My dog, Domino, watches my back….when I’m peeing. Well, you know, you’re in a pretty vulnerable position while you’re emptying your bladder, and my dog has figured out that this is a time where his protection might be required.
I’m not sure when he started doing this, but anytime I have to go, he follows me into the bathroom, and as I assume the position over the bowl, legs slightly spread, he sits down between my legs, back to the toilet, and watches for trouble. Trouble that I wouldn’t be able to see because I’m totally committed to making sure every drop makes it into the commode. I’m married; don’t have a maid, so completing that task successfully is not tossed around lightly. Poor aim is attacked as severely as leaving up the seat.
I was a little uneasy the first time he did it, wondering what he was doing down there sitting between my legs, but it seemed he had a purpose so I let him do it. Then I got to thinking over time that was a pretty handy thing for him to do, because it’s hard to look over your shoulder, if, for example, you hear something behind you, while still managing to hit the target. I mean someone could sneak up behind you with a knife while you’re busy, but Domino is there to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I don’t have any physical evidence of this dog behavior, you’re just going to have to take my word for it, because I haven’t figured out a way to take a selfie over my shoulder, and I’m not letting anyone in to photograph the guy peeing with the guard dog between his legs. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t sit still for the photo op.
I feel pretty safe though. Domino is a Boston Terrier. It is the only true American dog breed. They were originally bred in Boston, Massachusetts, hence the name, and were a cross between an English Bulldog, known as “Hooper’s Judge” and a white English Terrier. I don’t know the name of the English Terrier, maybe there were several, but almost all true Boston Terriers can trace their ancestry back to “Hooper’s Judge.” That was back in 1870, and the breed became known as Boston Terriers in 1891. Boston Terriers were recognized by the American Kennel Club as a companion dog in 1893.
Although the large jowls on the Boston would make them a good candidate for a fighting dog, it turned out they were too docile for brawling. They are a very intelligent dog, have a gentle personality, and are said to be perfect apartment dwellers. Bostons require minimal exercise, and they are easily trained. They are short-haired and only come in three colors: black, brindle or seal with white markings. In Domino’s case, he had a perfect black spot on the top of his head when he was a pup, and it’s how he got his name. It’s more of an oval now, but it is still a single dot on his head.
In case you’re wondering what brindle is, these Boston Terriers are gray or tawny with darker streaks or spots. Domino is a little brindled. He has brownish streaks through his black coat. It makes him look like he’s been playing out in the mud, but Boston Terriers don’t need a lot of grooming. Domino gets a bath once every few months, and it’s not his favorite time. The brindle doesn’t wash out.
In recent years, he’s started staring at me. He’ll sit at my feet and stare intently at me. Most dogs don’t hold your gaze, but he’ll do it for hours. He wants something, and if he could talk it would be easy to determine what it is exactly that he wants. I think he’s trying to use dog telepathy, but I’m not advanced enough to get it. Instead I have to let him continue staring or go down a list of things he might possibly want. I always start with “Do you need to go out?”
If his ears perk up, and he has some pretty large ears, then I’ll get up and walk towards the back door. If he doesn’t stretch and then follow, then that wasn’t it.
“Do you need food?” Again watching for the perk in the ears before getting out of the comfortable chair and heading off to the kitchen location for the dog dishes. “You need water?”
Sometimes he just wants me to put up the recliner because I’m sitting up in the chair. He’ll sit there and stare and stare, until I finally recline the chair so he can jump up there and relax.
As I’ve mentioned before, he hates people coming to the door. He hates my landlord the most. The ferocious sound that comes out of him when Andy comes up to the door once a month to collect his rent scares me. If there wasn’t a glass door between Andy and the attacking dog I’m sure it wouldn’t go well. He scares Andy too, because he always stands off to the side and away from the glass. Domino will be jumping four feet off the ground, banging against the glass, and growling and barking menacingly. I don’t need to know what the date is, to know that the person standing off to the side of the door, out of sight, is the landlord. I have to pick him up before Andy even begins to come towards the door.
Domino is forced to wear Santa Claus outfits during the Christmas holidays. We don’t force him to dress up for Halloween, but he has been known to sport a jack-o-lantern sweater. In fact, he’s sported a lot of different sweaters, camouflage, turtle neck and hoodie.
He always has to be with you. Close. He’ll follow you from room to room, watching closely for any danger; landlords, or window salesmen, or religious freaks, or knife-toting assassins. That’s another tendency of the breed. They generally don’t run off, but choose to stay by their masters. Domino would run off, guaranteed.
Although I hardly consider myself his master (I think it’s the other way around.), he’s curled up right now under my feet, below the desk, pressed up against the computer terminal. It’s thundering outside right now, and he doesn’t like that much. He thinks running back and forth, barking, from the front door to the back door will have some effect. He spent most of the month of July doing that in response to fireworks being deployed in the neighborhood too. But right now he’s asleep, content to let someone else deal with the noise. He’s off duty I guess.
You know, I feel sorry for people who have never been loved by a dog.