Frankie, our Pomeranian, lives a very difficult life. He has trouble getting us to understand the simplest of commands.
We don't respond quickly enough when he wants to go outside.
We accuse him of barking at nothing, when he knows perfectly well that there is a child outside riding a scooter in his parking lot.
We buy him dog food that he doesn't like, and he has to go on a three day hunger strike to convince us that we must buy a different brand.
Whenever we offer him a treat of doggie jerky, he has to inspect it carefully, sniff it thoroughly, then take it off to a corner where he can examine it at his leisure, just in case we have tried to slip in a vitamin, heart worm pill, or something equally nasty.
We don't go to bed when he thinks it is bed time, so he has to bark at us and nudge us until we finally turn out the light so he can get to sleep--this, despite the fact that he has slept for a couple of hours on the couch in a brightly lit room--it is bedtime, and he needs for us to go to bed so that he can get some sleep.
Whenever we leave, he is seized with anxiety unless we take him along. He has to sit in the passenger seat so that he can be prepared to take over at any moment, if our concentration should lapse.
He is ever vigilant for 18-wheelers, which he knows harbor other dogs, and he takes it as a personal affront that they are allowed to drive on his highway.
He must also be alert for the presence of round hay bales; although you may think they are inanimate, he knows otherwise. He has seen them moving steathily along the roadway, on the back of a truck or trailer, and they might attack us at any time, with no warning. It is his job to protect us from them.
Also, once a person is allowed to enter our home, he is met with suspicious sniffs, a snort or two, and his departure must be hastened by Frankie barking at his heels all the way to the door.
He has to remake his bed every time I wash his bedding; and he has to roll around on it for several minutes to eradicate the odor of the detergent and softener.
Just when he gets comfortable on the couch, head on pillow, one of us is sure to make him move over by threatening to sit on him.
We are selfish with our bed pillows too, refusing to let him take over the whole pillow.
It's so sad.
Even after eleven years, he just can't seem to get us trained.