Bunker Mentality: Man’s best friend?

Whoever coined the phrase about dogs being manâ??s best friend didnâ??t talk to my Yorkshire terrier named Zoey.

Donâ??t get me wrong, she is a sweetheart and sometimes over loving, meaning that she can be a serious licker showing her love.

But putting that aside, my complaint is more deep seated. She is supposed to be â??manâ??s best friend,â? not womanâ??s or childâ??s â?? MANâ??S. This man!

Somehow, Zoey doesnâ??t get that.

I have had dogs most of my life except when I was at college, in the military or working at a job that simply made owning a dog all but impossible.

However, the last 30 plus years I have enjoyed canine companionship, mainly Yorkies and sometimes a few cats along with the Yorkies.

In this household that I share with the Yard Sale Queen, there is Zoey and the 16-year-old black and white named Madison.

I donâ??t have a problem with Madison. After all, Madison is a cat and cats can be, well, cats. They can be sweet one minute, fickle the next.
Zoey is just downright fickle.

She was slightly more than two years old when I got her in July 2006. That January, I lost Alexis, who died suddenly at the age of 15. I was devastated by the loss.

However, the Yard Sale Queen knew someone who wanted to â??find a good homeâ? for a spayed female Yorkie that was submissive and â?? how do you say this delicately â?? piddled when you reached down to pick her up.

So off we went to visit Zoey and decide whether I wanted her. Within a week, I said yes, and took her home.

In no time at all, she stopped piddling when I reached down to pick her up. But she remains submissive, cowering or cutely rolling onto her side, when I pick her up.

Itâ??s the times that she is so sweet and loving toward me that is so endearing. But of late, those precious moments are few and far between.

On chilly days, I let the gas fireplace warm the house and like old people do break out a blanket to help keep my feet and legs warm. That is usually a cue for Zoey to jump into the chair and nestle beside me in the warm blanket. It is quality time with man and his dog.

However, if I need to use the laptop she shoots out of the chair and disappears under the bed, never to be seen for hours. I am not sure what the computer did to make Zoey hide in fear. Maybe it is the clacking keys, the whirring fan or possibly the sound of email arriving that strikes fear into her little heart.

But all that hiding changes when the Yard Sale Queen comes home. Zoey races from her hiding place and launches herself onto the sofa so that she can stretch out on the Queenâ??s lap.

The real kicker is when my fake 11-year-old granddaughter arrives in the morning to catch the school bus, Zoey leaps from my chair where I am reading the newspaper and does a doggie dance for the child, begging to be picked up.

Then when the fake grandchild gets home from school, Zoey zooms into the room to greet her, repeating the morning â??pay attention to meâ? ritual. Then they both disappear into the office where the youngster and dog settle into a recliner to watch TV and do homework, not necessarily in that order.

Once again, my dog has abandoned me for someone else.

But that isnâ??t the end of this sad saga. When my neighbor, you know the one with the thick German accent, comes over, Zoey is all over her doing the doggie dance or trying to lick her face.

I suppose I can somewhat understand all that misguided affection since the nice German neighbor lets her out or feeds her when the Yard Sale Queen and I are out of town at sporting events.
OK, I get that, sort of.

But the final straw is Zoeyâ??s reaction to the fake daughter when she comes over, which is several times a week for just a few minutes to pick up the 11-year-old princess.

The dog is all over her.

Zoey doesnâ??t seem to appreciate that had I not taken her in she wouldnâ??t be sleeping in a nice soft warm bed, have the best medical care, good food and grooming at the house by a fantastic mobile grooming service.

Itâ??s time for some behavior modification and attitude adjustment, with an emphasis on appreciation.

Maybe on my part more than herâ??s.

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at wallybunker@outlook.com