend otherwise? I call that a healthy dog/sub relationship.
If you answered yes to two or more questions, then your dog is clearly in charge. But is that really such a bad thing? A dog didn’t create the death penalty, a dog never weakened the Endangered Species Act, and a dog certainly never exerted his white privilege by insisting the gun problem in America could be solved with “more guns.”
In short, dogs are better than people. So hats off to those among us who carry our dogs when we walk them. Just don’t forget to say “yes, Master,” every time you speak to them because they hate it when you disobey and you’re not ready for the punishment they’re planning as payback.