So let’s talk about that dog: It’s at a party and so are you and it’s being a pain in not only your ass, but everyone’s asses. It keeps jumping up on you, on everyone, humping you, licking you, barking constantly, every five seconds it loses its memory of whatever has just happened so it’s in a perpetual state of crazed wonder, and everyone’s yelling “No!” at it repeatedly, hoping it will stop ruining life. The dog is taking complete focus over everyone’s day and it’s simply exhausting to be around. And then, it happens. The Owner steps forward not to do the thing everyone’s hoping he’s gonna do, which is to place the dog in a large catapult and launch it into another zip code, but rather to say this:
“He’s just showing who’s boss.”
And he says it for the benefit of everyone there. As if that explanation—“He’s just showing who’s boss.”—will explain everything and make it okay that there’s this little creature figuratively—if you’re lucky—shitting on everyone’s good time.
You hear that a lot from dog owners who defend their dogs. “Oh, he’s just showing who’s boss.”
Oh. Is he? You know what? I should’ve picked up on that myself actually. Because now that I think of it, there are many boss-like qualities to your dog’s behavior. It won’t mind its own business, it’s making sexual advances on everyone’s leg, it’s desperate for attention, and sticks its tongue out while making direct, unyielding eye contact with you. All traits that more than a few bosses have exhibited, I’m sure.
I’ve never been in a jungle, but I have been in a home where the pets are in charge. I would compare it to a zoo, but zoos are actually run by people, not the animals.
But since your dog is the boss and not you, tell it to get me my coat ‘cause I’m outta here.