Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.  


I know this because my boyfriend Duncan and I moved from Montana to Oregon last month.  But as harrowing as the move was for us, it was nothing compared to the confusion and insecurity our two dogs had to endure.  

Our first dog is - to put it delicately - simple-minded.  Our other dog is a neurotic German shepherd mix with agonizingly low self-esteem who has taken on the role of "helper dog" for our simple dog.  Neither dog is well-equipped with coping mechanisms of any kind.  

When we started packing, the helper dog knew immediately that something was going on.  I could tell that she knew because she becomes extremely melodramatic when faced with even a trivial amount of uncertainty.  She started following me everywhere, pausing every so often to flop to the ground in an exaggeratedly morose fashion - because maybe that would make me realize how selfish I was being by continuing to pack despite her obvious emotional discomfort.     


When the soul-penetrating pathos she was beaming at me failed to prevent me from continuing to put things in boxes, the helper dog became increasingly alarmed.  Over the ensuing few days, she slowly descended into psychological chaos.  The simple dog remained unfazed. 


Unfortunately for the helper dog, it took us nearly a week to get everything packed up.  By the time we were ready to begin the first part of our two-day journey to Oregon, she seemed almost entirely convinced that she was going to die at any moment.  She spent the entire car ride drooling and shaking uncontrollably.  


But the simple dog seemed to enjoy the trip. 


Even though she threw up seven times. 


She actually seemed to like throwing up.  To the simple dog, throwing up was like some magical power that she never knew she possessed - the ability to create infinite food.  I was less excited about the discovery because it turned my dog into a horrible, vomit-making perpetual motion machine.  Whenever I heard her retch in the backseat, I had to pull over as quickly as possible to prevent her from reloading her stomach and starting the whole cycle over again.  

But as far as the simple dog was concerned, it was the best, most exciting day of her life.  


It wasn't until we stopped for the night in Umatilla that the simple dog became aware that there was any reason for her to feel anxious.  But at around two o'clock in the morning, the simple dog finally realized that something was different and maybe she should be alarmed.


This particular dog is not anywhere near the gifted spectrum when it comes to solving problems.  In fact, she has only one discernible method of problem solving and it isn't even really a method. 


But making high-pitched noises won't solve your problem if your problem is a complete inability to cope with change.  Unfortunately for everyone involved, the simple dog did not understand this concept and she went right ahead and made an interminable amount of noise that was just invasive enough to make sleeping impossible. 

After an hour of failed attempts at comforting the simple dog, her constant, high-pitched emergency-distress-signal became a huge problem.  

I tried to communicate my displeasure to the simple dog, but communicating with the simple dog usually goes like this:


She was going to make that sound forever if she felt it was necessary.  We tried everything from spooning her to locking her in the bathroom, but none of it was even the slightest bit effective.  



The simple dog made the noise all through the night and was still going strong the next morning. When we were loading the dogs into the car, the constant, high-pitched sound emanating from the simple dog finally broke the helper dog.  The helper dog wailed in anguish, which alarmed the simple dog.  In her surprise, the simple dog let out a yelp, which further upset the helper dog.  And so it continued in a wretched positive-feedback loop of completely unnecessary noise.


When we finally arrived at our new house, the dogs had calmed down considerably.  Unfortunately, it had snowed the night before and there was still snow on our front lawn, and that was enough to catapult both dogs back into hysteria.  

The simple dog had either never experienced snow or she'd forgotten that she knew what it was, because when we let her out of the car, she walked around normally for about seven seconds, then she noticed the snow and her feeble little mind short-circuited.


At first, the simple dog was excited about the snow.  She started prancing around the yard like she was the star of a one-dog parade - her recent personal crisis overshadowed by a haze of enthusiasm. 


The prancing turned to leaping and the leaping turned to running chaotically in stupid little circles. Then she just stopped and stared at the ground.  There was a visible shift in her demeanor as she realized that she didn't understand snow and it was everywhere and she should probably be scared of it. She started making the noise again. 


Not surprisingly, the helper dog interpreted the snow as a sign of her imminent demise.  But she was so exhausted from worrying about all of the other signs of her demise that she just gave up and accepted her death.  She peered up at us, half-buried in the snow.  Her eyes were filled with pain and helplessness, as if she thought we had summoned the snow for the sole purpose of making her sad.


We decided that it would probably be best to bring the dogs inside.  

As a condition for allowing us to have dogs in our rental house, our landlady made us promise that we wouldn't let the dogs scratch the wood floors.  We didn't anticipate it being a problem because it hadn't been in the past, but as soon as our dogs set foot in the house, they morphed into perfectly engineered floor-destroying machines.  They started sprinting as fast as they could for absolutely no reason - skittering around in circles to avoid running into the walls.  


We finally corralled them in the bedroom and shut the door to give ourselves a little time to regroup and come up with a plan.  Until we could get some rugs or convince the dogs that it was unnecessary to sprint around chaotically for no reason, we would need to find some way to prevent them from scratching the floors.  What we ended up doing was going to the pet store and buying two sets of sled dog booties. It was the only way.

It is easy to imagine that a dog who has recently experienced a dramatic upheaval of its formerly safe and predictable life might not react well to suddenly having strange objects attached to all four of its feet.  This was most definitely the case with the booties.

The helper dog panicked and started trying to rip the booties off with her teeth. 


I scolded her and she reacted as if I'd ruined her entire life. 


But at least her immobilizing self-pity kept her from chewing the booties off.

The simple dog just stood there and looked at me in a way that would suggest she didn't realize her legs still worked.


They had to wear the booties for two days.  Those two days were filled with the most concentrated display of overemotional suffering I have ever witnessed.  The simple dog spent most of her time standing in the middle of the room looking bewildered and hurt and the helper dog refused to walk, instead opting to flop her way around the house like a dying fish.  


The entire ordeal was punctuated by the simple dog's high-pitched confusion alarm. 

We were beginning to think that our dogs were permanently broken. Nothing we did helped at all to convince the dogs that we had only changed houses and our new house was not, in fact, some sort of death-camp and we weren't actually planning on killing them to fulfill an organ harvest ritual.  Despite our best efforts, they continued to drift around in a sea of confusion and terror, pausing only to look pitiful. 

But while we were unpacking, we found a squeaky toy that was given to us as a gift shortly before we moved.  We offered the toy to the dogs.  This may have been a mistake. 

Upon discovering that the toy squeaked when it was compressed forcefully, the simple dog immediately forgot that she'd ever experienced doubt or anxiety ever in her life.  She pounced on the toy with way more force than necessary, over and over and over.  The logic behind her sudden change in outlook was unclear.   


But at least she was happy again. 

2,471 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   2401 – 2471 of 2471
Chelsea said...

Ummm funniest. thing. ever! I think I have the half breed of both your dogs. Died laughing throughout, causing my son to question who I was laughing at uncontrollably at 7:30am while staring at the computer.

Awesome!

Tricia said...

Oh my goodness! I just found your blog the other day and I nearly died laughing about when you went to the dentist before your friend's birthday party. This one is brilliant - the "dog thoughts" are so accurate. I woke my husband up last night because I snorted while laughing. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

rubbish

Anna said...

I laughed so hard that I started crying, punctuated by shrieks of hysteria. I have completely had dogs like this and you describe them with the best analysis I have ever seen. You are a genius.

BB said...

OMG, you have my dogs!! I am laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face! I have two dogs - a neurotic seriously high drama "helper" German Shepherd, and a simple-minded generally happy go lucky lab-border collie mix. I blog about them, but nothing like this. What a riot, oh my goodness... my stomach hurts from laughing...

Anonymous said...

this is quite possibly the best thing posted on the internet of all time

chirunner said...

Oh my gosh, I am so glad I found your blog. You practically bring me to tears with laughter. Hilarious!

France is said...

best. ever. except cake god. but i own simple dog and every time i read this it makes me cry because im laughing so hard. we even did the IQ test on him and he is... sadly. not up to regular dog. i guess we aren't regular human owners either though :]

Jaye said...

(Here via Stumble.)
I don't have dogs currently, but I grew up with them. I recognize ALL of these behaviors, but your descriptions are absolutely great. Literal tears from laughing. Thanks for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

haha. great post. A lot of people have said this, but i'll say again, "you made my day!"

Thank you for this post:)

Shushi burp: (^O^) --- >)))> said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
louloupink said...

moving soon with my simple dog and my helper german shepherd dog. our dogs could not be more alike. although it is just across town, i am certain that it is going to be very traumatic. thanks for the laugh.

louloupink said...

moving soon with my simple dog and my helper german shepherd dog. our dogs could not be more alike. although it is just across town, i am certain that it is going to be very traumatic. thanks for the laugh.

Shanna Germain said...

Fantastic post -- my husky alternated between the two of those on her way here. And welcome to Oregon! :)

Coyote said...

Your illustrations are, per usual, amazing.

Anonymous said...

Please add running thru lava in swim fins to your store.

WannabeRunner said...

This is the first entry i have read of your blog. And i am sitting here in tears because i am laughing so hard. YOU ARE AMAZING.

KCroft said...

Even though I have always had an undying hate for bloggers I became enamored with your blog when I stumbled upon it. Which then lead to me staying up way too late the night before an exam (or 3) to read everything you had ever written. Somewhere in between my late night blogfest I came across the fact that you lived in Hamilton Montana which lead to an obsession with your blog because i'm from Missoula and nothing cool EVER comes from Montana(unless you like cows, but to be honest they kind of just smell....like death) so anyway, there I am knee deep in telling everyone and their dog about you, your blogs, you retarded dog tests, and that you're from Montana and you up and move to Idaho. I don't think i will ever really appreciate your wit and tactful use of embellishments like I used to. Idaho? really?

Anonymous said...

I just had a bad break up and this was the first thing that made me legitimately laugh in over a week. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Top notch writing. made my day suck less.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. This has made my entire life better.

Ashley Lawrence "Groomer" said...

Hello! I was just wondering if that's a cattle dog =] and also, you should totally go to Petsmart and get your dogs nail grinded at the nail salon. just sayin. amazing post =]

Jenna said...

I ALSO moved from Montana to Oregon (2 years ago) with our dog. She coped with the stress of the move and life upheaval by snuggling really close and breathing on me the entire way from Billings to Eugene. This was cute, except that the morning we left the AC went out. Oh, and it was July. I learned you can sweat yourself delirious pretty quick on I90.

caitlin said...

this was awesome. it make me laugh to the point of coughing and i love the illustrations. :) totally cheered me up from grad school stress.

Anonymous said...

that literally just made me cry from laughter. I hope you're proud, i certainly am.

Anonymous said...

This is an incredible post. I haven't read it yet, though, but have been looking for such a post. I love you. You made my day.

Hayley said...

You're completely hilarious. I'm having a study sesh with my roommates and they're super pissed I'm having such a good time loling my head off.

Michael said...

Well done! I laughed so hard I cried. You made my night. Thanks for the laugh!

Singular-Uno said...

I DIED laughing at this (not unusual when speaking of your blogs but I thought I'd at least reiterate it). Mostly because my dog, Daisy, was a bloody-freaking mess when we moved. She REFUSED to walk behind the new coffee table. Is she retarded? It. Is. A. Coffee. Table. We took her to a psychologist. ...Which was kind of weird...

Anonymous said...

LOVE this. so funny, i have a german shepherd too (male) and he acts the same way as yours, however we have never moved and he is perpetually anxious

Lin Floyd said...

But wait, what happened to poor helper dog? I identify somewhat because my beagle is both profoundly stupid and innately good natured, a combination of helper dog and simple dog!

Annie said...

:D

I laughed pretty hard.

Please keep posting stories :D

Pinapple Cuffs said...

I have recently found this wonderful thing and I must tell you, you are my new god. I've got a shrine in my closet and everything! I've woken my girlfriend up at least 872 times laughing my ass off. :D

Also, question! Why are all these nifty people I know living/moving to Oregon? Is it magical there?! (If it is, tell me how to get the password to move there...because it sounds like Oregon > Nebraska. x.x )

TheSeakiwi said...

funnnnnnnnyyyyyyyyyyyy! love love love it!

bru81calista said...

Oh my God! A friend forwarded your blog link to me and this was the first post I have read. My laughter echoed through the quiet halls of my workplace, while colleagues tried to ignore my existence. Having travelled with a pup of my own, and having employed the 'baby bootie' method (albeit for different reasons) I totally understand where you're coming from. You are hilarious!

Kristin said...

i laughed so hard that i could not breath anymore...and it was either because i am delirious currently because i have finished my last project for the semester and my brain died...or this post was the single funniest thing ive ever read...either way thank you for that laugh. i needed it

Ian said...

I'm in need of advice. My girlfriend has recently started making the retarded dog "eeeee" sound. It might be partly due to me comparing her to your retarded dog when we read your post together (which is fantastic, btw). Do you have any suggestions for how to make it stop?

Kev-o said...

Allie, I just recently read the entirety of your blog. I must say you are simply the most amazing person in the world. Given the opportunity, I would rape you, but not before yelling surprise :)

Kelley said...

My favorite part was definitely you saying "Boop! Boop! Boop!" Haaa!! You could've chosen anything "Wee! Wee! Wee!" or "Schnarkle! Schnarkle! Schnarkle!" or "Slanky! Slanky! Slanky!" but you choose "Boop".

Kelley said...

You CHOSE "boop", I should've said, DAGNABBIT!!

tehchou said...

I am crying and I can't breathe I am going to die and I am going to blame you for this ILU4evr

Anonymous said...

you are fan fucking tastic.

showed my friend who didn't expect to be laughing out loud as much as i was, and we spent the right rofl.

awesome.

Anonymous said...

you are fan fucking tastic.

showed my friend who didn't expect to be laughing out loud as much as i was, and we spent the right rofl.

awesome.

Anonymous said...

you are fan fucking tastic.

showed my friend who didn't expect to be laughing out loud as much as i was, and we spent the right rofl.

awesome.

Rhia said...

My friend has dogs like this. They're awesome, like your drawings. :P I laughed so hard, I got a headache... And then I kept reading!

galwaywegian said...

brilliant !

Marie said...

My God, you're funny! And your dogs are too :D

Anonymous said...

This blog is attempting to bear a striking resemblance to yours. http://manicmonotony.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

This is the best thing I've read all day. It made me laugh out loud so many times. You definitely understand life with dogs and your drawings are perceptive and perfect!

Mel. said...

Here comes my "TL;DR" post:


Allie, I've been reading your older posts, and I want you to know that I SO understand you. And it's nice to see that we are kind of similar.. except for the fact that you don't like cats. I just don't get that.
I know I can NEVER be an adult. Whenever I feel like I have too many responsabilities (i.e. having to go out and do things like groceries, attending classes, using public transport, and also having to take a shower, while having to worry about what I am going to do with my studies, fast, orelse i'll run out of time to get enroled at the university - again -, and all of this in just one day?!) I shut off completely. I stay STILL on my chair in frot of the computer just surfing the internet endlessly trying to find something to get distracted, even though I never stop feeling anxious and nervous (and later guilty) about all the things that I'll have to do anyway at some point and time is ticking. Damn, I'll start behaving like this even if I don't have anything to do today, but still have annoying compromises for the next day. I start feeling anxious in advance.
I can also relate with you about the social awkwardness, but I guess there's a "slight" difference in a couple of aspects, because I am totally antisocial and misantropic and even mysoginous. And I'm a girl. I still try not to avoid social situations and be as cordial and warm as I can :)... but people are so stupid and ugly u_u that I get very stressed out after those experiences. I am also quite paranoid and always suspect that people secretly hate me even when they don't know me.
Apart from all that hate and anxiety, and - I have to admit it - insecurity, I'm also a very fun loving sweet little girl (21 year old little girl), I love stickers, silly animals, shiny things, drawing, your drawings, and making up stuff like your amazing ALOT. And also like bears, vikings, predators, terminators, the death of everything and everyone, skeletor, and laughing at "the little people" and mean things like that, that would make people hate me if they knew I do that (if they don't hate me already, but I think they do anyways).
It helps me a lot that my boyfriend is just like me, but free of all those insecurities that I have, so that makes life more pleasant. He does get stressed in social situations though, but that's because he wants to kill everyone like the crazy berserker viking that he is.

I love reading your blog, and I don't think you're weird at all (maybe cause i'm weirder? but you've had a more f'd up childhood than mine xD)... And, you're funny, crazy, witty, and a girl, and also pretty? That's insane. You're awesome. I have never laughed and cried so hard in my life, like I have when reading this blog.
Ok, now I'll go and try to do all those things I listed up there and maybe some more, or die trying. Wish me luck.

Keep being awesome for ever.
xoxo

Mel. said...

Here comes my "TL;DR" post:


Allie, I've been reading your older posts, and I want you to know that I SO understand you. And it's nice to see that we are kind of similar.. except for the fact that you don't like cats. I just don't get that.
I know I can NEVER be an adult. Whenever I feel like I have too many responsabilities (i.e. having to go out and do things like groceries, attending classes, using public transport, and also having to take a shower, while having to worry about what I am going to do with my studies, fast, orelse i'll run out of time to get enroled at the university - again -, and all of this in just one day?!) I shut off completely. I stay STILL on my chair in frot of the computer just surfing the internet endlessly trying to find something to get distracted, even though I never stop feeling anxious and nervous (and later guilty) about all the things that I'll have to do anyway at some point and time is ticking. Damn, I'll start behaving like this even if I don't have anything to do today, but still have annoying compromises for the next day. I start feeling anxious in advance.
I can also relate with you about the social awkwardness, but I guess there's a "slight" difference in a couple of aspects, because I am totally antisocial and misantropic and even mysoginous. And I'm a girl. I still try not to avoid social situations and be as cordial and warm as I can :)... but people are so stupid and ugly u_u that I get very stressed out after those experiences. I am also quite paranoid and always suspect that people secretly hate me even when they don't know me.
Apart from all that hate and anxiety, and - I have to admit it - insecurity, I'm also a very fun loving sweet little girl (21 year old little girl), I love stickers, silly animals, shiny things, drawing, your drawings, and making up stuff like your amazing ALOT. And also like bears, vikings, predators, terminators, the death of everything and everyone, skeletor, and laughing at "the little people" and mean things like that, that would make people hate me if they knew I do that (if they don't hate me already, but I think they do anyways).
It helps me a lot that my boyfriend is just like me, but free of all those insecurities that I have, so that makes life more pleasant. He does get stressed in social situations though, but that's because he wants to kill everyone like the crazy berserker viking that he is.

I love reading your blog, and I don't think you're weird at all (maybe cause i'm weirder? but you've had a more f'd up childhood than mine xD)... And, you're funny, crazy, witty, and a girl, and also pretty? That's insane. You're awesome. I have never laughed and cried so hard in my life, like I have when reading this blog.
Ok, now I'll go and try to do all those things I listed up there and maybe some more, or die trying. Wish me luck.

Keep being awesome for ever.
xoxo

hseemuthjohnson said...

I am now an instant fan and will be reading your future posts. I am crying laughing!!!!!! You spot on. My favorite "I made food. I'm magical"! My dog is a split between both personalities you describe so I totally identify with your well put descriptions of their looks & demeanors. Keep up the writing --- hilarious --- you made my week!!!

Jansie said...

There are tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. This is the first post of yours I have read. Thank you for making my day and for turning your pain into my joy.

Anonymous said...

This was really funny. So, at the risk of preventing further comedy... I bet if you take your dogs on long structured walks they'd relax a bunch.

Entorin said...

Aaaaah so amazing. Hilarious. You are hilarious. There are no words.

Also, will there be more Spaghattah Nadle soon? I think I speak for all your [many, many] fans when I say WE WOULD LOVE THAT. Just thought you should know. :)

Living with Balls said...

haha great post. Sounds like you need the Dog Whisperer.

Martha Henderson said...

I love your stuff. It's so funny, so insightful, so well-written and drawn, and so compassionate. You have a lot of talent!

Your poor dogs. ;-) But it's good they have people who love them and don't give up on them.

martha said...

I laughed so hard my abs hurt! I've had both helper and simple dogs, and have moved with them. And now I can put the misery we went through into perspective.

Your writing is sooooo funny, and your illustrations are perfect! Loved it!

Lichen said...

i was going to comment: "Xxxx xs xxx bxxx txxxx I'xx xxxx xxx xxx!! Hxx xo xxxbxx so xxxx dexxxxx? Then I saw 2458 and I felt lost in the comments.

Lawrence Tam said...

i can relate to the high pitched noise. OMG!!!!!!

Great post and awesome artwork

Letters to a Villain said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but this is my first comment on it. This post is by far my favorite. Thank you so much for brightening my day!

Bethanee said...

I love it.
I think our dogs must be from the same litter, they act alike.

Red Rogue said...

I love when you write about the dogs... love it. Just wait till they figure out that all it does in Oregon is rain... my dog won't even go out to pee, she just walks out on to the porch, then changes her mind.

Anna Tyrone said...

Genius... love it.

CalliopeCreations said...

OMG, this is hysterial. I'm sending it to all my dog friends (these number in the hundreds). The dog agility people will die laughing.

Marianne

Megan said...

OMG, best dog post yet! When we first brought our dog home (she is a great pyrenees and spent the first 6 mos of her life on a farm), she was terrified of stairs. We live in a split level, so stairs aren't optional. I swear she laid flat on her belly (legs splayed, head cemented to the floor) for three days, and we had to physically carry her up and down the stairs and out to potty. She's used to the stairs now, but still just as "simple." ;)

Anonymous said...

I would be extremely delighted to see a real picture of your dogs. In correlation with your story and pictures, that would just be the cherry on top of this delicious cake you created.....yes I said CAKE LOL

Anonymous said...

I've now read this post 8 times in the last 24 hours, and like all the best things in like IT'S JUST AS GREAT AS IT WAS THE FIRST TIME!

.. except that the first time I cried in class because it was too funny to stop. Even when I got called on.

<3

Frank Lee MeiDere said...

I will stop laughing. I will stop laughing.

becca said...

Haha! So incredibly hilarious ... but next time you might want to try some benedryl. They are just like people - if you knock them out, they won't worry. :)

Rachael said...

Wow - this is absolutely hilarious and all too relatable. We are having some issues with our very neurotic, high-pitched vocal dog adjusting to our baby. Thirteen months in and things are not improving. Your post helped me to not feel so alone and to laugh at it. They are just dogs, after all. Thanks!

«Oldest ‹Older   2401 – 2471 of 2471   Newer› Newest»