Hello, my friends! It’s been a long time. I’m sure you’ve all been sitting on pins and needles dying to know how I’ve been spending my busy days.
In the months since I last filled you in on my adventures, I’ve had an epiphany that’s changed the way I view my place in the world.
Wait for it…
I am a living, breathing, barking primer on how to embrace the seven deadly sins and thrive.
Pride. Mom often refers to me as her third child. With that great honor and responsibility, however, come the consequences when I misbehave. Mom has been known to call me a “dope,” as in “I love him dearly, but Truffle’s a dope. His cuteness does not negate his dopiness.”
Such comments are usually the direct result of her catching me in flagrante delicto drinking water from the toilet bowl or barking furiously at the fake cow displayed on the lawn of the local ice cream shop. My English skills are limited, but I can tell from her tone that her words are not meant as a compliment. It’s humiliating. I try to demonstrate my talents to the humans on a daily basis, but reminder to the universe: I AM A DOG and I occasionally act like one.
On the flip side, I always feel like top dog when my human family praises me for my good deeds. Believe it or not, it does happen. I carry my head higher when they cheer me on for catching the frisbee, doing my business on command, rolling over or using my impressive will power to refrain from jumping on people at the door.
Lust. My human dad does not understand basic anatomy. He assumed that my lack of testicles (RIP, dear friends) would prevent me from getting excited down where the sun don’t shine. Wrong! Despite the missing reproductive parts, I have a mean red rocket, which I proudly and nonchalantly displayed when I woke up the other morning. Dad caught a glimpse of it and was not amused. You’d think we’d bond over something like that – being, you know, men – but he wasn’t having any of it.
It’s been about 18 months since I was neutered. But like Jimmy Carter, I still know the meaning of lust. I reserve my passion and fervor for one very special dog. Her name is Olivia and she is my one and only. Every hour I spend at the dog park without her is a miserable hour indeed.
Greed. I am addicted to ear massages and tummy rubs. I can’t get enough of them. I’m like a vampire in need of his next pint of blood. When I feel the urge, I approach my human mom. I nudge her arm with my snout. It’s understood that the nudge is code for “PET ME NOW!” If she stops too soon or her caresses are half-hearted, I nudge her again and again and again and again. I am insistent and persistent.
There are four humans in my family, which makes for eight hands capable of giving me the daily spa treatments I deserve.
Sloth. Lazy is not the first word I’d use to describe myself. But I have my moments. My affinity with the underestimated and underappreciated jungle animal is most apparent in the evening, about an hour before my bedtime (Yes, I have a bedtime. You’d think that at two years old, I’d be mature enough to put myself to bed, but my human parents have no faith in me). If mom is upstairs in her bedroom, I will join her on the bed, plop myself beside her on my back with my belly in the air so that she’ll rub me to sleep. If she stops her massage, I nudge her repeatedly until she starts again. I am a greedy sloth.
Wrath. I learned the meaning of wrath this past summer, on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that I was attacked. Yes, you read that correctly. Attacked by a vicious dog whose owners allowed it to run off-leash on a hiking trail. At first, I was terrified. When the dog finally removed its teeth from my skin, I had lacerations in two places near my chest. Neither I nor my family realized I’d been injured until we were safely back in the car. I had stitches for ten days. The worst part? The damn cone I had to wear. When the vet put it on, I was no longer terrified. I was furious.
On the bright side, the experience taught me a lesson. I no longer allow any dog to push me around. I’ve perfected a “don’t you dare touch me!” growl and have even had the occasion to use it at the dog park a few times. No one messes with Truffle the Dog-Man. No one.
Envy. Let’s face it, other dogs envy me. The only time I am ever jealous is when Olivia (see lust above) plays with other pups at the park.
Gluttony. Anyone who’s known me since birth knows that I adore food and abhor sharing it. With age, however, comes wisdom. Now that I’m a mature 2-year old Dog-Man, I am much better able to control myself, except when I can’t.
A couple of weeks ago, my favorite Sophie left a delicious chocolate chip muffin on the couch. I found myself in the right place at the right time. Serendipity, I tell you! I heard animated talking in the next room and I knew the humans knew that I was up to no good. I then heard footsteps. As they approached, I started to growl my terrifyingly vicious “do not come any closer” growl. In response, mom and dad used their ineffective fake-scary voices in a pathetic attempt to distract me.
I ignored them because…chocolate chip muffin. Before anyone could yell “Truffle! Leave it!” the muffin was in my tummy and I was feeling groovy. Mom was worried because of the chocolate intake, but I am the Dog-Man made of steel with the stomach to match. She had nothing to worry about.
Eat your hearts out, fellow dogs everywhere. I can’t repeat this enough: a healthy relationship with the seven deadly sins is essential for a fulfilling life.