For humans, a fine line often exists between appropriate and unacceptable behavior. It seems with each passing day, the line becomes more and more blurred. But, make no mistake, there is definitely a line of demarcation.
With pets, however, all bets are off. Since Danny, the rescue dog, came into our lives nearly six months ago, I can say, unequivocally, that the standards of acceptable behavior are vastly different for humans and pets.
Just the other day, for example, Danny and I were out for a walk when we encountered our across-the-street neighbors with their two adorable toddlers in tow. The kids, a three-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy, were sitting in their toy cars.
Danny approached the little boy and then proceeded to reach into the car and pull the boy’s stuffed animal right out of his hands. Then, Danny took the stuffed animal onto the grass and began to gnaw on it, ignoring my protestations. Meanwhile, the little boy just smiled while his big sister began to laugh. Can you imagine if a child displayed that boorish behavior? He’d have a lengthy timeout.
Example No. 2 occurred last night when we visited our cousin’s home. Danny had met her dog before and they seemed to get along well. This time, Danny gave the dog a cursory hello when he walked in the door. Then, he made a beeline toward her stash of toys, pulled out every toy in the box and littered them throughout the room. Can you imagine if a child acted that petulant?
The scene is no different when we take Danny to the local pet store. When we walk through the store, he will grab all the low-hanging fruit (toys, balls, treats, etc.) and toss them all around. It’s what he does. And, just like when we take him out for a walk, we have to clean up after him.
Appropriate or not, if Danny weren’t so darn cute this behavior wouldn’t be so easily tolerated. But, it’s his world and we’re just renting space in it.
Danny loves his toys (and those that belong to others).