Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Maybe I've outsmarted my dog

I have never, at any moment, actually caught sight of Fitzroy stretched out on the Ikea lounge chairs in the living room at Gamone. In fact, he has got into the habit of spending a lot of time dozing on one or other of those two lounge chairs. I know this because I see the traces he has left there: hairs and traces of his muddy paws. But Fitzroy only ever jumps up onto the lounge chairs when I'm out of sight, upstairs. Fitzroy has a sufficient mastery of the science of optics to know that, when he can't see me, I usually can't see him. Fitzroy also understands perfectly well that I don't approve of the idea of his jumping up onto the lounge chairs. I don't know how and when he acquired that knowledge, because I've never had an opportunity of catching him red-handed up on the lounge chairs, and yelling at him or dragging him off. From a moral viewpoint, Fitzroy has the mentality of a pure criminal. That's to say, he considers that a crime only becomes a crime when you get caught. So, as long as you don't get caught, nobody could ever claim that you're doing anything wrong. So, Fitzroy concludes that his dozing on the lounge chairs would only become an offence if I were to actually see him dozing on the lounge chairs... which, as I said, has never been the case. No matter how quickly and quietly I try to race downstairs in an attempt to catch him perpetrating his misdeed, Fitzroy is systematically sufficiently alert and rapid to scramble back down onto the floor before I'm halfway down the stairs.  Sure, I then look at him sternly and reprimand him for having been up on the lounge chairs. But, as we all know, verbs in the past tense don't really count in the dialog between a master and his dog. More precisely, I have the feeling that dogs do in fact understand all the subtleties of the past tense just as well as the finest human grammarians, but they seem to have learned that we humans believe that dogs only exist in the here-and-now, and they take advantage of this state of affairs by deliberately looking dumb whenever we speak of anything that happened in the past.

But, from now on, all of this will be ancient history, because I've invented an ideal method of preventing Fitzroy from jumping up onto the lounge chairs. I've purchased enough heavy cloth to make a new set of robes for the pope, and I've thrown all this machine-washable material over the lounge chairs in such a way (with the help of lengths of wood posed on the arm-rests) that my dog will no longer envisage the chairs as a familiar and convenient place to snooze.

At least, that's the theoretical sense of my solution. Another of my beliefs about dogs is that Fitzroy is sure to understand that I've gone to some trouble (and expense) to implement this solution, and that it would be most unfriendly of him if he were to drag the covers off, or scramble up underneath them. We'll see what happens...

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