Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ask Toto #48

Dear Toto,

Everything was fine in my life.  I loved my owners, they loved me, I had the run of the place, kibble all to myself, all squeaky toys and stuffed animals were mine to destroy…

And then he showed up.  The other one.  They say he’s my “brother” but not only are we not related, I lived here a good year before he got here.  He’s not my brother.  And I don’t understand this whole concept of “sharing.” Any advice?

Don’t Play Well With New Brothers In Los Angeles:

Hi Don’t Play Well!

Wow, sharing is awful, isn’t it?  Especially when you think life is about you and only you as the only dog in the house.

While I’ve never had to deal with new siblings of my own, there is that blasted cat that keeps hanging around the house that I hate a lot.  Dorothy refuses to get rid of it, and thus, I’ve had to learn how to live life with a foreign entity in the middle of it.  So believe it or not, there’s a few pros to having another Four Footer running around:

1. There’s someone to blame things on.

Did you accidentally knock over a flower pot? Spill the water bowl? Track in mud?  Bingo, your brother is now the one you point the paw at: I didn’t do it!  It wasn’t me!  It was him!  Because you’re older, wiser, you know how things work around here.  Newbie Dog doesn’t.  Blame away, and keep working it until he wises up, or grows bigger than you.

2. Ambition Is Good.

This sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.  If you didn’t have someone to focus your anger on, to have a goal, an enemy to vanquish, you might become fat, lazy, complacent.  Nobody likes a complacent pup.  Everyone loves a pup who is active, happy, cheerful. Constantly testing your mettle keeps you sharp.  To sum up – it’s better to be fit and actively plotting the downfall of Newbie Brother than to be fat and lazy and sleeping on the porch.  That description actually sounds a LOT like that cat.  Nobody wants to be the cat.

3. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

So I hate the cat.  But so does the horse.  You know what that makes the horse?  My new best friend.  The horse is no longer the one that could possibly kill me by trampling me under his hooves if I happen to get near his corral.  The horse is now my Right Hand Man, and together we plot on how to nudge the cat off the fence onto the water trough, or how to pick apples off the tree and then spit ‘em at the cat.  That’s a TON of fun.

And maybe you don’t have a horse, but I bet you have a mailman.  Or a gardener.  Or a pool guy.  Those are your new best friends in figuring out how to dunk New Pup in the pool, or to “accidentally” leave a pile of poison ivy leaves around.  At the very least, someone could leave the gate ajar, and new pup bounds out to freedom and out of your life for good…

Okay, okay, okay, Dorothy just showed up, read what I wrote and was completely horrified, and says I gotta take it back.  I can’t take it back, I don’t know how to use the delete button, but I will say… that sometimes… 

It is kinda fun to play tug of war with a stuffed snake.  It is kinda fun to see who can run the fastest around the farm.  And it’s kinda fun to have someone around who has fur like you, and understands the pain and suffering of flea season.

So it’s not all bad to have a new brother. It’s all in how you play it.

Thanks for the question!

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