If My Dog Were a Person

She would be a thumb sucker and have a pacifier and chew gum and chew on her pencils and smoke. And snuff wouldn’t surprise me either. She’s the most orally fixated dog ever. On walks, she picks up things and rolls them around in her mouth until she sees something more disgusting and then she makes the switch. Thus, the red Solo cups that our neighbors have strewn on their lawn every Sunday morning are regularly picked up and deposited onto the lawn of the elderly couple who go to mass every day and haven’t had a drop to drink out of a party cup ever. Our dog is the great equalizer.

She would be that kid at playgroup who wants to boss everyone around, who you hate out of the gate, but soon warm up to because she has all the good ideas. My dog would be the kid who says “Let’s put on a show!” and although she takes the starring role and the tiara, she makes everyone feel so good about their performances, and she sees to it that everyone has fun, that by snack time everyone loves her and is competing to be her best friend. She is a party animal - literally - at the dog park. She is the leader of whatever game is being played, but then she takes the time to go to the fence and say an encouraging hello to the little wieners in the small-dog section, who are not having as much fun because they don’t have someone like my dog there to lead them.

She would be the president of the Recycling Club and would hang posters in the halls, urging the whole school to pick up their cigarette butts. She doesn’t like to see trash out in the neighborhood and when on a walk, is compelled to rearrange the litter. If there were trash containers on every front lawn, she might actually do some good. She might also take stuff out of the trash, but she’s still evolving. Maybe she’d be vice president of the Recycling Club for now.

She would be a vegetarian. She gets more excited about finding a mushroom than a live squirrel with an attitude and not enough sense to run when they see a dog. She’s supposed to be a coon hound, but I think if she were hot on the trail of a raccoon and saw a daisy, she would stop and smell the flowers. And then eat them. She has a very sensitive stomach and is only feeling well when she’s on dog food that has numerals in the name and has to be special ordered through the vet. The regular meat by-product dog food with hooves and organ meat, well, that is OK for your dog, but not for my dog.

If she were an actress she would be Reese Witherspoon. If she were an international diplomat, she’d be Shirley Temple Black. She has two moods: Cheerful and pumped, and cheerfuler and super pumped. If she were a person she would be in dance, not soccer. She would have a sensible haircut but sparkly shoes. She would be the person who knows what everyone in the neighborhood is doing and is sympathetic to why they’re doing it.

If my dog were a person, she would talk non-stop. She doesn’t bark a lot now that she’s a dog, but she’s constantly communicating with other parts of her anatomy. Her eyes are oftentimes saying, “Hey! How are you? I’m good. Let’s do something. Do you want to do something? I’m up for doing something!”

If my dog were a person, she might be my best - albeit exasperating - friend. But then I’d have to find another dog. And I don’t think I could replace her.

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