MURPHY'S LAW Losing control as dogs rule the roost

By Patrick Murphy

Having dogs are like having kids, but with fewer rules.

When we brought home our latest basset hounds, Penny and Ollie, about seven years ago I put my foot down. I did not want them on the couch.

As soon as we brought them home my daughter, Claire, picked them up and sat down on the couch with them, and I lost whatever control I had.

When I left home after lunch to head back to work, one was lying on the couch in the spot I had vacated, and one was stretched out across the bed.

I don’t even need to say how spoiled they are.

We don’t even go through the motions of trying to train them besides getting them to do their business outside.

My wife will get them to sit before they get a treat, and I hand out treats like every day is Halloween, and they have the best costumes.

My son, Alek, and daughter-in-law, Anna, have worked to keep their dog, Max, off the furniture and not to jump on people.

Max is part German Shepherd and part Husky, so if he jumps up on you he could push you over.

Plus he does sleep in any bed he finds, and try getting a part Husky, part German Shepherd to sleep on their half of the bed.

Claire and her husband, Trent, also have two basset hounds, and they run rampant in their home our home and probably everyone’s.

I always marvel at people who train their dogs to do tricks or human-like tasks.

Saw a video of a guy who taught his dog to go inside when fireworks started and shut the door behind him.

I would love to be able to teach my dogs things. Well, what I mean is I would love other people teach my dogs things. I just don’t have the desire to spend the time it takes, nor do I have what it takes to train a dog. I would just end up giving them a treat for trying.

I was never upset when the dogs were on the couch. I probably would have picked them up and put them on lap if Claire didn’t.

Kids are different. You have to teach them things so they can make their way in the world, but you teach things for yourself, too.

We all have come across kids who lack manners or misbehaves, and we look at the parents like, “What’s going on here? If this how you raised your kid?”

The parents get upset with the kid and tell them to stop whatever they are doing.

If you’re dog misbehaves, you can just say, “I don’t know why they jumped up on your couch, they never done that before. They don’t act like that at home.”

People just assume the dog is acting up because it’s in a new environment, but fellow dog lovers know we’re just lazy owners.

We love our dogs, and even when they misbehave we don’t stay mad long. I could have kept Penny and Ollie off the couch, but I couldn’t resist those eyes, and seven years later I still can’t.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.