Wednesday, July 14, 2010

OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Dog

Dogs as a group are pretty stupid.  Or to put it another way, if someday the human race becomes extinct and the rest of the animal kingdom gets together to elect a leader based on intelligence, the winning candidate would most likely be a dolphin, a well-trained chimp, or possibly even a home-schooled Palomino horse, but definitely not a dog.  In fact, the dogs would probably not even be aware that an election had taken place, as they'd still be trying to figure out why their food dish was empty and no one was throwing the tennis ball for them to fetch.

This is not meant as an insult to dogs, by the way.  They have lots of redeeming qualities such as loyalty and playfulness, and it's kind of fun to watch them run around in confusion when you pretend to throw the tennis ball.  But let's be honest here, if dogs were any dumber, they be cats.  Or reality television stars.

You won't be surprised to learn at this point that I am not a dog lover.  I am, at best, a dog liker.  This means that while I have formed a tentative cohabitation agreement with the two dogs that live in my home, I'm not particularly fond of the rest of the species.  And in the case of some breeds (I'm looking at YOU, poodles), I have what would best be described as outright loathing.

Which brings us to my cocker spaniel named Munson.

I got Munson (who's named after the greatest catcher in baseball history) about three years ago when he sort of wore out his welcome with his previous family.  From what I understand, Munson didn't get along with another one of the family's pets which was a potbellied pig.  One day, the family came home to find that the pig had escaped his outdoor pen and wandered in through the dog door.  One thing led to another and, without putting too fine a point on it, let's just say that Munson enjoyed a healthy portion of ham that evening.

So yeah, Munson is pretty cool.  He's no genius, but he seems to have things figured out around here.  He's able to distinguish between indoors and outdoors when it comes to doing his business, he's an accomplished fetch player (though the "return" part is hit-or-miss), and he is consistently able to outwit the other dog in our home, Newton, when it comes to finding and then hiding the best toys.  To be completely fair, though, this isn't real impressive.  Newton is, even by dog standards, a bit of a dunce.

Over the past several months, though, I've come to the conclusion that Munson has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  Sufferers of OCD have certain behaviors that they MUST perform, otherwise they will, and here I use the medical terminology, go all batshit.  For example, some people with OCD wash their hands hundreds of times a day because they are obsessed with cleanliness.  Others have to have things organized a certain way, some have rituals like tapping a door five times before closing it, and in one bizarre case (I'm not making this up) a guy had to go thorough the motion of wiping off his hands whenever he saw an El Camino or even heard the WORDS "El Camino."

Munson's case isn't that extreme, but he's still kinda quirky.

When he eats his dinner, he won't eat it directly from the doggie dish.  He takes a mouthful of food, carries it over to his bed or into another room, drops it out on the floor and then eats it, one kibble at a time.  He then goes back to the doggie dish and repeats the process.  As for his drinking, he's not real fond of the water dish, but he has no problem drinking from the swimming pool.  Chlorine with a slight hint of suntan lotion, the great taste dogs love.

Another example, he always has to lay down or sleep in a corner of a room.  Not on the bed, not in the middle of the floor.  It has to be a corner.  And he normally gathers up all his toys and surrounds himself with them.  The rubber teddy bear.  The stuffed bone.  Even the squeaky pig which, given his sordid past, is kind of ironic.

He's also a compulsive digger.  This is somewhat annoying when he's tearing up the back yard, but it's hilarious when he's on the tile floor in the kitchen.  He gets the front paws going real fast, to the point where he looks like Wile E. Coyote spinning his feet in place, trying to avoid plunging to the bottom of a canyon.

For all his idiosyncrasies though, Munson's about as good a dog as one could hope for.  He's not going to be performing on America's Smartest Canines or anything, but on the other hand, he doesn't eat his own poop.  He's one of the family, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his single greatest quality:

He's not a friggin' poodle.


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Moooooog35 said...

My dog does the same thing with her food but, on the bright side, she's not a friggin' cat.

Mrsblogalot said...

I find not eating poop to be a very endearing quality.

Wish it could be taught in schools. (-:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

He's also not Newton.

Eva Gallant said...

He's a lovable looking dog even if he has a questionable fondness for pot-bellied ham!

Heff said...

I had a male Cocker Spaniel when I was 10.

DUMBEST animal I ever owned.

I'm assuming you named him "Munson" after Woody Harrelson's character in the movie "Kingpin".

Good Choice.

Heff said...

I had a male Cocker Spaniel when I was 10.

DUMBEST animal I ever owned.

I'm assuming you named him "Munson" after Woody Harrelson's character in the movie "Kingpin".

Good Choice.

Quirkyloon said...

Aww. I like Munson! Yes, I'm one of THOSE dog people.

Next dog we get? I'm naming her Soprano after Tony Soprano.

hee hee

Linda Medrano said...

Munson is a great dog! I had a little female spaniel named "Mitch". I have Honey and Harry now, both great dogs, but I need a therapist for Harry. Both of my dogs think poodles are some kind of a weird religious cult.

The Invisible Seductress said...

Cockers are awesome...

Peter Varvel said...

Sometimes, I think I was a dog in a former life, an idea which this post, unfortunately, further reinforces, ha ha!

ReformingGeek said...

I think Munson likes to keep pigs on a short leash....

J.J. said...

My sister's dog is so stupid that he barks at a brother whenever he sees him. That would be fine...if he didn't bark EVERY TIME the brother left the room to get a beer then return 30 seconds later.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I find it curious how deeply we bond to our dogs, and even more curious that we're able to bond to cats or birds. It doesn't really make sense to me. That may have something to do with getting kicked in the head by a mule, of course.

Carolina said...

Great post, lots of laughs.

otin said...

I am not a real dog person either. Animals in general are just work as far as I am concerned! Good name though!!

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

I'm sorry Munson has OCD, but damn. I think I need that one myself. Imagine how many calories I'd save if I had to walk from room to room for each bite!

Oh, and El Camino Guy? Saw that episode. Can't stop talking about it to people. They never believe me. (But good for him for eventually being able to drive one.)

Jenn Thorson said...

Always been fond of cocker spaniels-- they're not teeny tiny non-dog dogs, but not Marmaduke, either.

My favorite line: "Even the squeaky pig which, given his sordid past, is kind of ironic."

Niiiice. :)

CatLadyLarew said...

Aw, I heart Munson. We also had a dog once that did the Wile E. Coyote thing. He'd go tearing around the house and then hit the tiled floor in the kitchen, spinning out big time before regaining his footing. Cracked me up every time! But then, I'm sadistic like that. Dogs beat the hell out of cats any day!

Now I have the Wonder Dog who's big and smelly and OCD about so many things. Then again, in all fairness, since I'm kinda OCD, it's only fitting that my dog would be kinda OCD, too.

Sadako said...

Aww. OCD or not your dog is so cute. Maybe in a past life Adrian Monk owned him?

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