We're All Damaged

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Conversations with the Dog

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people—women, usually—talk about how great it’d be if dogs could talk. I’ve given it some thought, and I agree. It would be great. For exactly five minutes. And then it would quickly devolve into the most annoying thing in the history of civilization.

My wife is out of town for the weekend, and so last night I did what any guy would do. I went out with some other guys and treated my body like you would a rental car in a third world country. So, at 6:30 this morning when my dog nudged me awake to see if I wanted to take him for his walk, I told him to go back to sleep because I was dying. He sighed theatrically and turned his back to me.

If he was suddenly blessed with the powers of speech, I doubt if this scene would have played out quite so smoothly.

“Hey,” he’d say. “Hey. Matt. Are you awake? I got like 16 hours of sleep yesterday, so what do you say we go for a walk?”

“Dude, go back to sleep. Everything hurts.”

Four minutes later, he’d try again. “Hey. Matt. I know I can talk now and everything, but I still don’t really have any concept of time. Do you want to go for a walk now?”


“How about now?”

“Shut up!”

“Well . . . I certainly don’t think yelling is necessary. I guess I’ll just lie here while you continue to get your rest. It’s certainly well deserved, what with all the work you put in last night at 2 a.m. when you came stumbling into the house, tripped over the coffee table and declared war on that bag of Doritos. Well done.”

"You know, speaking of work. I was chatting with some of the other dogs yesterday, Trixie and Scooter from the park, and they were telling me that their owners are gone during the day because they have jobs. Why don’t you have one of those?”

“Please be quiet.”

“OK, how about this? You lie there with your eyes closed, and I’ll keep dropping my tennis ball on your head? But first, I’ll get it really slimy.”

Eventually, he’d let some time pass, and I’d forget that he was there and that he could talk. The sounds of birds and pedestrians and Baltimore outside the window would be reduced to a steady hum and I’d drift back into that sweaty, fretful sleep that can only be achieved when unsupervised 32 year olds pretend to be 22 year olds.

And then the little bastard would nudge the back of my neck with his nose. “Hey. Be honest with me for a second. Do you ever wish you could lick yourself?”


  1. Matt - Roland here calling through the ethos through the Missus' Facething. Even though I was "between jobs" she still made me get up the same time and now I have a job I still have to do the same. Life is not fair!

  2. LOL!! I often wonder what my dog would sound like if she talked- she's tiny and my husband and I like to do impressions of her using bad language in a tiny, whiny voice "why don't you let me eat that taco, JACKASS?" we squeal... it's funny... borderline... I have often wondered if she in fact has a Marlene Deitrich kinda tone and if she could make any noises other than passing gas and snorting whether she would make all the boy pups fall in love with her...


    32 year old pretending to be a 22 year old- OMG... I feel your pain (literally, we went to a brazillian steak place yesterday and I think something died in my head). When did we become "old"???

    I hope you recovered and the wife was understanding!