Ask Maddie: Advice for dogs

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Writer’s note: First, let me qualify that this will be just a one-time, or occasional column to get a few laughs. We’re familiar with write-in columns for humans. I was imagining what kinds of questions a dog might ask and I knew humor was lurking.

Question #1: Dear Maddie, I don’t know why I am asked to sit and shake paws before I get a pet treat from my owners. Why don’t they just give me that treat they wave around in their hands?

Answer: It seems to have a bit to do with controlling our behavior. I’ve been sitting on the pillow when my humans are reading about dog psychology. A new term for me was “Nothing in Life is Free,” or “NLIF.” We have to perform, according to their wishes, to get what we want. Not the worst philosophy, I guess.

Question #2: Dear Maddie, I moved from Florida to North Carolina a few years ago, and I hate wet grass and cold weather! I just can’t get comfortable to do my business outside and then end up going somewhere in the house. Lately, I’ve been confined to the bathroom when my owners are out.

Answer: If your owners decide to cover your feet with boots in inclement weather, you need to wear them. It won’t matter if they are bright, fluorescent green or some other hideous color. Wouldn’t you rather do your business outside and earn the right to roam the house? If you don’t get gifted with boots, you might just have to learn to put up with wet, cold conditions. Life isn’t always like a warm comforter on a bed.

Question #3: Dear Maddie, I’m obsessed with ripping up my toys. When I get all of the stuffing around the house, my owners are so mad at me. Why can’t I seem to play with them without destroying them.

Answer: Are you holding some anger inside of you? I suggest that you try to channel this emotion somewhere else. Do you get a chance to play rough with large sticks outside? Perhaps when you come back into the house, you can play more calmly with the toys you love.